Herefordshire County Table Tennis Championships 2015
Match report by Cicely Palmer
The Main event for the three part table tennis Championships for the County was held at Queen Elizabeth College, Bromyard on Sunday 22nd March when 52 players took part in eleven different competitions. The Junior / cadet and Veteran competitions were held in February but the finals of most of the events will be played next Friday 27th March at the same venue starting at 7 p.m. Admission will be free for spectators.
In the Men’s Singles three of the top seeds won through to the semi-finals but one of them fell in the quarter-final stage to Craig Preece. Defending Champion, Toby Eckley had a reasonable easy run through to the semis as also did No.3 seed Ola Andersson but Mark Owen, who will be trying to get his name on the trophy for the 24th time, had two 4 game sets before reaching the same stage. These four payers will be playing their semi-finals at the start of the evening on Friday.
The Lady’s final will be between the title holder, Pauline Hart and Anthea Knight.
The Restricted Open Singles saw Preece run through with straight game wins and again knock out a seed – this time the No.1, Jon Allen, to reach the final. There his opponent will be Patryk Kowacz who had a long quarter-final match with Steve Brown eventually winning by -8, 6, 9, -10 and 9. He then beat Bryan Farr by 8, 3 and 9.
In the Grade ‘B’ event, Colin Dolding, No.1 seed, lost in 5 to Chris Bacon who then went on to beat Chris Boivin in 3 straight games. In the final he will meet Jonathan Dyke, who had a smooth run through from the No 2 position.
In the Grade’C’ singles for 3rd Division players, the top seeds, Bob Rhodes and Dylan Day both won through to the semi-finals but then both lost, Bob to Kyle Day and Dylan to James Palmer. This final will be between one of the youngest and the one of the oldest competitors of the day.
The Men’s Doubles saw another defeat for the champions when Andy and Jack Castle beat Eckley and Andersson in the semi-final but No 2 seeds, Mark Owen and Michael Owens eased their way through to the finals night.
With only three pairs in the Ladies’ Doubles they played a round robin and Anthea Knight and Pauline Hart ran out the winners with Margaret Shock and Zoe Castle as runners up.
With six couples in the Mixed Doubles – a bigger entry than for many years - there were closer games in this competition than usual. Steve Knight and Pauline Hart had a 4 game set followed by a five game semi-final in which they were beaten by the top seeds, Brian Kitchener and Margaret Shock, and in the lower half of the draw Colin Dolding and Anthea Knight took 5 games to win against Rosemary Chatterton and Steve Brown and then had four tight games with Jack and Zoe Castle before reaching the final.
One of most popular competitions , the Nimmie Hodges event, played to completely different rules saw some very close results. No handicap is involved and players of all abilities are unseeded so to get 16 of the 28 results won by less than 3 points makes for very great fun and interest. This final will be on Friday between Trevor Davies and Jonathan Dyke.The other two events were played to a finish. The Handicap Doubles final again featured Craig Preece, this time partnered by Helen Levy but this time he was unlucky to lose to James Palmer and Simon Morgan. In the course of the 15 matches 5 of them needed 5 games and another 5 took 4 games. In the Audrey Lawrence Handicap Singles the handicappers got their numbers so near that there were four draws and seven matches were won by just one or two points. Nigel Foreshew drew with Matthew Jones in the final so Nigel won because he had no handicap.