The final of the Eastern Valley Table Tennis League Team Handicap (Pat Archdale Cup) was held this week between the Division 2 teams Cwmbran Panthers and Cwmbran Devils.
The team handicap awarded to Cwmbran Devils was +66 points, but, as is usual in this competition the handicap was not revealed until the end of the match. In the first match the Devils extended their lead to 67 points when Stan Williams secured a good overall win against Yuri Cherkasenko. However, by the end of the 4th match of the 9 matches being played the Panthers had clawed their way back to within 16 points. Then it was the turn of the Devils to fight back with Williams only losing by 2 points overall to the Division 2 top player Mike Blatchford. In the 6th match the Devils' Glenda Prytherch did well to only lose by 5 points overall to Howard Gaut to leave a points difference of 9 points in favour of the Devils with 3 matches to play. This points difference was wiped out when Cherkasenko beat Colin Scott.
With 2 matches to go and the scores level the Panthers were looking favourites to win. In the penultimate match Gaut narrowly beat Williams to establish a 3 point lead for the Panthers going into the last match between the Panthers Blatchford and the Devils' Scott. Blatchford had not lost to Scott in the league, but he had a shock in the first set of their match when Scott played very well to win 11-1. Suddenly the Devils were looking favourites to win. However Blatchford recovered his composure to win the last 2 sets 11-8 and 11-5 to secure a very narrow win for the Panthers by 2 points.(good handicapping I say!!!)
Congratulations to the Cwmbran Panthers team of Mike Blatchford, Yuri Cherkosenko and Howard Gaut. Commiserations to the Cwmbran Devils team of Stan Williams, Colin Scott and Glenda Prytherch.