Hales Gnats back on top

Last year’s champions Hales Gnats regained the lead in the Beccles and District Table Tennis League, but not without a struggle after two very close finishes.

Firstly, they lost 6-4 to Framingham Gull. Rob Pennell won all three singles matches for the Gull, including two four-leg matches.

He then teamed up with Anthony Hewkin to win the crucial doubles 11-9 in the fifth leg.

Anthony won two singles matches, including two five-leg wins. Gordon Howes won two matches for Gnats.

Gnats then beat Hales New Bees 6-4. Greg Collett won all three singles matches for Gnats and then the deciding doubles match with Gordon Howes. Barney Garrod and Chris Trindall both won two matches for New Bees.

New Bees also had a 6-4 win over Framingham Nutters. Barney Garrod and Chris Trindall again won two matches. Phil Clarke won all three singles matches for Nutters, to no avail.

Once again, the doubles match proved crucial and the Garrod-Trindall pairing won it 12-10 in the fifth leg.

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Framingham teams Gull and Nutters then met, with Gull 7-3 winners. Once again, Gull’s Rob Pennell won all three singles matches and Anthony Hewkin chipped in with two wins. Phil Clarke won two matches for Nutters.

Framingham Magpies won 10-0 against Barnby, with Doug Cheer, Sharon Cheer and Alf Stubbs winning all their matches, although three matches went to a fifth leg, and another three went to a fourth leg.

The quarter-finals of the Knockout Cup have also taken place.

Nutters overturned a starting deficit of 117 to beat Barnby by 59 points. Peter McMorran won two legs for Barnby, but otherwise there were no problems for Richard Herne, Joe Herne and Phil Clarke. Hales Ants started with a deficit of 162 against Magpies, but clinched victory in the final match by 23 points.

Barry Fortune won Magpies’ only leg, but Ian Brown, Adrian Key and Mike Smith remained unbeaten.

Hales Eagles sneaked through by just one point against Gull.

Going into the final match, Eagles led by 31 points, but Derek Clark scored the winning point in losing against Rob Pennell.

There was an even closer finish as Gnats and New Bees fought out a tie, with Gnats clawing back a starting deficit of 144.

However, in the replay, New Bees progressed to the semi-finals with a 60-point win.

Oly Howes remained unbeaten for Gnats, but it was not enough.