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Good day for Budmouth youngsters at Weymouth & District League Championships
WEYMOUTH & District League chairman Neil Hardisty hailed the success of this year’s championships – held for a second year at Westfield Technology College – that attracted 81 competitors in all categories.
Budmouth table tennis stalwart Hardisty said: “It was a tremendous day with a fantastic number of entrants.
“The games were highly competitive, played in the right spirit and the event was superbly organised by Stan Smith’s Preston club together with league secretary Andy Millar.”
Poole’s Geoff Ware, father of England international Matt Ware, came out on top in the Division One singles with a straight sets final victory over Clive Stow but he could not quite complete the double as, together with partner Pete Anderson, he lost out in five eagerly fought sets (13-11 in the fifth) to Springfield pairing Jon Bissett and Oleg Cocervei in the top-flight doubles competition final.
Indeed this match proved to be one of the games of the day as Ware and Anderson stormed to a comfortable 2-0 lead before Bissett and Cocervei rallied to take the next three sets and complete a remarkable upset.
Ware was particularly impressed with how smoothly the event ran and in an open email to the league he thanked all the organising team on a long day’s work.
It said: “The tournament ran like clockwork with what must have been more than 200 matches played.
“The hard work put in by so many and organised on the day by Andy Millar was fantastic and they all deserve huge congratulations.”
For many the highlight of the day would have been the evening’s demonstration and coaching session led by England senior international Hannah Hicks, who was ably assisted by Nathan Bingham (Dorset Senior County player and Bournemouth Sports Club champion).
Hicks and Bingham took the time to work their way around the hall offering guidance and coaching tips to players of all ages and, after all the finals had been played, they even enjoyed competitive games with some of the tournament winners before assisting president Brian Copp with the presentation.
Other major success stories on the day included Budmouth junior Ben Graham’s triumph in the handicap singles where he overcame Keith Thompson in the final, while Dave Clegg enjoyed a fierce tussle with Norman Badcock in the veterans’ handicap final before pulling through by the narrowest margin – 24-22 – in the deciding set.
In the junior event, a big crowd gathered to watch as Budmouth pair Tom Cherry and Sam Millar fought out a thrilling four-setter that was won by the former – a repeat of the third division singles final, which was an even tighter affair that again saw Cherry triumph – 11-8 in the deciding set.
Ware summed up the influence of a growing number of juniors at this event when he concluded: “It was good to see so many young players enjoying competitive play and bringing fresh energy into the league which bodes well for the future.”
Open handicap singles: Ben Graham (+7) bt Keith Thompson (0) 21-14, 21-11
Veterans' handicap singles: Dave Clegg (0) bt Norman Badcock (+5) 17-21, 21-15,24-22
Division One singles: Geoff Ware bt Clive Stow 11-6, 11-2, 11-6
Division One doubles: J Bissett/O Cocervei bt G Ware/P Anderson 7-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 13-11.
Division Two singles: Mick Hogan bt Richard Willshere 11-8, 11-3, 11-6
Division Two doubles: R Willshere/S Walden bt M Hogan/S Green 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-7
Division Three singles: Tom Cherry bt Sam Millar 11-5, 6-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8
Division Three doubles: T Cherry/L Cherry bt D Clegg/D Shilliday 11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 11-3.
Junior singles: Tom Cherry bt Sam Millar 12-10, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3.