Heslop gets season off to a flying start with Handicap Challenge triumph

Jonny Heslop was the latest winner of the Halifax Handicap Challenge, defeating Matthew Shaw 42-33 in the final. Both players started on a handicap of 3, but Heslop raced into a 40-22 lead, and although Shaw won 11 of the next 12 points, it was too little too late.

Heslop was made to work for the title, having defeated four of the top five rated players on the way.

Having defeated Sam Clayton (1 handicap) 42-34 in the group, he overcame Fraser Riley (scratch) 42-38 in the last 16. 

His closest game was against Sam Nehmiah (24) in the quarter-finals, with the game going the distance before Heslop won the deciding point to win 42-41.

His semi-final opponent was Alex Shaw (10), eventually prevailing 42-40.

As for Matthew Shaw, he advanced despite only winning one of his group games, but went through on countback.

Shaw's path to the final was slightly more comfortable, beating Dave Stretton (19) 42-34, Brian Chapman (28) 42-39, and finally Latu Lawson (18) 42-34.

However, he was no match for Heslop, who raced into a 21-10 lead before seeing off a late rally.

In the plate competition, Shamir Bose (12) defeated Dave Blackburn (17) in the final 42-38.

Bose had defeated Alex Borbely in the quarter-finals before impressively defeating Lewis Palmer (5) 42-25, outscoring his higher-ranked opponent 30-20.

Blackburn had defeated Ken Scott (25) 42-37 and Jackie Wood (32) 42-36 to advance.

Author: via Halifax Table Tennis League
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