Handicaps proved key as the Spalding and District Table Tennis League’s Guardian Cup delivered a number of cracking contests last week.
The competition is played in four singles to 33, with the total points deciding the winner after a hidden handicap has been added.
Perhaps the most interesting clash saw Division Two leaders Dark Knights face JAG, who prop up the top flight.
The latter, however, took three of the games for maximums in a total of 127, leaving Knights trailing on 99.
The handicap gave Knights a further 15 – so JAG go through to face South Holland in the next round.
Division One leaders Bladerunners met Nomads who are at the foot of the second tier, so knew they would be facing a heavy handicap.
So it proved (101), but despite losing all four ends to give Blades 132, Jonathan Black and Neil Singh managed a highly creditable 43 to take them through to play Haz Beans on a Roll.
The final tie was between Insidious and Castle Sports, who are just one point behind, in Division Two.
Spectators commented that they expected a close match with a small handicap.
The latter was true, with the handicapper unable to separate the teams, but Castle’s Mike Mulligan and Reece Kerry had other ideas and won all four games to rattle up a score of 132-86. They play Defenders next time out.
Haz Beans on a Roll then brought forward their Marylands match from Round Two against Ha’st.
Despite disposing of a top flight outfit in their opener, Ha’st found Tony Cooper and Colin Vertigan had too much variation and went down 3-2.
They still forced the victors to come from behind to claim their win, though.
Meanwhile, Bladerunners put a serious dent in JDM Allsorts’ title hopes, and boosted their own, with a 4–1 victory in a rearranged league fixture.
Tomascz Dobrzyn maintained his 100 per cent record while Pete Budd scored for the losers. Blades are now six clear of JDM and Holland.
• The Spalding and District Table Tennis League’s condolences go to the family of Roy Trawford, Vice President and long-time supporter of the League, who recently passed away.