Table tennis: Norton A secure Sentinel Cup success
NORTON'S 'Invincibles' have done it again – the all-conquering table tennis team beat Bradwell A 5-0 to win the Sentinel Cup for the 13th year running.
Bradwell went into the final with some hopes of upsetting the odds because of their outstanding performer Paul Myatt.
He had 32 wins out of 35 this season, but even he was unable to turn back the irresistible Norton A tide.
Myatt lost to Norton's Dave Savage before going down in the best match of the final against Norton captain Brian Johns.
Myatt twice came from behind to level at 2-2, but Johns held his nerve before claiming the decisive set 11-9.
Bradwell had home advantage at their Silverdale base, but were always underdogs against a team they had never beaten.
Indeed Norton are also on course for another Potteries Premier Division triumph to go with their Sentinel Cup.
Johns, Norton's 58-year-old captain, is ranked second in English players over 50 and has won the Sentinel Cup and League with Norton every year since he joined the club eight years ago.
The bad news for Norton's rivals is the champions are not losing their appetite for trophies.
Johns said: "We have always got the hunger and when you play sport at this level you never want to lose. I think we practice more than any other team in the league.
"We are pleased to have won the Sentinel Cup again. We don't like losing because we don't lose very often."
Meanwhile, Norton A are still leading the Premier Division, followed by their own B team, with Crewe Post Office still in third place and none of next week's matches should see any of them losing.
The same can be said for Division One, where the top three teams play those lower down.
A surprise did occur last week in Division Two, when Birches Head A were held to a draw by Penkhull D.
All credit to Ash Turner, with a fantastic win over both Keith Evans and Robin Staton.
Birches Head A remain clear at the top by four points, with Bradwell F in second spot, just one point ahead of MESC E.
Premier Division: Wordcraft A 7, Norton E 3; Bradwell C 2, MESC A 8; Penkhull A 3, Crewe PO 7; Norton D 5, Bradwell B 5.
Division One: Norton X 8, MESC C 2; Bradwell D 10, Fenton A 0; Bradwell E 4, Norton X 6; Penkhull C 6, Bradwell E 4; Michelin A 2, MESC B 8.
Division Two: MESC D 8, MESC F 2; Norton J 8, Bradwell G 2; Penkhull D 5, Birches Head A 5; Bradwell F 7, Norton H 3; MESC E 8, Michelin B 2.