A large number of spectators at Groves last Tuesday witnessed some scintilating and spectacular table tennis as the Chester/Ellesmere Port league held its annual tournament finals.
All four of the mens semi finalists have represented Cheshire this season with England ranked number 30 Kevin Dolder competing in the league for the first time, and he comfortably outpointed Neil Powell to book his place in the final. Defending champion and current Wirral champion Jonathan Taylor then took on Barrow teammate Aaron Beech in the other semi and was possibly confident of progressing but Aaron was in top form and took the match 3 games to 1. The final was very close and Aaron had his chances but in the end the experience and hard hitting of Dolder proved decisive and the St Helens based player took the title for the first time. He then teamed up with Roumanian Florin Barbus to narrowly defeat the Fletcher brothers in the doubles semis but in the final came up against an in form partnership of Beech and young Joe Killoran who took the title in style. Killoran had already taken the under 21 title from improving Liam Fletcher and also had to overcome brother Scott in the semis.
Defending Veterans champion Mark Pugh again reached the final but lost narrowly11 -8 in the fifth to experienced Simon Jones and in another very close encounter Alan Rigby won the Over 60s from Barrie Russ after losing the first game.
New ladies champion Hannah Winfield overcame sporting Linda Powell in the final but when she paired up with Veronica Nicholas in the doubles event Linda gained revenge winning the title with fellow Groves player Suzanne Burgess in 3 straight games.
The divisional finals resulted in victories for players who are new to the league this season which is a welcome situation. Barrie Russ of Corus comfortably defeated John Chan of Pulford in division 1 and student Teddy Pham of Groves continued his fine run with a hard fought success over Russell Benstead of Electric Sports to become division 2 champion. Steve Williams of County Officers took the division 3 title when he outpointed fellow Officers player Andy Davies.
A G M and presentation evening is now set for Tuesday June 11th at the Groves Club.