The grading/handicapping system used by the Leicester Table Tennis League was given a huge thumbs up when, after two 11-9 results in the semis, the Elbow Tankard final between Park Keepers and Abbots was standing at 10-10 at full time, needing a sudden death deciding best of three games before Keepers’ snuck home in a match full of good table tennis and wonderful sportsmanship.

Ashley Palmer (PK) played Vishal Parmar then Patrick Cox (PK) faced Fahed Sacoor to begin with, both resulting 1-1, before George McClurkin gave Keepers an edge when he defeated Geoff Hancock 24-22, 21-17.

The next four sets were all 1-1, including the two doubles and then Keepers once again put their noses in front, this time it was Palmer beating Sacoor 21-11, 21-15.  But the wily Hancock was not finished.  He faced Cox giving away eight each game and won 22-20, 22-20 in a nail-biting finale to the main proceedings.

It could be that the starts claimed by the two Park Keeper youngsters began to tell in the play off games as Palmer defeated Parmar 21-13 and then, after Hancock had pulled back from 0-8 to 19-19 against Cox, it was the latter, fresh from his three gold medal triumphs in the recent Bath Paralympic Games, who rallied to win 21-19.

John Bowness, Publicity Officer (September 15, 2013)