Both last year’s winners, Andy Lee and George Makrakis, safely navigated their way through to the next round of Worksop & District Table Tennis League’s Carnation Cup, albeit with different partners this time around.
This year Andy Lee was paired with Chris Clemson with Lee taking the lead by winning both his singles matches against Malcolm Manuel and Jonno Blood, with Clemson losing both his singles matches which made the doubles the pivotal game of the match which Lee and Clemson won to cement a 3-2 win. George Makrakis was paired with Paul Linfield and they were up against Jack Kirkland and Mark Bloomer in what became the longest and closest match of the first round ties.
Kirkland and Makrakis kicked things off with Makrakis starting 7-0 as per the handicap system but, despite being 7-0 down, Kirkland managed to win the first game 21-18 and then managed to nick an even closer second game 25-23 to take a 1-0 lead.
Partner Bloomer then took full advantage of a 7-0 start on Linfield and, although he lost the first game 21-15, he hit back impressively to take the next two games 21-12, 21-15 to put himself and Kirkland into what looked like a winning position.
But back came Linfield and Makrakis to take the doubles by two games to one to leave them 2-1 behind with two singles left to play.
In his final singles match Makrakis managed to defeat Bloomer in two tight, straight sets to leave the match finely balanced at 2-2 and into the last game of the match to decide the winners.
In a contest that contained some fabulous attacking from Kirkland and stubborn defence from Linfield, it was Kirkland who drew first blood, winning the first set 21-17.
But Linfield hit back to take the second set to take it into the decider in which Linfield showed all his tenacity and defensive guile to eventually win it 21-15 to ensure he and Makrakis progressed into the next round. The highest ranked player in the competition, Richard Element, was paired with Mick Potter but, despite Elements’ number one ranking, he and Potter couldn’t quite manage to defeat Tony Swain and Erlands Skels, despite Element beating them both in the singles matches.
Swain and Skels both managed to beat Potter and then teamed up to take the doubles set go through by the narrowest of margins by three sets to two. Another of the six first round matches to be won 3-2 was the match between Mark Fisher & Jim Westwood and Rick Harris & Justin Flear, with Fisher and Westwood coming out on top.
Other Carnation Cup results: Jeff Reay & Adam Hamilton 3, Helmuth Osborne & Adam Pinches 2; Matthew Williams & Mitchell Radford 3, James Wormwell & Andy Kirkland 2
Peter Eyre & Chris Cutts 4 Rob Vaughan & Neil Fisher 1
Pete Hodgson & Ben Swain 4, Ivan Guilliatt & Derek Piper 1 Mike Tunningley Shield Results: Manton Tigers 251 DTH Redlands Fluffy Toys 126, Ryton Park Falcons 398 Stanley Street A 378, Manton Misfits 378 Worksop Miners Welfare B 354. Division Two Result: Stanley Street B 7 Manton Sports 3 Division Three Results: Stanley Street E 0 On-Line Elks 10, Ryton Park Falcons 2 Ryton Park Cougars 8.