THE Handicap KO Cup remains the best supported cup competition run by the Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League, although this year’s entry of 17 teams is considerably reduced.

OCs A were the winners of the closest match in the first round, beating Danbury C 5-4, after five games were decided in the fifth end. Tom Barker (playing off a handicap of 52) and Frank Hodge (playing off a handicap of 58) both won twice for OCs.

With the scores tied at 4-4 Nat Ravlic (62), who had lost his two earlier games, faced Steve Buer (66), who had won once. You might have favoured Buer in this instance, but a determined Ravlic was having none of it. After a close first game he stormed home 21-18, 21-7 to give OCs their passage into the next round.

Danbury D were also 5-4 winners after having trailed 4-3. They eventually won the last two games surprisingly comfortably. Dave Marsh (59) beat Kevin Smart (66) 21-15, 21-11 and Richard Allen (55) beat Chris Aukett (68) 21-16, 21-1 to secure their victory.

Elmtree Excalibur – Melanie Bonnett (50), Steve Cheesman (62) and Nicola Pippen (50) were 5-2 winners over Highwood. Martin Goddard (49) gave Highwood a winning start with a hard-fought 21-19, 9-11, 21-18 win over Nicola Pippen but a run of four successive wins saw the Elmtree / Excalibur side take charge.

With a 4-2 lead behind him Steve Cheesman sealed his team’s victory, and he made no mistake by beating Russell Downton (44) 21-15, 21-15.

Hatfield Peverel A – Andy Simmonds (48), Ron Biggs (48) and John Parodi (64) made no mistake against Hatfield Peverel B by winning 5-1. Andy Simmonds was on good form for the A team. He beat Tim Cramphorn (56) 24-22, 15-21, 21-12 and Dick Wyman (66) 21-15, 21-12.

Danbury A – Dave Goody (56), Dave Powell (54) and Brian Ellis (54) – are safely through to the next round. They beat OCs C 5-1. Dave Goody sealed their victory with a 21-18, 21-16 success against Farooq Ahmed (50).

Danbury E – Simon Chambers (58), Nick Duce (58) and Robert Kneale (59) – were also first round winners. They lost the first two games and the third game was therefore vital. Nick Duce was up to the task, and his 21-19, 20-22, 21-10 victory over Craig McGarrigle (48) steadied the ship. They won the next four games and Nick Duce sealed their win in game seven by beating Konrad Kattinski (48) 22-20, 21-14.

OCs B – Mick Hayes (56), David Porter (58) and Robbie Burton (70) – were 5-2 winners against Danbury B. Five games were decided in the fifth end and OCs won three of them.

The improving David Porter fared best. He beat Ivan Chaplin (59) 21-11, 19-21, 21-14 followed by Herbie Smith (60) 21-13, 21-16 and he completed his evening’s work with a match-clinching and very hard-fought 22-20, 9-21, 21-19 win over league chairman Norman Smith (58).