Chulmleigh Table Tennis Club (CTTC): Clarke Brothers Handicap Trophy 2018
The eagerly awaited annual Clarke Brothers Handicap Trophy 2018 took place in mid-December. As always there was a good turnout of club members on a wintery night but not a flake of snow around this time. The competition was in its fifth year with four names on the trophy. Could new records be set?
Well, sponsor Shaun Clarke was certainly hoping so. He drew Jon Taylor early for the third consecutive year, having lost in both previous attempts. Shaun finally overturned Jon 20/21, 21/11 and 21/20, saving two match points in the process. Shaun progressed into the final beating James Butler in another tight three setter.
In the top half of the drawer last year’s winner Joey Butt and runner-up Kevin Davies met in the semi-final. Joey came out on top with a three set win 21/10, 18/21 and 21/11, convincing enough in the end.
2012 champ Andrew ‘Apple’ Suliauskas met a young and determined Freddie Davies in the consolation final. Apple was able to use his greater knowledge of spin but where did Freddie get that backhand from we hear you ask? The coach maybe? A very close entertaining match with Apple stealing the win 21/20 and 21/19. Well done both.
James Butler and Kevin Davies battled it out for third spot but in the end James with a healthy handicap was just too good for Kevin. Some excellent serving and very consistent play by James was enough for a straight set win.
So once again the final was nicely poised, both Joey and Shaun have made steady progress in their league efforts and both are improving players. Game 1 was fiercely contended with excellent loop, slice and counter attack; Joey coming out on top 21/19. In game 2, Shaun was in trouble early and unable to claw back the handicap, (maybe next year!) Joey, winning in straight sets not only retained the title but has the privilege of being the first ‘double winner’. New records indeed!
It was great to see the junior players progressing deep into the tournament. This a good ‘warm up’ in readiness for the Club’s Junior Challenge due to be held in January 2019.
Congratulations to Joey Butt, Shaun Clarke and James Butler.
A big thank you to Shaun Clarke for presenting the trophies as well as to ‘Clarke Brothers Builders & Thatchers’ for sponsoring this event.
CTTC train on Friday evenings from 7 - 9pm at Chulmleigh Sports Centre. All ages and abilities are welcome. For those wishing to compete, we have three teams in the North Devon Table Tennis League.
If you are interested in joining the club please contact the coach & secretary Kevin Davies Tel: 01769 581416 or 01769581765.