For the second year in succession Andy Barnes and Richard Fettes were the main protagonists at this year’s Andover Closed Tournament, contesting three finals each.
The rivalry commenced with the Open Doubles final, with both players having to play with new partners. As defending champion Andy teamed up this year with Nick George, but for the second time this week could not defeat Richard and Eddie Shoemark who won 11-8, 12-14,11-9, 7-11 & 11-3.
Their next encounter was in the Veterans Singles final where Andy was defending his title. Richard however, got off to a very good start, whilst Andy could not find his rhythm. Richard played outstanding table tennis to record a surprisingly comfortable 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 victory.
The final clash between them came in the Open Singles where Richard stood a very good chance against last year’s champion Andy, whom he had just beaten and previously beaten in the league. Whilst it was a very close encounter with excellent rallies, Andy managed to keep control of Richards vicious loops and throw in a few of his own when possible. The outcome could have gone either way but Richard could not keep up his earlier outstanding play and eventually lost to Andy 11-4, 12-14, 5-11, & 8-11.
The Division Two Singles final was between Mark Pettengell and Mike Bonarius. Unfortunately for Mike he could not quite cope with Marks aggressive shots and having lost to him earlier in the week succumbed 11-7, 11-7, 11-6.
In the Handicap Doubles final an intriguing match ensued between Graham Audin & Mark Pettengell against former doubles champions Dan Geary & Peter Henderson. The rallies were quite long as neither team wished to make a mistake. However, Dan & Peter who had to give away six points each game played the steadiest to take the title 21-16, 21-15.
The Ladies Singles has yet to be played when one of the players recovers from sickness.
In Division 1 Hanson Pumas beat Hanson Cougars 23 – 15. The star for Pumas was Richard Fettes who won three sets with Eddie and Justin Shoemark both winning one each. Cougars had Andy Barnes and Chris Stockdale to thank as they won two sets each. The big clash between Richard and Andy proved that once again in the league Richard seems to have the beating of Andy, as he won 13-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-5. Chris played some of his best table tennis this season to beat both Eddie and Justin. Richard & Eddie combined to claim victory from Andy & Nick in the doubles 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9.
The final of the Weighill Trophy (a team handicap competition) had two Div 2 teams in contention. Hanson Kestrals took on Hanson Lions with each team sporting one of the most improved players this season in Mark Pettengell and Ross Walkom. These two met in the first set with Ross having a 7 point start per game. This proved too much for Mark who lost 19-21, 8-21. Mark won his other two sets for Kestrals with Will Cooper winning one. Lions were giving away an average of nearly 5 points per game but stuck to their task with Ross winning three, Darren Walkom two and Mike Bonarius one set, to win the trophy 6 - 4.