Club Report 100416
Handicap Cup Report
A night of fantastic table tennis ended with Sacriston’s own Max Duffin coming through two difficult matches to take the Sunderland League Handicap Cup Singles title.
Played in front of an appreciative crowd the two semi-finals were Max Duffin from Sacriston Bombers giving a 3 point start to the very talented Sean Gleghorn for the Silkswoth B team, the other game was between the league Chairman and Thompson Stalwart Chris Blake, and the tremendous defensive player George Gibson from St Gabriels who is 3rd in the Sunderland League 1st division standings. Max and Sean had recently played a league game where Max had won with little problem, but in this encounter Sean started at a roaring pace and took the first 6 of 7 points, to take a 9-1 lead. However Max settled into a rhythm and slowed his game down to extend the rallies before starting his attack and this paid off, with Sean missing some crucial drives and allowing Max back into the game. Once Max reached parity, the score went on an even basis until the last three points where Max came through strongly to take the first end.
The second end was another ding dong battle with Sean attacking at every opportunity and some fantastic rallies were played out at a breath-taking pace, however Max had the edge and took it. Moving into the third end, Max was now full of confidence and opened up every point early and even though Sean played some decisive returns, Max was forcing him further from the table and took the third end to move to the final
The game between Chris Blake and George Gibson proved a very close affair with Chris giving up a 4 point lead to his opponent. Chris opened up at every opportunity but the dour defence of George proved a difficult barrier to break down and sometime playing ‘get the ball back on the table’ can really work. The game score was 3-0 but with the points score being 21-13, 21-18, 23-21 it shows that this was a really tough game before George won through to go into the final.
Max was up against a very experienced opponent but with a 6 point start know he only had to stay with George to keep his chances alive. Rallies were long and intricate with Max talking the initiative, serving short and hitting long. The first game started slowly but George kept in the game by pressing Max into a number of unexpected mistakes, however the handicap came in useful with Max taking the first end 21-14 .
George after an arduous semi-final was now being really pressed by the power and agility of Max who was all over the court trying to break into a fast driving attack and this wore George down who went down 21-7 and 21-9 but had given up a real fighting performance before succumbing to Max.
Congratulations to a Max who has had stunning season only losing one game in the entire Sunderland season.
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