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News from the Guildford Table Tennis Association May 2023

Published on: 20 May, 2023
Updated on: 19 May, 2023

Report by Steve Day

This edition completes the run through of the season and also reports on the closed championships, courtesy of John Callcut.

To the unfinished business in Division 4, as expected, Merrow G triumphed by a healthy margin, as they made the most of their last two matches.

They amassed 106 points compared with second placed Challoner B’s 99.

Merrow H finished third with 92 points.

Congratulations to Max Swindells, Ross Matthew, Mark Francis and David Lush, who between them played the majority of matches. Jigar Patel and Alex Webb stepped in when needed. Max also finished top of the averages. 

Knockout Cup Update

The winners of our cup competitions are as follows:

Percy Lawes (Premier Div): Merrow A 

Intermediate (Division 1): Godalming C 

Lewis Cup (Division 2): Ash

The Last Two (Division 3): College Hill D 

Bob Hammond (Division 4): Merrow G 

Vets: Burymead.

Handicap: Merrow F.

There were many close-fought matches but overall league form was repeated in the finals with the division winners taking the trophies.

The one exception was in The Last Two final where College Hill D (third in the division) beat Merrow F (second in the division).

In fact, Merrow F must have thought it wasn’t their year after being runners up in both their divisional competitions. However, that changed when they beat Challoner B in a close-fought Handicap final. Commiserations to Challoner B; they were runners up in every competition in which they played!

Guildford Closed Table Tennis Championships – 2023. Report by John Callcut

The 86th Guildford Closed Table Tennis Championships were held over two Sundays on April 23 and 30 at Christ’s College, Guildford.

On the first Sunday the Divisionals, Veterans, Masters and Under 19’s Championships were staged. Entries were down by 20% compared with 2022, which was very disappointing as the championships produce great table tennis and gives the opportunity for people from all divisions to meet up, socialise and compete against each other.

The Premier Division competition had two groups of four players with the top two qualifying.

In group A, Jason Tendler was victorious with Jake Buckley coming second.

Steve Davis and John Robinson.

Group B saw Shaun Robertson beating Steve Davis 12-10 in the fourth to win the group.

It was good also see young and old, Vincent Quiambao and the evergreen Ramesh Bhalla also competing in this group.

In the semi-finals Robertson beat Buckley in four and Tendler again beat Davis in four but by an even closer margin.

Jason Tendler and Chris Pullinger.

In the final, Tendler overcame Robertson 11-8, 11-8, 7-11 and 11-9. Jason had four very tough matches in the competition and became a worthy champion. With only three pairings for the Doubles, Jason Tendler and John Robinson won both their matches.

There were five entries in the Division One championship, so the round was played in a group with everyone playing against each other.

Chris Pullinger emerged victorious winning all his matches with just Adrian Sharp pushing him to four.

Brendon Bayley came second only losing to Pullinger.

The Doubles was won by Mick Stanners and Adrian Sharp who overcame the fancied Pullinger and Bayley 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 8-11, 11-6.

James Wyncoll.

Only three players entered from Division Two. James Wyncoll was victorious with Ted Cornell coming second.

The Division Three championship had five entries so they all played against each other. This was a desperately close-run affair with Seamus Walker coming top having survived a close five-setter against Louise Newman. Caden Wilson came second on points ratio.

In Division Four with only two entries, Robert Martin beat Alexis Solomonides 12-14, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6.

Anay Gandhi and Vincent Quiambao.

Six players took part in the Under 19’s competition. The spectators watched a scintillating final and saw Vincent Quiambao beat Anay Gandhi 12-10, 11-7, 6-11, 5-11, 13-11.

There were 15 entries for the Veterans competition and they played in five groups with the winner and runner-up going through to the main draw.

There were two epic semi-finals. Tendler, who in the quarter finals had just beaten Steve Davis in five, played Wing Yin Lai (Vincent).

The game fluctuated and Tendler just won 8-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-13,11-9.

The other semi-final saw the shock of the tournament when Chris Pullinger from division one beat John Robinson 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7, 15-13.

Pullinger was hitting strongly from both wings and took a 5-0 lead in the fifth.

The dogged Robinson clawed his way back and it could be said that the match was decided by the vagaries of nets and edges.

However, nothing could take anything away from Pullinger who played brilliantly.

Jason Tendler had played a number of very close games in the tournament and won them all so was in top form. This was evident when he overcame a tiring Chris Pullinger 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 in the final. 

John Robinson and Jason Tendler.

The Doubles final was between Jason Tendler and John Robinson (who didn’t play in the singles due to tiredness following playing for Guildford in the Wilmott Cup the day before. Age catching up John?) and Phil Harrison and Steve Davis.

Time was running out and with Davis playing in the Masters’ final they decided to concede. Thus, concluded a brilliant tournament for Tendler.

There were only two entries for the Ladies’ Veterans event which saw Diane McLellan overcoming Louise Newman 11-5, 11-5, 11-8.

The final event of the day was the Masters (over 60’s) tournament which saw John Robinson beating Steve Davis 11-8, 11-4, 11-4.

This brought a smile back onto John’s face which soon turned to a frown when he thought he had lost the day’s takings – he hadn’t!

The second Sunday started with the Open Singles. With only seven premier players and one first division player in the competition I was grateful that a number of juniors agreed to play to enable us to make up four groups of three with the top two going into the main draw. 

This gave the youngsters good experience competing with top players. 

There were no surprises in the groups but the closest game was John Robinson beating Graham Faulkner 11-13, 16-14, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4.

Shaun Robertson had a good win against Phil Snelson and well done Anay Gandhi who took a game off both Robertson and Snelson.

Phil Snelson.

In the quarters Adam Laws beat Brendon Bayley, Shaun Robertson beat Graham Faulkner, Jake Buckley beat Richard Seymour and Phil Snelson beat John Robinson, who abandoned his normal pimples on the backhand with a smooth rubber.

Did John notice? The score was 12-14, 8-11, 14-12 (after being 10-8 down!), 14-12, 11-7. 

In the semis, Laws was looking in ominous form and his straight set win against Robertson demonstrated that.

Buckley’s game against Snelson was a strange affair. After losing the first game 11-2, Snelson summoned all his experience to beat the younger player 11-3,11-9,11-8.

Adam Laws.

Adam Laws was determined to secure his ninth Guildford Open Singles title and he did it in fine form beating Snelson 11-8, 11-4, 11-5 in the final.            

Graham Faulkner.

The Open Doubles was a straight knockout with Graham Faulkner and Richard Seymour beating Shaun Robertson and John Robinson three straight 11-8, 11-5 12-10.

Richard Seymour.

There were only four entries for the Ladies Singles so it was played in a group.

Diane Mclellan.

Diane McLellan was dominant, winning all her matches three straight. Louise Newman came second winning two matches.

The Ladies Doubles was a classic with the experienced Shula Laws and the junior Daria Rudovsjaia beating Diane McLellan and Louise Newman 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9.

Shula Laws.

The Mixed Doubles final was a compelling match with Katie Snelson and father Phil Snelson beating Adam Laws and mother Shula Laws 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8.

Whilst all this was happening the Junior competitions were taking place. Three girls competed in the Under 19’s round robin.

Katie Snelson came first and Daria Rudovsjaia second. Young Kayla Wong put up a strong challenge against Katie losing in five sets.

Unfortunately, there were only two entries for the Under 11’s event and Evan Faulkner proved too strong for Harley Wong.

In the Under 13’s there were two groups of three. Both semi-finals went to five with Alexis Solomonides and Robert Martin emerging as winners. In the final Alexis beat Robert 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9.

There were eight entries in the Under 15’s competition with two groups of four.

There were some great matches, the most exciting being Robert Martin’s game against Oscar Snelling which he won 10-12, 20-18, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8.

The semi-finalists were Anay Gandhi, Robert Martin, Alexis Solomonides and Seamus Walker.

Anay beat Robert 11-4, 11-8, 15-13.

Robert had pulled back well only to miss a serve at deuce! 

Alexis had to go home so the final saw Anay play Seamus. This was a good match which Anay won 11-9,11-3,9-11, 11-7, thus becoming the Guildford Under 15’s champion.

There were only two entries for the Under 15’s Doubles and the Faulkner brothers, Evan and Nathan had a good win in five against Oscar Snelling and Thomas Ashworth 9-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7.

Thus, ended another Guildford tournament which was played in a good spirit and enjoyed by everyone.

The entry numbers were disappointing. Before Covid we regularly had 60 to 70 entries without juniors.

In 2023 we had 40 entries which included 15 juniors! Why?

It was good to see our junior players participating and it is a credit to Adam Laws who has nurtured them so assiduously.

A warning for the future – a few of them are copying Adam’s fiendish services!

More than 150 matches were played over the two days. My thanks go to all the players who unhesitatingly volunteered to umpire and set up and put away all the equipment.

My thanks also go to David Lush who assisted the harassed organiser on the second Sunday.

End of Season Sign-Off

That’s it for this season! Next season we hope to add some new features, such as coaching tips. 

Click here for more details of the Guildford Table Tennis Association.

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