CUP FINAL DISAPPOINTMENT FOR F TEAM
The Times and Directory Handicap Cup Final featured two teams who had won their respective divisions in the Bournemouth & District Table Tennis League by a country mile. The New Milton F team (Ian Linney, Steve Cheesman & Mike Roberts) who were Division 4 champions without dropping a match faced the youngsters of Bournemouth Sports F (Ali Malloch, Jacob Blackburn & Luke Goodall) who won the Division 2 title, only losing one match in the process.
The Bourne stormed into an early two match lead at the Grange as Linney playing off +9 lost to Malloch, and Cheesman (+7) was beaten by Blackburn. It could so easily have been 1-1 at this stage but Cheesman fault-served at 19-19 in the third and final set to go on to lose 19-21. Roberts (+7) stopped the rot by getting the better of Goodall to make it 1-2, but Cheesman (+7) then lost to Malloch making it 1-3. Linney made good use of his +9 start and wiped the floor with Goodall, then Roberts (+7) beat Blackburn to level things off at 3-3.
Cheesman (+7) had no trouble at all against a dispirited Goodall to give Milton the lead by 4-3, but Roberts (+7) also fell victim to man of the match Malloch which left things delicately poised at 4-4 for the decider.
Linney was the hero of Milton’s semi-final against Winton YMCA D as he won the final match to put his F team through to the Cup Final, and it all came down to him again. Linney had a +9 start but it proved too little against a rampant Blackburn, who overhauled the handicap very early doors in both sets to win it 21-16, 21-15 and secure the Cup. A shell-shocked Linney was gracious enough to say “he hit me off the table” in tribute to Blackburn, and that just about summed it up. The full squad of players are pictured below: l-r Malcolm Nash (Captain), Ian Linney, Sylvia Smith, Mike Roberts & Steve Cheesman.
There will definitely be a New Milton team in the “Plate” final, as the Premier’s B team takes on the G team from Div 4 in the semi-final at Mudeford Wood on Monday 18th April. The winners’ opponents in the final will be Div 3’s Merton H who saw off their own D team in their semi-final.