TABLE TENNIS: ‘Pinters’ toast shock Marylands triumph

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It was a mixed bag of action in the Spalding and District Table Tennis League last week with matches played across two differing competitions as the season heads toward its business end.

Teams made progress is both league divisions and in the Marylands Cup, where Mine’s A Pint upset Division One big hitters South Holland to reach the final.

Andrew Hay gave the ‘Pinters’ the lead, before David Gilbert pulled them back to 1-1 in the semi-final clash.

The doubles restored their lead, but John Gilbert levelled again for Holland – only for Hay to seal the win for the second tier side in the final game.

However, despite the final score of 3-2, most of the ends were not close.

Their opponents in the final are still undecided with Bladerunners looking to complete their second round match with Nomads, which now stands at 2-2 after David Gibson caught up on his games in the tie.

In the league, South Holland saw off Defenders 5 – 0, though this time the games were much closer with Richard Hammond and John Gilbert having to concede ends in four of the five games. Defenders’ Alan Fear and Martyn Green even forced a fifth end in the doubles.

Holland are now just a point behind Division One leaders Bladerunners, but Blades have three unfinished matches in hand. Gibson played four of his six outstanding games, winning three against Outsiders and Haz Beans.

Earlier in the evening, Haz Beans had fought off JAG for a 5-0 victory. Colin Vertigan won his comfortably, but Tony Cooper, struggling with new rubbers on his bat, had to fight hard for his two as JAG found themselves in their third five-end doubles against stronger opposition in a row.

In Division Two, with leaders Castle Sports’ match postponed, Dark Knights looked to close the gap.However, Phil Coote proved too strong for Knights’ number one pairing and restricted them to a 3-2 win.

Elsewhere, Insidious moved further clear of Ha’st in the table with a 4-1 defeat of Nomads.

Gary Simpson picked up two for the winners, but Jonathan Black got one back for the losers and the doubles went all the way before being resolved.

Meanwhile, Mine’s a Pint had, like Holland, doubled up their matches, facing Casey’s Pingers. Pingers’ young guns were defeated in straight ends, but showed how they are improving with good scores in each of their games.