SILKSWORTH IM B clinched a superb 5-3 win against Divison One leaders Thompson Insurance A in the first round of the table tennis Team Handicap Cup.
The cup competition sees players allocated an individual handicap and that helped Silksworth – third in Division Two – seal the win.
Silksworth’s George Carlyon was the man of the match as he turned back the clock and played excellent attacking table tennis, winning all three sets against Dave Blackburne, Allan Thompson and Chris Blake.
Carlyon was closely supported by Howard Brown, who won two of his three sets against Allan Thompson (21-9 and 21-10 – having had a nine-point start) and Chris Blake (21-15 and 21-17 – having had a 12-point start).
He was narrowly defeated by Dave Blackburne in a closely-fought game.
The point of the match came in a 15-stroke rally, which saw Brown chop a forehand smash from Blackburne low over the net to win the point.
The final score was 22-24 and 25-27 to Blackburne, with Brown having had an 11-point start.
Alan Bickle (Silksworth) played well and was unlucky not to pick up a set on the night, losing narrowly to Blake (21-10, 15-21, 17-21 – from a 10-point start) and Blackburne (18-21 and 15-21-from a nine-point start).
Silksworth can now look forward to a second round match against West CA B, who are bottom of Division Two.
Another excellent game saw two Division Three teams clash, with St John’s B winning 5-4 against Sacriston St Bede’s D.
Sacriston took a 1-0 lead, only for St John’s to draw level and this pattern continued until the eighth set.
Sacriston were leading 4-3 at this point only for Alex Smith (St John’s) to draw level with an excellent win over Nicki Irwin (21-23, 21-14 and 19-21, having given his opponent a 10-point start).
Dave Pringle then secured a win for St John’s in the ninth and deciding set with a narrow win over Debbie Irwin (Sacriston) 26-24 and 21-13, having conceded a nine-point start.
In the other cup fixtures, Thompson Insurance B had an excellent 6-3 victory over Durham CA – a match that saw six of the sets played being decided in the third game. Shirley Gelder remained undefeated for Thompson’s.
Mortimer CA (second in Division Two) had a 6-3 win over St John’s A, who are top of Division Three.
The set of the match saw Craig Hilton (St John’s) win by the narrowest of margins (12-21, 30-28 and 21-18) against Matty Hampton.
Team Handicap first round results: Silksworth IM A 9 (D1) Redby CA B (D2) 1; Sacriston St Bede’s C 8 (D3) Redby CA A (D1) 1; Sacriston St Bede’s D 4 (D3) St John’s B (D3) 5; Silksworth IM B 5 (D2) Thompson Insurance A (D1) 3; Durham CA (D1) 3 Thompson Insurance B (D1) 6; St John’s A (D3) 3 Mortimer CA (D2) 6.