BDTTA Tournaments Report: Hemmings Wins Vets 50+ Title
The Annual Tournaments of the Bournemouth and District Table Tennis league recently took place with twenty one players from the New Milton club taking part. The club’s only winning finalist was Steve Hemmings who won the Vets 50+ title. Frank Handy made it through to the Div 3 individuals final but was beaten by Lynwood’s Peter Collins. Julie Smillie & Sylvia Smith made it through to the Ladies Doubles final but were beaten by Kate Maksimenko (Winton YMCA) & Maggie White (North Bournemouth). Smillie also made it through to the Mixed Doubles final with Zoltan Karib-Barath, but also with no joy.
Milton were best represented in the Div 3 individuals tournament with seven entrants from the club. Bev Scott-Johns, Ian Linney and Sylvia Smith didn’t make it out of the group stages and Svet Ignatov was knocked out by club mate Frank Handy. Simon Daish lost to Lynwood’s Robin Bradley, but younger brother Matthew beat Peter Richardson (Bournemouth Sports) to book his place in the semis. Matthew lost to eventual winner Peter Collins (Lynwood) but Handy beat Bradley to face Collins in the final. The perennially awkward Handy put up a really good fight but eventually lost 8-11 in a five-set thriller.
Two more Daishes featured in the Div 4 tournament, but unfortunately neither Peter or Andrew could emerge from the group stage. The Daishes’ team mate Bobo Jiang made it through to the semis but got knocked out by eventual champion Zac Dowling (Bournemouth Sports).
The D team’s Roy Hobbs and Terry Jenvey entered into the Div 2 event, but Jenvey lost both his group matches to go out of the competition. Last year’s losing finalist Hobbs didn’t get as far as the semis this year as he lost out to Bransgore’s Russell Yearworth. In the Div 1 event, the C team’s Max De Kment couldn’t make it out of the group stage as he only won one of his three matches. However, the B team’s Zoltan Karib-Barath emerged as winner of his group only to lose to eventual champion Ben Cunningham (Bournemouth Sports) in the next round.
Brothers Peter and Matthew Daish entered all three of the junior events (Under 13, Under 15 and Under 18). Peter didn’t win any of his group matches in the U13 so was denied further progress. Matthew made it through to the semis but lost over five sets to Finn Morgan-Bayliss (Bournemouth Sports). It was Peter and Matthew again in the Under 15 event. Matthew came out as runner-up of his group only to lose to eventual champion Hugo Pang (Bournemouth Sports) in the next stage.
Peter and Matthew were joined by older brother Simon in the Under 18’s as well as club mate Luke Gurton. Luke was drawn into the same group of three as Simon and Matthew but he lost to them both. Peter was drawn into a very tough group of four, including eventual champion George Downing (Bournemouth Sports and ex-Milton player), but he did well with his sole win over Bourne’s Seth Hemmingway. In the next stage, Simon lost to Lynwood’s rising star Jamie Trevillion and Matthew lost to Bourne’s Finn Morgan-Bayliss, so neither of them made it through to the semis.
Ignatov and De Kment also entered the “Bournemouth Closed” event but couldn’t proceed further than the group stage. They were joined in the “Bournemouth Handicap” by the K team’s Sybil Bartlett and Sue Wootton-Freeman. Only Ignatov and Bartlett emerged from the group stage but they lost to Kam Wong (Bournemouth Sports) and Kate Maksimenko (Winton YMCA) respectively in the knock-out stage.
Sylvia Smith and Julie Smillie entered into the Ladies Singles but were drawn into different groups. Smith lost her three matches but Smillie won her group of three to face Kate Maksimenko in the semi-finals. Smillie put up a really good fight but eventually lost 8-11 in the fifth set. The ladies teamed up for the Ladies Doubles along with Sue Wootton-Freeman & Sybil Bartlett. Whilst Wootton-Freeman and Bartlett were winless, Smillie and Smith made it through to the final, but were beaten over five sets by Maksimenko and Maggie White (North Bmth). Bartlett also gamely tried her hand in the Over 70’s event, but she lost both her group matches.
Smith and Smillie also entered the Mixed Doubles, with Smith teaming with team mate Ian Linney and Smillie pairing with her team mate Zoltan Karib-Barath. Smith & Linney didn’t win any but Smillie & Karib-Barath made it through to the final only to be totally out-gunned by Tressa Armitage & George Downing (both from Bournemouth Sports).
The Men’s Doubles event saw James Lewis pair up with his team mate from the C team Max De Kment, but Ian Linney and Zoltan Karib-Barath grabbed partners from outside their club; Merton’s David Chapman and Nimrod’s David Nicholls respectively. Karib-Barath & partner and Lewis & De Kment made it though to the quarter-finals but the former were knocked out by Bourne’s Finn Morgan-Bayliss & Ben Cunningham. Lewis & De Kment then lost in four sets to the formidable Merton combination of Adam Elcock & Danny Allen.
The Vets 50+ and 60+ events took place in the week after the “finals” night. Sue Wootton-Freeman chanced her arm in the Vets 60+ event but she lost all of her matches in a very tough group, so was denied further progress.
Steve Hemmings and Ian Linney entered into the Vets 50+ and Hemmings came up trumps. Linney came runner-up of his group and was drawn against Div 1’s Jon Ferguson (Merton) in the next round. Despite playing very well, especially considering the two divisions difference, Linney lost over four sets. Hemmings won his group and then beat ex Milton player Geoff Ware (Lynwood) in the next round to go through to the semi-finals. Hemmings avenged Linney by beating his tormentor Ferguson to meet up with fellow Premier player Wei-Jun Liang (Bournemouth Sports) in the final. Although Hemmings had beaten Liang in the group stage, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion as borne out by the final going all the way to five ends.
In a match described by Tournament Secretary Ian Robertson as one of the outstanding matches of the entire tournament, Liang took the first two sets before Hemmings pulled it back to two sets all. Hemmings with his superb defensive play against Liang’s attacking skills made for a really high-class table tennis match, which looked at times like “exhibition” stuff. With Hemmings being forced further back from the table and returning shot after shot against Liang’s ever more angled hits, this made for a most entertaining spectacle for the onlookers. In the fifth and deciding set, Hemmings came back from 6-8 down to win 11-8 to claim Milton’s only title. Well done Steve!