LAST week the Bolton Table Tennis League took a break from league matches as the Warburton Cup got underway.

The competition is divided into an upper and lower section to avoid large handicaps in the early rounds.

Also, due to team entry numbers and to get the two halves to 16 teams each, there were a lot of byes in the first round, leaving only a few matches to be played.

There was only one match in the top half of the draw.

Having had star player John Hutchison missing for the first four weeks, it could be argued Farnworth Social Circle A had got themselves into an artificially low position in the table and, therefore, had a too large a handicap of 79.5 when meeting a Coburg side who are higher in the table.

Social Circle4 won by a resounding 403.5-311 margin, but, reassuringly, had the teams been on scratch they would still have won by 12 points.

In the bottom half of the draw, there were only five matches listed to play.

There is one result to be received and another is being played alongside their league match next week.

One of the remaining three saw Irlam Steel unable to raise a team and give Brass Zone a walkover into the next round.

St Paul’s Peel had a 30.5-points start but apparently did not need it as they beat Ladybridge B 385.5-313.

They do not come any closer than the match between Meadow Ben C and Polonia Club B who had a 100.5 start.

After the first five sets, Polonia held a comfortable 235.5-207 lead.

In the sixth set, Ian Wheeldon narrowed the gap by beating Nicolai Jitek 45-37 to leave the score 272.5-252.

Jack Berry almost erased the lead completely when he had a 44-25 victory over Bartomiej Pietak to make it 297.5-296 to Polonia.

In the penultimate match Wheeldon beat Karolina Mucha 45-35 to put Meadow Ben in front 341-332.5 to leave the match resting on the final set.

Although Polonia’s Necolai Jitek beat Alan Hibbert 40-32 it was not enough to see his side through to the next round as Meadow Ben ran out 373-372.5 winners.

It is back to league action for two weeks before the divisional cups take place.