Andy Warner of Tollgate A - Winner of Colchester Men's Singles
Andy Warner (Tollgate A) beat Steve Joslin (H20 Rowhedge A) to win the Colchester Men’s Singles Table Tennis Championship and did it the hard way, defeating each of the winners from the previous three years! The final against Joslin lived up to expectations with Joslin’s controlled returns of Warner’s trademark backhand drives the highlight in a tight 12-10 win. Warner hit back winning the next two ends both game 9, his retrieving was exceptional, somehow managing to keep the ball low at the same time varying his spin. The fourth set disappeared quickly as Joslin took the initiative 11-3, his class seemingly giving more time to selectively play his shots! However, the 2010 champion did not enjoy the early ‘rub of the green’ in the final end as Warner, despite carrying a shoulder injury that prevented him from playing the previous day opened up a gap at the changeover, eventually running out a worthy winner!
Earlier Warner defeated Greg Green, the 2009 champion, coming back from 2-1 down and followed that up with a three straight sets win in a repeat of last year’s final over Antony Greenwood. In the semi-final he came up against fellow Ipswich player Mike Wright, who was two sets down but 10-5 up. Warner stepped up a gear, taking the set 13-11 to reach the final meeting Joslin who beat a tentative Richard Goodhand in the other semi-final. Joslin won in straight sets with Goodhand missing several forehand smashes that normally he puts away. He in turn had previously taken out the dangerous Jason Yung.
In the Ladies Final Aimee Sparkes (Gt Horkesley A) retained her title beating Gill Locke (St James A) playing her first season in Colchester. Their hard hitting styles led to a primarily back hand dual, with Sparkes extra spin against Locke’s flatter hitting in contrast. Sparkes won in four close sets completing a hat trick of successive Ladies titles.
The Veterans 40+ Singles pitted the 2011 champion Nigel Hodder (Tollgate A) against the 2010 winner Mike Wright (Gt Horkesley A) and they provided the best ‘Vets’ final in many years. Hodder ‘burst out of the blocks’ going into a 7-0 lead however, Wright was not to be outdone and fought back to level at 7-7 and duly take the set 16-14! Hodder won the next 14-12 and the following third set 11-5 but the ‘Terrier like’ Wright was not to be beaten, playing two superb back-hand lobs to take a vital point, eventually winning 11-7, 11-8 in five of the most action-packed sets of the night!
Hodder had earlier beaten Ian Whiteside (Pegasus A) in the Over 50’s final with Alan Burgess (H20 Rowhedge D) also retaining his Over 60’s title against Fred Button (H20 Rowhedge C).
The new pairing of Nigel Hodder and Kevin Gowlett (H20 Rowhedge B) beat the more defensive Andy Warner and Gary Young (Gt Horkesley C) in five tight sets in the Men’s Doubles final. Earlier there was a major shock with holders and odd-on favourites Antony Greenwood and Michael Andrews (H20 Rowhedge A) going out in the early stages to David Moss and John Andrews (H20 Rowhedge B) avenging defeat in last year’s final.
In a repeat of last year’s Ladies Doubles final Janet Faiers and Aimee Sparkes (Gt Horkesley) once again beat Sue Welham (Tollgate A) and Hazel Hume (St Peters) this time in four sets.
The level of table tennis was taken to new heights in this year’s Mixed Doubles competition with a mother-son combination winning for the first time. Gill Lock and James Denyer (St James A) beat Annabelle Rodriguez (St James B) and Colin Stallwood (Tollgate A) in three competitive sets 12-10, 12-
10, 11-5. The holders and favourites Aimee Sparkes and Mike Wright (Gt Horkesley A) went out in the first round as Jane Li and Greg Green (Tollgate) came back from two sets down to beat them playing together for the first time.
James Denyer won the Junior Boys final, beating Tom Lewis (Tollesbury A) in three straight sets, who had consolation in winning the Senior Handicap Singles final. Jane Li (Tollgate C) retained the Junior Girls singles title beating Alice Rudge (H20 Rowhedge) once again. Li lost out to a much improved Jermaine Fearon (H20 Rowhedge) in the Cadet final in five excellent sets. Fearon had a busy weekend having entered no fewer than ten events; he also won the Junior Handicap Singles and Senior Handicap Doubles with Josh Sidiki both products of the Rowhedge club.
Alan Burgess regained the Division Two Singles event with Steve Holland (Gt Horkesley D) winning the Division Three title and Russell Hillier (St James D) the Division Four crown.
Another successful tournament was enjoyed by all as once again proof was had that Table Tennis can be enjoyed by all age groups, a credit to the organisers!
Men’s Singles Semi-Finals:
Andy Warner bt Mike Wright 9, 8, 11. Steve Joslin bt Richard Goodhand 13, 9, 6.
Junior Boys Final:
James Denyer bt Tom Lewis 4, 4, 6.
Ladies Doubles Final:
Aimee Sparkes & Janet Faiers bt Sue Welham & Hazel Hume 13, -2 , 6, 11.
Veteran’s 40+ Final:
Mike Wright bt Nigel Hodder 14, -12, -5, 7, 8.
Mixed Doubles Final:
Gill Locke & James Denyer bt Annabelle Rodriguez & Colin Stallwood 10, 10, 5.
Men’s Doubles Final:
Kevin Gowlett & Nigel Hodder bt Andy Warner & Gary Young -9, 7, -9, 8, 10.
Ladies Singles Final:
Aimee Sparkes bt Gill Locke 8, -8, 6, 9.
Men’s Singles Final:
Andy Warner bt Steve Joslin -10, 9, 9, -3, 7.
Saturday’s Events Winner Runner Up
Cadet Singles: Jermaine Fearon Jane Li
Junior Girls Singles: Jane Li Alice Rudge
Junior Doubles: Adam Cuthbert & Jermaine Fearon Andrew Harvey & Tom Lewis
Junior Handicap Singles: Jermaine Fearon Dan Rhodes
Junior Handicap Doubles: Andrew Harvey & Thomas Lewis Alice Rudge & Adam Cuthbert
Senior Handicap Singles: Tom Lewis Chris Brook
Senior Handicap Doubles: Jermaine Fearon & Josh Sidiki Alice Rudge & Adam Cuthbert
Division 2 Singles: Alan Burgess Matt Watson
Division 3 Singles: Steve Holland Nathan Nicol
Division 4 Singles: Russell Hillier Richard Baxter
Veteran’s 50+ Singles: Nigel Hodder Ian Whiteside
Veteran’s 60+ Singles: Alan Burgess Fred Button