Animal instincts kick in for table-tennis aces

F&M (Fernhurst and Midhurst) Athletes took on Haslemere Animals in the final of table tennis' Haslemere League Handicap Cup in a very exciting clash at Rake Village Hall.

F&M Athletes
F&M Athletes

It was tight all the way but at the end, the Athletes were ahead by 37 points. The sealed envelope concealing the secret handicapping gave the Animals half a point handicap so the Athletes were the winners by 36.5 points.

Superb performances came from Richard Higgs, coming back from a first-game drubbing against Haslemere’s Paul Tanton, to win the last two games of the four, and Dave Steel, who gained a huge number of points.

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Gordon Grover’s buccaneering playing style isn’t so well suited to this sort of competition, but he survived the pressure and gained great points.

The league runs from February to May and includes Petersfield, Shottermill, Rake and Liphook as well as Fernhurst/Midhurst and Haslemere.

There are three in a team and Grover captained the winning team to the delight of John Bounds, who is the Fernhurst non-playing captain. “We were all so excited at the finish that we came home without the cup. Hopefully it will materialise at some stage,” he said.

“Well done also to Chris and Richard Loversidge, who organised this year’s competition superbly.”

Meanwhile, Haslemere & District Table Tennis League events for juniors came to a successful conclusion at Fernhurst Village Hall with a record number of entries competing in the under-16 tournament.

A total of 24 youngsters competed initially in eight groups of three with the group winners them competing in the main tournament and the other 16 competitors going into the plate competition.

The main competition was dominated by Robbie Hill who came through all his matches without dropping a leg. He met Archie Phillips in the final and Hill triumphed 11-4, 11-6, 11-6.

Special mention should go to the losing semi-finalists who did extremely well to get that far.

The plate completion had several close matches and in the semi-finals Mark Sharman defeated Jude Weir 11-3, 12-10 and Hannah Drake defeated Richard Paine 11-4, 11-8.

In the plate final Sharman beat Drake 11-3, 11-5, 11-9.

Jim Cross, president of the Fernhurst club, presented medals to winners, runners-up and losing semi-finalist.

A special mention goes to Fernhurst club members who made the evening such a success. They set the hall up, did all the scoring and cleared the hall – the dedicated team were Richard and Chris Loversidge, John Bounds, Jim Cross and Jaki Adsett. Thanks also go to Adrian Sharp, who helped officiate.

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