TABLE TENNIS: Maganti magic at League show

Dorset Echo: LINE-UP: Chloe Thomas, Nathan Bingham, Brian Copp (president of the league) and Neil Hardisty (Veterans’ winner) LINE-UP: Chloe Thomas, Nathan Bingham, Brian Copp (president of the league) and Neil Hardisty (Veterans’ winner)

THE annual tournament for players in the Weymouth and District League was held at Westfield Arts College in Preston.

The tournament was hosted by Preston Table Tennis Club and attracted close to 80 players in a day-long competition in nine different categories.

Despite the abominable weather, the day was well attended with players coming from as far away as Shipton Gorge, even players from Portland made it across the causeway.

The day began at 9am with the Division One singles matches being played in mini leagues, the top player from each league going through to the knockout stage, 10am saw the Division Two players arrive and then at 11am, Division Three took centre stage.

A short lunch break and the division doubles took place, due to the number of entries this was organised as a straight knockout competition.

The rest of the afternoon was taken up with the veterans, junior and open competitions, these use a handicap system so that the matches are close and a Division One player can be matched with a Division Three one.

The evening session was given over to the finals.

The chairman of Preston Table Tennis Club, Malcolm Smith, opened the evening by thanking all the organisation committee and introducing the guests for the evening, Nathan Bingham, a rising star in the Dorset table tennis scene and Chloe Thomas, a Welsh international player.

A tournament organiser said: “There was some fine table tennis played throughout the day, in particular from the youngsters who progressed well in all competitions.

“The day finished around 10pm with president of the league Brian Copp then closing the event with a short speech thanking all the committee members for their efforts in organising the event.

“He also thanked Andy Millar, in particular, for his efforts with the young players who were well represented throughout the tournament.

“The league committee would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Preston club who spent many hours on the day and prior to the event organising the games, the results, the tombola and the cafe.”

After some coaching from the star guests and a demonstration match, the finals were played for each category.

ROLL OF HONOUR

Division One Singles: Sai Maganti bt Derrick Dawson

Division Two Singles: John Ryan bt Ben Graham

Division Three Singles: Moses Lewis bt James Green

Division One Doubles: Andy Webb and Tony Reed bt Mick Hogan and Clive Stow

Division Two Doubles: John Ryan and Peter Stopforth bt Eric Horniblow and Stuart Walden

Division Three Doubles: Jamie Blair and Andy Ray bt Mark Whittingham and Peter Loakes

Veterans’ Handicap: Neil Hardisty bt Val Bundy

Junior Handicap: Ben Graham bt Sam Millar

Open Handicap: Peter Loakes bt Ethan Gear

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