CLOSED CHAMPIONSHIP REPORT
High quality table tennis was witnessed at the Tournament on Sunday when 50 players competed
in 14 singles groups, a truly splendid turn out. All the seeded players qualified from the groups and there were no real upsets in round 2 when seeds 3-8 outpointed those ranked 9-14. In the Quarter finals holder Jonathan Taylor defeated young Joe Killoran 3-1 and Aaron Beech recorded the same scoreline against the impressive Mark Pugh. England ranked 30 and favourite Kevin Dolder eased past Simon Jones and Neil Powell had a titanic struggle before narrowly defeating Florin Barbus 3-2.
In the doubles Dolder/ Barbus are seeded 1 and face Liam and Scott Fletcher in the semis on finals night after the brothers hit a splendid win over Powell and Pugh in the quarters. Beech/ Killoran are seeded 2 and are favourites to reach the final at the expense of Taylor/ Terry a pairing put together after Rob Wylie was taken ill prior to the Sunday. The latter defeated impressive ladies pairing of Hannah Winfield/Sue Burgess in the quarters the ladies having overcome the strong Rigby/ Roper pairing in round 2.
In the Veterans event Will Sleddon had a tremendous first round win over Alf Perry but the final will be fought out between holder Clwyd county player Mark Pugh and Simon Jones. Division 1 will feature Barrie Russ and surprise package John Chan from Pulford who had a brilliant run including a fine semi final victory over Alan Rigby. Division 2 merit winner Russell Benstead faces one of the few players to defeat him this season, Tung Pham from the Groves club in what should be a great final, Tung having also reached the semis of the Under 21 with a brilliant hard hitting win over Premier division and British League player Hannah Winfield. He faces holder Liam Fletcher whilst in the other semi final Scott Fletcher comes up against 2 seed Joe Killoran.
County Officers club provides both finalists in the division 3 event with Steve Williams facing Andy Davies, both having had successful seasons with only a handfull of defeats between them.
Neil Powell and Sue Burgess retained the mixed doubles, outpointing Keith Bartlett and Hannah Winfield in the final.