Brookes lifts eighth Autumn Cup curtain-raiser

The annual curtain raiser to the Mansfield and District League season, the Autumn Cup, was won by Dean Brookes for an eighth time.

Friday, 21st September 2018, 11:21 pm
Updated Saturday, 22nd September 2018, 6:20 am
Dean Brookes, left, and Nathan Hollingworth in action in the final.

However, Brookes was taken all the way in the semi-finals and the final, highlighting the improving strength in the league.

The tournament started with four groups of six, with each playing in a round robin format of two games per match.

The top two seeds from each group progressed.

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The top four seeds all won their groups with the maximum 10 points — Dean Brookes, Joe Zygadlo, Kalpesh Bhatt and Jack Kirkland.

Second-placed qualifiers were Nathan Hollingworth, Pete Eyre, Mark Sansom and Erlands Skels.

Three of the quarter-finals followed the form book with Zygadlo, Brookes and Kirkland all winning 2-0 against Skels, Sansom and Eyre.

In the other quarter-final, Hollingworth, who played in Division Two last year, beat the experienced Bhatt 11-4, 11-4.

Hollingsworth continued his giantkilling run, beating Zygadlo in the semi-finals 4-11, 11-8, 11-9.

In the other semi-final, Kirkland took Brookes all the way in a fine display of attacking table tennis, Brookes edging through 11-9, 10-12, 11-9.

In the final Hollingsworth, in only his second season in the league, threatened another upset, winning the first game 13-11, before Brookes hit back 11-4, 11-5 to triumph.