TABLE TENNIS: Trio secure Marylands semi spots

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Three of the four Marylands Cup semi-finalists were decided on the latest night of Spalding and District Table Tennis League (sponsored by Vital Recruitment) action last Wednesday.

First match of the evening at the Castle Sports Complex was the completion of the round one tie between Mine’s a Pint and Dark Knights . With the scores level they played the remaining two singles plus the doubles.

After the doubles the scores were still level and the final singles started with an end each, but Jeremy Hitcham won the final end to take Mine’s a Pint through.

In the next round they met Outsiders and won 3-0, having decided to end the match there as they had an unassailable lead. Even so their three games went to a total of eight ends.

Casey’s Pingers clash with Insidious proved to be a close one, with the first three games all going to the third. Leading 2-1, Pingers then took the fourth and the match before Insidious scored a consolation end in the last to make it 3-2.

Strangely, the closest match saw South Holland get past Castle Sports 5-0. Again, three games went to the third end but, in addition, four ends finished 31-30, another three 31-29 and three more 31-28 out of the 13 played.

The draw for the semi-final sees the winners of Bladerunners and Nomads facing Casey’s Pingers, while Mine’s a Pint meet South Holland.

Two more fixtures were played to catch up on postponements. JAG’s match with Haz Beans had been left in December but it was worth the wait.

In Division One, JAG’s Reece Kerry put up another fine performance in his first season in the top flight but Colin Vertigan and Tony Cooper proved too strong.

However, James Gibson tied up the singles and the deciding doubles went to five ends with Haz Beans coming from behind. The result did little for the two teams, though JAG are now six clear of the basement placing.

The second semi-final of the Val Mackey Doubles also went to five ends. Paddy Palgrave and John Chesworth beat Richard Matthews and Joe Beadle 3-2 and will meet the winners of their qualifying group.