Handicap Champions: Adam Cuthbert, Sam Hume and Paul Hume

Cougars Victorious

In the final match of the 2013 Clacton and District League season, Nomads Cougars crowned an exceptional year by winning the Handicap Knock-Out Cup.

In the final played at the Clacton’s Brotherhood Hall, the Cougars’ trio of Paul Hume, Sam Hume and Adam Cuthbert defeated club-mates Nomads Jaguars 5-1, the result rarely looking in doubt after they raced into a 3-0 lead.

The opening doubles saw Sam Hume and Adam Cuthbert (0) defeat Colin Beaumont and Tony Beezer (0) in 3-1 (11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10), Sam’s forehand attacking loops the winning difference between the two sides.

Older brother Paul Hume (+1) followed with a victory over Jaguars’ reserve Simon Smith-Daye, playing in place of skipper Brian Parish who was unavailable for the final.

Both players were prepared to stand back from the table and heavy-loop but the Hume’s consistency proved the key, winning 3-1 (9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5).

Match three saw Sam Hume (-3) face Tony Beezer (+1) who, belying his lowly position in the Division One rankings, gave Sam as good as he got, mixing all-out attack with containing safety play and restricting Sam’s usual zestful play.

It proved to be the closest contest of the final. In the fifth set, Sam led 9-6 and it looked all over but Beezer, fighter that he is, pulled back to 10-9 down before Hume fluked a net to see him over the winning line and give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.

A lucky end but all credit to Sam who, once again, showed maturity beyond his years.

If the Jaguars were to have any chance they needed to win the match before the interval and stand-in skipper Colin Beaumont (-1) produced the goods with an 3-1 (11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 11-9) victory against Adam Cuthbert (+1).

Beaumont’s whippy backhands and tricky serves proved effective in inflicting a first singles defeat on Cuthbert in the Cougars’ Cup run this season.

The match after interval was a must-win for the Jaguars, with Smith-Daye and Beezer (0) paired against Cuthbert and Paul Hume (0).

It proved to be a typical see-saw encounter but the Cougars edged ahead 9-3 in the fifth set, eventually converting it to a 3-2 (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6) victory.

The Cougars had crucially won both matches that had gone the distance.

Match six – as it turned out, the final match of the evening – saw Sam Hume (+1) and Simon Smith-Daye (-3) trading blows across the table with hard-hitting rallies.

But the irrepressible Hume scarcely needed his handicap advantage and ran out a comfortable 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-3) winner to clinch the Cup for his team.

It concluded a memorable fortnight for the Cougars, last week clinching the Division Two title and this week becoming only the fifth Division Two side in the last forty years to win the Cup.

Runners-up: Tony Beezer, Simon Smith-Daye & Colin Beaumont

But spare a thought for the Jaguars, finishing bottom of Division One and beaten Cup finalists for a second year running.

Final results (Cougars’ players first):
S Hume/Cuthbert (0) beat Beaumont/Beezer 3-1 (11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 12-10)
P Hume (+1) beat Smith-Daye 3-1 (9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5)
S Hume (-3) beat Beezer (+1) 3-2 (8-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5, 11-9)
Cuthbert (+1) lost to Beaumont (-1) 1-3 (9-11, 11-8, 11-13, 9-11)
P Hume/Cuthbert (0) beat Smith-Daye/Beezer (0) 3-2 (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6)
S Hume (+1) beat Smith-Daye (-3) 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-3)

* The Nomads Club’ Summer League runs on Thursday evenings during the close season. The Club is also holding a Quiz Evening on Saturday 18th May. For information about either of these ring Mike Hillier on 01255 424979 or Gill Locke on 01255 821866.

* Practice sessions for League players are being held at the Coastal Academy on Wednesday evenings during the summer. For more information contact Gill Locke.

* The League’s “Come and Try” table tennis taster sessions begin next month on Wednesday 5th June at 7.30 pm at St James Hall. The sessions continue on every Wednesday during June and are free of charge. All equipment will be supplied.

Anyone who would like to take up competitive table tennis is welcome to attend. For more information, telephone Development Officer Ferdy Rodriguez on 01255 221259