The Robson Cup is an annual table tennis team challenge pitting Saddlebrooke against Sun Lakes in an alternating home and away format. Last year, Sun Lakes won a thrilling 12-11 match win to bring the Robson Cup back to Sun Lakes after an absence of two years. The Saddlebrooke warriors were intent on sending the Cup south where they claim it should be displayed. Just like the Ryder Cup, in order to return the Cup to Saddlebrooke, the southern invaders had to win more matches than their northern adversaries.
Sun Lakes jumped out to a slim 5-3 margin following the doubles competition. Our men then hit their stride in singles winning the first six matches putting our team ahead 11-3 in the 24-match format. It looked extremely bleak for Saddlebrooke, as they needed to win the remaining 10 matches to reclaim the Cup. Saddlebrooke team captain Greg Hlushko rallied his team with some strong words of encouragement and it paid off. They won the next eight matches pulling into an 11-11 tie. The penultimate match pitted Sun Lakes newcomer Dave Fletcher against the #2 Saddlebrooke Tom Sacra. This match was extremely long with the fans calling for expedite rules to come into play. Fortunately for Sun Lakes, Dave pulled out a thrilling 13-11 in the third win for the home team. This set up the ultimate match of the day, Saddlebrooke #1, Greg Hlushko versus Sun Lakes #1, Steve Weitz. If Steve won the match, the Cup would stay with Sun Lakes in an outright victory. If Greg won the match, there would be a tie and the tie would be broken by number of games won. The points were fabulous. The strategies were deep. The spins, the slices, the lobs, the kills, the lucky edges and nets kept both teams cheering vociferously for their top players. In the end, Greg defeated Steve winning two out of three games creating a 12-12 match tie.
But wait! The tie had to be broken by number of games won by each club. There was a count then a recount. It couldn’t be! Was it really?! Thirty games were won by each team. The day ended in a tie, and the Cup was retained by Sun Lakes for another year! The screams, the hoots and the hollering were loud and produced smiles all around.
Congratulations to the members of the Sun Lakes table tennis team – Steve Weitz, Steve Chambers, Dave Fletcher, David Zapatka, Alan Behr, Jim Spolar, Bill Aichele, Steve Langer and Doc Dockter. Special thanks to members Rich Nadler and David Novikoff who served as non-playing captains and June Wagner who catered our delicious lunch.