SIXTEEN-year-old Owen Salisbury was the big winner at the North Cornwall Table Tennis League’s David Viggers Tournament at Budehaven Sports Hall on Sunday, December 16 as he won both the Class One and Junior titles.
Due to a late change which meant it was played on a Sunday afternoon instead of a Monday night, there were only 15 entrants; but without any of the top Division One players entering; it was expected to be close.
In Class One, which consisted of the best five players there according to the league averages, tournament favourite Ingus Abolnieks suffered a surprised three-set defeat to David Sillifant in the group’s opening match.
He struggled all afternoon in losing all four, while Sillifant was unlucky to win one and then fall to three consecutive defeats in deciders.
Ashley Taylor started with two defeats but beat Sillifant and Abolnieks to win two while Dave Salisbury and Owen Salisbury won all four and three respectively with the former easing past his son ahead of their final showdown.
However the final was worth the wait as they competed in a five-set marathon with many of the rallies being at least 15 shots long.
Owen won the first end 11-5 before Dave made it all square by winning the second 11-9.
The next two games were traded in sudden-death before the decider provided plenty of drama.
Owen dominated the majority of the points with Dave happy to soak up the attacks and wait for mistakes.
However with Owen winning 10-7 the contest looked all but over.
However Dave saved three match-points to make it 10-10.
However the teenager showed plenty of bottle to regain his composure and win the next two points to take the title.
Class Two was made up of three Division One players in Ross Wilmshurst, Keiron Chatterjea and Robin Evans and the Budehaven D duo of Sam Jennings and Tim Orchard.
Despite playing in the second-tier — Jennings showed his natural shot-making ability to ease past the field.
He dropped just one game out of nine in beating the other four in the group stage before facing Evans in the final, which was again played as a best of five.
However Jennings showed no nerves to win without dropping an end.
Chris Mill, who competes for Budehaven C, was the heavy favourite in Division Three and didn’t disappoint.
Like Jennings, he won three of his group matches 2-0 and the other 2-1 before defeating the fast-improving youngster George Reilly-Hawkins in the final 3-0.
The Junior final was between 16-year-olds Jennings and Salisbury.
As usual, Jennings attacked from the off, producing some brilliant winners.
However Salisbury’s defence is made of stern stuff as he primarily relied on mistakes from Jennings to win the contest in four riveting sets.