NMTTC FINALS NIGHT – TWO TITLES FOR PHIL HANDY
Some fantastic table tennis was on display down at the Mudeford Wood Community Centre as the New Milton Club held their annual Tournament Finals Night. During the proceedings, the A team’s Phil Handy deprived Premier team mate Steve Hemmings of two of the three titles that he won last year.
Before the finals got underway however there were some of the semi-finals to get out of the way first. Peter Daish saw off younger brother Matthew in the Under 40s (Handicap) and Zac Dowling got the better of Bobo Jiang. In the Over 40s (Handicap) Steve Hemmings disposed of Max De Kment in two straight sets and Julie Smillie did likewise to Roy Hobbs to go through to the final. The Handicap Singles semis saw Peter Daish go through to his second final by beating Shaun Newcomb, and Phil Handy disposed of last year’s winner Hemmings. Handy also booked his place in the Open Singles final by beating Premier team mate Brian Bickell, and Hemmings beat De Kment for the second time that evening.
The Finals kicked-off with Matthew Daish successfully defending his Junior title by beating Zac Dowling. Dowling didn’t get any satisfaction either in the Under 40s (Handicap) as he fell victim to Peter Daish. The Over 40s (Handicap) final saw Julie Smillie give a very good account of herself against last year’s winner Steve Hemmings, but his defensive play was far too dogged for her.
There were some spectacular rallies which drew gasps from spectators as 13 year old Peter Daish from Div 4 took on the Premier’s Phil Handy in the Handicap Singles final. It was a tall order for Handy playing off +4 against the ever-improving Daish’s start of +23, but Handy took the first set 31-28. Daish played far beyond his years to take the second 31-24, but Handy regained concentration to win out 31-28 in the third and final set.
The Doubles final saw Bob Fagan & Ian Linney face Roy Hobbs & Dave Sutton. Fagan & Linney took the first set 11-7, sneaked the second at deuce by 12-10 and won the third and final set by 11-8.
The hall was then cleared for the main event which was the Open Singles final between last year’s winner Steve Hemmings and Premier team mate Phil Handy. Again, there was some thrilling tennis, but Hemmings’ usually solid defence was mainly second best to Handy’s powerful drives down both wings. Handy won his second title of the evening as he beat Hemmings 11-6, 11-3, 11-5.
The finals were televised by Simon Golding from SGTV Productions Ltd and helpers, and the video will shortly be available on the club’s website.
Club Secretary and Tournament Organiser Bev Scott-Johns rounded off the evening by thanking the competitors for taking part in what he felt was the best ever finals night for the club. He also thanked Simon Golding, Adam Phillips and Danny Williams for filming the event, which added to the spectacle. Club chair Shaun Newcomb seconded Bev’s thanks and then thanked the man himself for another set of extremely well organised and enjoyable tournaments.
Little did club members know that this was only the start of a momentous week for the club. Later on in the week they heard that the club had been upgraded from 3 STAR to 4 STAR PremierClub status by the ETTA (English Table Tennis Association) in recognition of the club’s many achievements this year.