It was handicap cup week for all four divisions and both the holders of the Odex Trophy and the Robert Moreton Shield were eliminated in round 1. Premier division Newton, led by singles champion Shaun Hall, fought tremendously hard against division 1 leaders County Officers B but vital points secured by Mark Simpson and Daniel Webber saw the Officers home by just 4 points. Elsewhere in this competition Barrow put out one of the strongest teams ever to comfortably outpoint Groves even though the Barrow trio of Mc Evoy, Beech and Taylor all started on -4 handicaps.
Robert Moreton holders , Kelsall Cobras, welcomed Groves D in a repeat of last seasons final , but on this occasion the Port side triumphed by 22 points to reach the quarter finals. Also through are an Alan Gilmore inspired Barrow D team who eliminated the very strong division 2 trio representing Officers C, and Bryan Fitzpatrick led bottom division 2 side Barrow C to a 12 point victory over division 3 outfit Saughall Institute.
To complete a very good round for the villagers Martin Dodd ensured that high flying Barrow B had no problems eliminating division 3 opponents Officers E by a considerable margin.
In a division 1 fixture Martin Sellars was in superb form as he led Groves A to an emphatic 9 1 victory over Groves C who had defeated them only a week before Christmas, and in division 2 Andrew Taylor continued his good form as Officers E inflicted a 7 3 defeat on their own D trio.