G TEAM WIN DERBY TO GO THROUGH TO PLATE FINAL
One of the semi-finals of the Bournemouth & District Annual Times & Directory Handicap Plate competition was a local derby between two teams of the New Milton Table Tennis Club, which meant that there would be one Milton team in the final.
The Premier’s B team (John Hook, John Millward & Shaun Newcomb) took on their G team (Graham Underwood, Lewis Reading & Eddie Tompkins) who play in Division 4 of the league, and the handicaps reflected that differential. It was a big ask for the Premier side as Hook had to give his very experienced oppos a +14 start; Millward and Newcomb with deficits of 8 and 12 respectively, in a 21-up format.
Underwood got the ball rolling for the Gees by beating Millward 21-13, 21-13 but Reading lost over three sets to Hook which levelled things up. Tompkins beat Newcomb fairly comfortably 21-14, 21-14, and then Underwood just nicked the fourth match against Hook by 21-20 in the third set to make it 3-1 to the Gees.
Tompkins won the fifth match against Millward to make it 4-1, leaving Newcomb needing to beat Reading to stay in the match. Newcomb’s unorthodox style messed Reading up to take the first set 21-18, but Reading got used to Newcomb’s pimples and fiddling to take the second 21-17. Reading pulled away in the decider to win it 21-14 to take his G team through to the final.
The G team are hoping to succeed in the Plate final where their F team failed in the Cup final. They face Merton H who are one division above them in Div 3, and the final takes place at the Dorset Table Tennis Centre, the Grange School, Somerford on Wednesday 4th May.