Published 05/04/2017 at 10:19:01 by Brian Nicholson; edited 2 times, last on 05/04/2017 at 16:21:25 by Brian Nicholson.

Good morning all
Last night saw the semi finals of the Challenge Cup at the Centre and the results were as follows:

          Padbury Night Owls beat Mursley Magpies (+70) by 27 points
          OU Penguins (+130) beat MK Classics by 16 points

Two intriguing matches, as in the in first one Padbury had overcome the handicap and led by two points after game four, the doubles. However, Mursley stayed with them and by the end of game eight were only six points adrift. It was here that John Osborn and Ian Warner both kept their nerves under control and edged to small victories to give an overall win by twenty seven points. My man of the match was Arthur Cox from Division 7, who 'rolled back the years' and scored a respectable ninety points from his three matches. 

On the other table, it was division 5 versus division 2 with the lower division team having a much debated handicap of 130 points. After the doubles, Penguins had had their lead cut to eighty eight points and there was still all to play for. Steven Sun then virtually evened out against Barbara Peters over the two legs but with Masoud Nassor playing really well (winning a net sixty two points against the handicap in the singles and fifteen points against the handicap in the doubles partnership) Classics were gradually clawing away the deficit and by the end of game eight were only twenty nine points adrift.  With Steven having played all of his matches, it was down to Daniel Charteris -Black (with his rather odd bat and his lawn tennis shots) to hold Barbara to only one point (net), leaving Tom Tofield to have to win by only conceding a maximum of thirteen points (fourteen for the tie). Although Tom won both legs fairly comfortably against Dekai Xia, he could not do so by the required overall score and Penguins edged it out by sixteen points. My man of the match goes to Steven Sun who in two matches against the handicap only lost two points in total before giving best by twenty points against the handicap to Masoud who, on the evening, was a close challenger for this spot. A very nice touch came after the match when the losing captain, Barbara, handed out chocolate biscuits - yes, you've guessed it, PENGUINS!

This is what the Cup should be all about (not least from the Cup Committee's point of view in setting all of the handicaps each round) by giving both sides an even chance of getting through depending on who kept their nerves on the night.

The final, to be held next Tuesday the 11 April at the Centre, will be between Padbury Night Owls and OU Penguins and the latter will have a fifty points start. It is the same evening as the Top 8 Competitions for Divisions 3 and 4 so come along and see an evening of table tennis.