HANDY RETAINS CLUB SINGLES TITLES!
The Annual Tournaments of the New Milton Table Tennis Club have been taking place over the past few weeks and culminated in the Grand Finals Night at Mudeford Wood Community Centre. Phil Handy successfully defended his Handicap Singles and Open Singles titles and rising club starlet Matthew Daish tried to steal his thunder by bagging three titles. The thirteen year old from Lymington not only successfully defended his Junior title but he also won the Under 40 (Handicap) event. Then he went on to win the Doubles title with older brother Peter, not a bad return from an evening’s table tennis!
Before the finals got underway there was the matter of four semi-finals which had been held over to the Finals Night. First up was the Handicap Singles semi with last year’s trophy winner Phil Handy playing off a handicap of +6 taking on Ian Linney (+19). Linney really went for it but the Premier’s Handy overcame the large differential to win in two straight sets 31-25, 31-26.
In the other Handicap Singles semi, Shaun Newcomb (+13) was out for revenge over Div 1 teammate Julie Smillie (+13) who had beaten him in the Vets Over 40 (Handicap) semi-final. Newcomb drew first blood winning the first set 31-20 but Smillie came back to take the second set 31-29 to set up a mouth-watering finale. Newcomb established a 10 point lead but Smillie got her forehand loop going to overhaul and then beat her teammate 31-26.
Next up were the Doubles semi-finals. Matthew Daish and older brother Peter playing off a combined handicap of +15 took on Gerard Redman and Roy Hobbs playing off the same handicap. The Daishes took the first set quite comfortably 31-23 as Redman & Hobbs stuttered but the latter pairing got back into the game to take the second by a nail-biting 36-34. The Daishes got their collective act back together and won the third and final set 31-26. The very tricky Div 1 combination of Shaun Newcomb & James Lewis (+12) took on Div 3 combo Eddie Tompkins & Bev Scott-Johns (+20) in the second Doubles semi and saw them off with some ease in two straight sets 31-26, 31-24.
The first of the finals was the Junior Event between Matthew Daish and older brother Simon this time. Matthew took the first two sets 11-9, 11-6 but then Simon powered back to win the next two 11-9, 11-6. The fifth and final set ebbed and flowed but Matthew proved the more consistent to win out 11-7 to take the title for the third year in a row.
Matthew won both the Juniors and Under 40s (Handicap) titles
The Ladies Singles event had been resurrected after a gap of 25 years and Julie Smillie (+13) was just too powerful for an overawed Angela Farmer (+23) and won the title 31-28, 31-27.
Matthew Daish (+12) was back in the spotlight again as he faced big sister Fern (+23) in the Under 40 (Handicap) final. Matthew won the first set 31-28 and Fern nearly took the second with some powerful forehand drives but just lost 33-35, leaving Matthew with his second title of the evening.
In the Over 40 (Handicap) final, the Premier’s Steve Hemmings (+6) was looking for his third Over 40’s title in a row as he faced Div 4’s Danny Williams, playing off a slightly bigger start of +21. Hard bat specialist Williams used his differential wisely as he caught Hemmings out with some wicked forehand smashes down both wings and took the first set 31-24. Hemmings got his defence going to quiet Williams down to take the second 31-28, so the final looked delicately poised. Williams got his forehand going again and would be first to admit that he got some lucky nets and edges as he won 31-27 to deprive Hemmings of his treble.
The Handicap Singles final saw Ladies Singles Winner Julie Smillie (+13) take on title holder Phil Handy (+6). Unfortunately for Smillie who played valiantly, Handy was in his pomp with some explosive forehand and backhand smashes and took the game in two straight sets 31-21, 31-25.
In the Doubles final, Matthew & Peter Daish (+15) quickly got the measure of Shaun Newcomb & James Lewis (+12) and saw them off in two straight sets 31-24, 31-29.
The evening ended with the eagerly awaited showcase Open Singles final between defending champion Phil Handy and Premier teammate Steve Hemmings, a reprise of last year’s final. Unfortunately for Hemmings the outcome wasn’t much different as Handy won in three straight sets 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 to retain his title.
Once again, the finals were kindly videoed by club member Simon Golding from SGTV Productions Ltd and helpers, and the video will shortly be available on the club’s website.
Thanks to Club Secretary and Tournament Organiser Bev Scott-Johns for yet another set of very well organised and enjoyable tournaments. Bev is an ETTA Qualified Tournament Organiser and is currently waiting to take his final assessment for ETTA County Umpire, skills of which were much in abundance.