No Cup Upset As Woodpeckers Establish Pecking Order

The first round of the Mike Tunningley Shield threw up no shocks this week but only one match out of the three that were scheduled actually got to be played.
First Division side Sparken Hill Woodpeckers were drawn away at Second Division Worksop Welfare Harriers ‘A’ and with a handicap system used in the competition then a cup upset can often be caused by a team further down the league pyramid but the Woodpeckers made sure that it didn’t happen on this occasion.
The trio of Steve Fox and Orestas and Martynas Riauba had to make sure that they accrued enough points on the table to build up a significant lead so that they didn’t end up losing the match when the handicap points were added at the end of the night. The Harriers side did give them a few concerns along the way by narrowly losing some games and actually winning one of them with Dilip Malkan causing most of the concerns for the Woodpeckers players. Malkan turned in a terrific performance against Steve Fox losing the first game 15-21 but then turning the form book on it’s head be taking the second game 21-20.
Dean Marsh then got in on the action as he narrowly lost to Martynas Riauba 17-21 to take vital points off of his opponent. Andy Vinson then kicked into action by only just losing out to Fox in one of his two games 16-21 and although they went close in these games they did take a few heavy losses in some of the others which didn’t help their cause.
All in all, the Harriers managed to score 185 points on the table with the Woodpeckers managing 377 which is just one point less than the possible maximum. The outcome of the match would come down to the amount of handicap points in the sealed envelope that would be awarded to the Harriers. The Harriers were awarded 156 points giving them a total of 341 which wasn’t quite enough and the Woodpeckers went through to the next round by virtue of having scored 36 points more that their opponents.
Although this week was designated as a cup week it gave other teams a chance to catch up on some of their league fixtures which included the Woodpeckers who were up against club colleagues Sparken Hill Starlings. Out went Steve Fox for the Woodpeckers and in came Mitchell Radford and they were up against Andy Lee, Andy Kirkland and Chris Tilstone who was playing up from Division Two. A close match ensued with Orestas Riauba gaining the Man Of The Match accolade as he won all his three singles games with Radford adding wins over Kirkland and Tilstone with Martynas Riauba only beating Tilstone and surprisingly losing to Kirkland in a 5 set thriller. Lee and Kirkland then teamed up to beat Orestas Riauba and Radford in the doubles to run the Woodpeckers close before eventually losing the match 6-4.
The only other two fixtures to be completed this week were both in Division Three and only featured sides from Sparken Hill..
The Nightingales faced up to the Falcons and with the Falcons fighting it out at the top of the table they were always going to have too much for their opponents. Connor Bettley won all his three singles with both Luke Barraclough and Mick Potter adding two wins each, both losing out to Mark Fisher. Barraclough and Bettley took the double against  Holland and Fisher to complete the scoring in an 8-2 win.
In the other match, The Blue Jays defeated the Robins by the same score line with Kathy McIntyre registering a fine hat trick of wins over Reece Carnall, Keith Bloomfield and Luke Hyde. Dave Lee and Dave Rix both added two wins against Carnall and Bloomfield before both losing out to Luke Hyde who played well for his two wins. Dave Lee and  McIntyre then teamed up to take the doubles against Hyde and Carnall to complete the scoring.