Round-up by Donald Pirie
The week before Christmas saw the first ADTTA Division 3 Singles event take place at Aberdeen Sports Village.
The event saw 12 of our Division 3 players take part, and as suspected the event was incredibly closely contested with several very closely fought 5-set matches across the evening.
Initially the players were split into 4 groups of 3, with the league averages used to work out the potential top 4 seeds in George Allan, Ralston Johnston, Derek Green & Eshan Kian. However with 2 from each group progressing to the KO stages, and the 3rd from each group entering a consolation 'Plate' group of 4, there were plenty matches on offer and all to play for.
Andrew Heaney immediately upset the seedings, taking all his initial group matches 3-0 and marching comfortably into the last 8! However all the players the league averages suggested would make the quarter finals did so, and this made for some intriguing encounters.
Both Derek Green & George Allan had to come from behind in there last 8 matches to make it through to the semi finals, easing past Ehsan Kian & Harry Vine respectively, both with 3-1 wins. Ralston Johnston & Andrew Heaney were 3-0 winners against John Herron & George Bews, although George pressed Andrew all the way and will feel unlucky not to have taken something from that match.The semi-finals were a couple of classics, first up with Andrew taking on Ralston. Andrew eased into a 2-0 lead (11-8 & 11-7) and looked almost certain to make the final. However Ralston showed incredible determination and refused to capitulate, taking the next three ends 9, 8 & 9, and made it through to the final.
Meanwhile George Allan and Derek Green had their own tussle in the second semi-final. Derek took first blood to 9, then George hit back with two 11-9 wins and took the match to 2-1. It looked all over with George up 9-6 in the fourth end, however Derek had other ideas and brought the game back to deuce! After 4 points at deuce, George finally took that end 15-13 and claimed his place in the final.
Ralston & George continued the excellent table tennis in the final, with the match swinging back and forth between them. George was up 2-1 and had a couple match points, however Ralston hit back and took that end 13-11, setting up a deciding fifth end. As we might have expected the final end was also incredibly close, with both players looking like they might take the match at different stages. With the deciding game poised at 10-10 it was George who saw out the last two points and took the Gold Medal and title of Division 3 Singles Champion. Ralston picked up the Silver Medal.
The Bronze Medal was won by Andrew Heaney, again another excellent 4-set match in that play off with Derek Green, with all 4-ends only having 2-points between the players.
Thanks to all for an excellent event, and here's to the next one, even bigger and better! Full placings were as follows:
1. George Allan
2. Ralston Johnston
3. Andrew Heaney
4. Derek Green
5. Harry Vine
6. George Bews
7. Ehsan Kian
8. John Herron
9. Davidson Harman
10. Colin Ward
11. Dave Lomax
12. Alan Macpherson
For online gallery of photographs from the event, please follow the link provided below: