DOUBLES DELIGHT FOR SYLVIA! (CLUB FINALS NIGHT)
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 the Grange School, Somerford. The irrepressible Sylvia Smith was not only out to defend her Ladies Singles title, but also to have another tilt at the Doubles title after coming runner-up last year with Gerard Redman.
The Handicap Ladies Singles was a repeat of last year’s final as Julie Smillie playing off +13 took on title holder Sylvia Smith (+20), but there was a different outcome this year. Smillie had learnt her lesson from last year’s defeat and started off on the front foot and played cannily to take Smith’s title in two straight ends 31-29, 31-27.
Smith had another crack at a title, this time by partnering Russell Wilson in the Handicap Doubles final against the intriguing combination of Matthew Daish & John Parkhouse. It is fair to say that Daish & Parkhouse never really got going, resulting in Smith & Wilson winning the first and second ends 31-23 to take the title.
In the Junior Final, new club member Jared Schaller from Winchester had the daunting task of facing Kai Major who had recently been voted Most Improved Player of the Year in the Bournemouth and District league. Major just nicked the first end 15-13 then won the second, another very tight match, by 11-9. Schaller was determined not to let Major have it all his own way and won the third 11-7, but Major came back to take the fourth end very comfortably 11-3 to win the title.
The Under 40 Handicap Final saw 19 year old Simon Daish (+15) take on younger brother by 5 years, Matthew playing off +4 reflecting his Premier league status. There was good attacking tennis from both players, but Matthew won in two straight sets 31-28, 31-24.
Next up was the Over 40 Handicap Final where club chairman Steve Hemmings playing off +6 faced homecoming club member Russell Wilson (+12). Hemmings, who came runner-up last year caught up at 15-15 in the first end to win it 31-25, but Wilson reversed the scoreline in the second end. Wilson was 21-11 up in the change-round in the third and final end and dominated to run out winner at 31-20.
Phil Daish-Handy was runner-up in the Handicap Singles last year but took this year’s title by default as opponent Zoltan Ordog had to withdraw due to injury.
The evening concluded with the showcase Open Singles final between last year’s runner-up Matthew Daish and Russell Wilson who was out for his third title of the evening. It was nip and tuck in the first end but Daish shaded it 11-9 and then won the second end more comfortably by 11-6. The third and final end was exhibition stuff with some superb attacking tennis but Daish clinched the title by winning 13-11.
Thanks to Club Secretary and Tournament Organiser Bev Scott-Johns for yet another set of very well organised and enjoyable tournaments. Bev is a Table Tennis England qualified Tournament Organiser and County Umpire, both skills being very much in evidence during the tournaments.