Finals Night – Monday 30th May 2022
Third Time Lucky For Sylvia!
New Milton Table Tennis Club’s annual closed tournaments culminated in their Grand Finals Night at the Mudeford Wood Community Centre on Monday 30th May.
First up were the Handicap Singles semi-finals which had had to be carried over. Simon Daish took on fellow Div. 3 player John Parkhouse, but had to give Parkhouse a +8 start because of a higher league winning average. Daish did very well to win in two straight sets 21-19, 21-17.
The other Handicap Singles semi-final was between Div. 3’s James Cheesman and Div. 4’s Sylvia Smith who had a +3 start. In another two-setter, Smith’s forehand and backhand attack came to the fore and she won 21-16, 21-18.
In the Handicap Singles final, Sylvia Smith received a +8 start from Simon Daish, and Smith scraped the first set 21-20. Daish then recovered his composure to take the next two sets 21-15, 21-18 to claim the title. It seemed a case of “always the bridesmaid” for Sylvia, who had come runner-up in the Ladies Handicap Singles to fellow teammate Helen Hosie.
The Vets Over 40’s Handicap final saw Nick Dayman comfortably beat Sid Daynes in two straight sets 21-9, 21-13.
James Cheesman was in action again, this time against Div. 4’s James Harper in the Under 40’s Handicap final. Although Harper had a +4 start, Cheesman recovered his confidence to win in two straight sets 21-19, 21-17.
The Handicap Doubles saw the omni-present Sylvia Smith partner Andy Ingram against Malcolm Floyd & James Harper. Smith & Ingram benefited from a small +2 start in this all-Div. 4 affair, and they scraped the first set 21-20. Floyd & Harper eventually got their act together and took the second set comfortably 21-16 to set up an intriguing finale. Smith & Ingram galloped into a commanding lead, but Floyd & Harper kept chipping away and looked to be in the ascendant. That was until Floyd fault-served and the match slipped away from them, with their jubilant opponents winning 21-18. Sylvia got her hands on a winning trophy at the third attempt!
The showpiece event of the club’s annual tournament finals is the Open Singles final. Matthew Daish (Simon’s younger brother) played club newcomer Ian Hamilton. Hamilton has really impressed at recent club practice nights, but it was a big ask for him, as Daish – who has a world ranking – recently won the Swansea Open Title without losing a set. However, it was really nip and tuck in the first set but Daish just shaded it 13-11. In some breath-taking rallies, Daish’s powerful forehand loop shots dominated proceedings to win the next two sets 11-5, 11-5 to take the title.
Thanks to Club Secretary & Tournament Organiser Bev Scott-Johns for yet another set of very well organised tournaments. Bev is a Table Tennis England qualified Tournament Organiser and County Umpire; both skills being very much in evidence during the tournaments.