Queens D beat club-mates to become first winners of table tennis' Ray Partridge Plate

Dave Partridge presents the trophy to Queens D captain Roy Pike

Dave Partridge presents the trophy to Queens D captain Roy Pike

First published in Sport

QUEENS D won a thrilling final of table tennis’ inaugural Ray Partridge Plate, beating Queens A by just four points.

The new competition is to perpetuate the memory of Ray Partridge, a former player, chairman and president, who served the Basingstoke and District Table Tennis League with distinction for many years.

The final always looked set to be a real battle between Division One runners-up Queens A and the D team, who were also runners-up in Division Two.

The D side of Rob Still, Alex Miotto and Roy Pike received a 157 head start and Still defeated retiring chairman George White in all four sets of the opening game to extend the lead further.

The Division One side fought back with some inspired table tennis from Tony Palaczky as he rolled back the years and Callum Coombs also chipped in.

After a nightmare doubles performance from Still and Miotto, and a 27-point swing, the gap was down to 34 points with three games to play.

The next encounter saw a superb performance from Miotto against Coombs as the lead increased to 35.

The penultimate game matched two stalwarts, with White taking on Pike, and the advantage was reduced to 29.

That set up an explosive finale between Palaczky and Still, with the former needing to concede 15 points or less in the four sets to get his team over the line.

Some unbelievable shots and attacking play saw a fired-up Palaczky destroy Still in the opening three sets, winning them comfortably to put his side well on course to win the match.

A dramatic final set started with Still, hampered by an injury sustained in the doubles and playing on adrenaline, fighting his way back, only to go down 11-8.

It was enough to win the game by four points in a most dramatic finish to the inaugural final of the competition.

In the Basingstoke and District Table Tennis League, St Peters A secured their 10th successive top flight title with a massive 28-point margin over Queens A.

In Division Two, Queens C triumphed over their D team by 19 points and a good season for Queens Club saw the I team take the Division Three title by 13 points from Aldworth D.

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