TABLE TENNIS: Hannigan stars for All Saints

Dorset Echo: BUDMOUTH D: Will Jolliffe, Snighda Maganti and Ethan Gear BUDMOUTH D: Will Jolliffe, Snighda Maganti and Ethan Gear

Weymouth League Handicap Cup Quarter-Finals

ALL SAINTS v BUDMOUTH B

THIS was an extremely close match and the handicaps were spot on as All Saints reached the last four.

Five of the nine matches went to three games and six of the games went to 20-20, with one of them going to 27-29.

Star of the night for All Saints was Ben Hannigan, who won all three of his matches with the closest being against Neil Burroughs. Neil Burroughs took the first game 22-20, fighting back from a 9-0 deficit, before Hannigan won the next 21-14, which set up a third and deciding game.

This game also went to deuce after Neil Burroughs quickly chased down the handicap, but Hannigan held his nerve to pull out two tremendous shots to win 23-21.

Dan Dadds also chipped in with a useful point for All Saints, as they took a bit of a lead, but Budmouth fought back with Neil Burroughs and Ben Graham both winning two of their matches.

That brought it all down to the last game between Brad Webb and Brad Burroughs.

Webb started with a four-point handicap head-start and, in the first game, Brad Burroughs did well to haul that back.

It remained pretty close up to a dramatic round of deuce games as the final score went to Brad Burroughs 29-27.

The next two games were pretty even but Webb used his points advantage to good effect, winning 21-14, 21-16.

SHIPTON GORGE A v COLLITON C

SHIPTON Gorge A approached this handicap match against Colliton C with some trepidation due to the handicaps they had been given.

The hosts, as they had feared, were outplayed in the first three encounters, but Gil Roberts, with his strong defensive skills, managed to get the better of Katherine Bundy in the fourth match to bring a glimmer of hope to Shipton.

The situation looked even better when Terry Whitworth then beat Mark Whittingham in the fifth.

However, Colliton C managed to hold their lead in the next two vital matches to retain their well-deserved place in the tournament.

The evening concluded with the remaining matches being played out, with Shipton’s Miranda Edwardes beating Colliton’s Katherine Bundy but the visitors go on to the next round.

BUDMOUTH D v PRESTON D

PRESTON knew they were going to be the underdogs in this battle of the D teams from the Third Division.

The handicaps were very close but Budmouth have improved so much since the beginning of the season that giving them any points at all would not be helpful, and so it proved, Preston D going down 5-0.

The match was closer than the scoreline suggests with the edge in each game favouring the home side.

Preston’s Stan Smith lost the first match 2-1 to Will Jolliffe, although the first leg was a close affair with Stan Smith edging it 20-22 before Jolliffe hit back with a 21-16 win.

Next up was Ethan Gear who gave Mal Smith a lesson, beating him to 21-13 and 21-16.

Kev Goater then started a fight-back, taking Snighda Maganti to three legs but the latter was victorious, taking the last leg 21-19.

Three-nil down by now, it was not looking good for Preston, as Mal Smith took on Will Jolliffe and was again drubbed 2-0.

That meant Preston could not afford to lose the last one but Goater was unable to get the better of Gear, going down 2-0 in two tight games.

* Budmouth D march on to the semi-finals with All Saints and Colliton C. There is an outstanding match to be played on February 19 when Budmouth A face Springfield.

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