Norwich League Senior Championships
22nd March 2012
Norwich League Press Officer Wendy Durrant reports on the Norwich & District Table Tennis League Senior Championships which took place on 17th March 2012 at Catton Grove Primary School.
In the flagship event, the Open Singles, there were a couple of notable victories in the rounds as the up-and-coming Jordan Gabriel beat the evergreen Russell King and Kit Lo beat number 2 seed Tony Zeqiri in one semi-final. In the other semi, Lauren Spink beat Wayne Mason 3-straight.
This set up a thrilling final between Wensum Club players Lauren Spink and Kit Lo.
Both players started the final with terrific pace and attacking shots pushing each other very wide on both wings and using every part of the court. In the first game, Lauren went 3-7 down, but recovered to 9-10 only to see the game slip away 9-11.
The second game saw some spectacular lobbing and smashing rallies with Kit forcing Lauren to some expensive errors to win again 11-9. In the third game, Lauren returned to her more usual consistency, with some excellent serves, wide loops and punching backhands, winning this game 11-6 and the fourth game 11-7. Despite going 7-5 up in the fifth game, Lauren lost the next 4 points and saw the game slip away with a backhand error, 9-11 to Kit who had really excelled himself on the day.
In the men’s ‘banded’ singles for players with a handicap of zero or above, Jordan Gabriel continued his excellent form with an 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 win over Stephen Harsley. In the women’s ‘banded’ singles, a round robin event was played, with Janet Kelly cruising to victory with three straight sets wins.
The open doubles saw No. 1 seeds Kit Lo and Tony Zeqiri triumph over No. 2 seeds Russell King and Ben Thompson, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-6. Ben went on to victory over CEYMS teammate Russell in five sets in the Veterans over 40 singles, while Russell had a straight sets win over Paul Durrant in the Veterans over 50 singles.
In the handicap singles, Hungarian Arpad Berger (+4) played excellently to beat Jordan Gabriel (0), 11-7, 11-4, 11-6. In a new ‘fun’ event, the Hard Bat singles, around 20 players competed with exactly the same type of ‘hard bat’, which proved a great leveller, making players focus on the basic skills without the benefit of differing bat rubbers and spin serves! Father and son Paul and Chris Durrant made it to the final with Chris winning through 11-9, 11-7, 11-8.
Many thanks to Margaret and Dennis Calver for giving up their time to organise the event, and to Lindsey Dare for many hours spent in the Wensum TTC kitchen providing refreshments for the players.