The Christmas break in the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League gives teams a chance to play their cup matches and this year’s Handicap KnockOut Cup produced a number of closely fought clashes. Handicap Cup matches are played over the old format of best of three games up to 21 points.

Elmtree emerged as 5-4 winners over OCs A. Louis Brown (playing off a Handicap of 58), who had lost his previous two singles to David Porter and Terry Dowsett, emerged as the unlikely hero by beating Mick Hayes (minus 57) decisively 2-0 (21-15, 21-11) in the all-important final encounter.

Danbury D also ran out as 5-4 winners. They beat Elmtree Excalibur C in a match where Rob Kneale (minus 57) starred. He beat Alan Offord 2-0 (21-14, 21-18), Steve Siggs 2-1 (21- 14, 17-21, 21-13) and with the scores tied at 4-4 he saw off the challenge of Dave Moles 2-1 (17-21, 21-18, 21-13).

Danbury E also made it through to the third round of the Handicap Cup Competition by beating Hatfield Peverel A 5-3. Roger Tiffin (minus 53) was their star-performer and he contributed two-straight victories over Gareth Davies (21-19, 21-12) and Guy McKenzie (22-20, 21-14).

Kevin Willis overturned the loss of the first leg by sealing the victory by getting the better of Gareth Davies quite decisively 17-21, 21-6, 21-9.

OCs A booked their place in the semi-finals of the Mixed Knockout Cup by beating Elmtree Excalibur A 5-3. Elmtree’s Paul Sturton was involved in two five-enders. He beat Trevor Carter 3-2 (11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-3) after a widely fluctuating encounter but he missed out against John Cleasby 13-15, 9-11, 11- 4, 11-5, 8-11 in the match which ultimately secured the OCs’ side’s victory.

Lin Attridge overturned a narrow first end defeat to get the better of Sue Hickman 3-1 (20-22, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4).

Elmtree C also progressed in the Mixed Knockout Cup and they beat their B side 5-2. Melanie Bonnett made her presence felt by beating both Nicola Pippen (11-7, 11-9, 11-8) and Keith Pallett (11-7, 11-5, 11- 5).

Happy New Year to all the players and officials of Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League.