2018 Championships Update 1

The League programme takes a break, as this season's Closed Championships take over for three weeks, however the snowy weather has also taken its toll, as the Open Doubles, scheduled for Friday, 2nd March, has had to be postponed - this may be fitted in by using an extra evening, if the event cannot be fitted in alongside the remaining qualifying nights?

Qualifying events that have already taken place include the Division 3 Singles, which featured the expected final between the division's two outstanding players, Bruce Ghaemi and Toofan Khalili, who have won one apiece in their League encounters. Both dispatched team mates in the semis, as Bruce beat Bob Andrews, whilst Toofan beat Steve Laird. Toofan started the stronger in the final, winning the first game and going 6-2 up in the second, before Bruce battled back, to go into a 2-1 lead. The fourth game was very tight, with Toofan ahead early on, but Bruce edging to 10-9 ahead, but then missing a serve, and Toofan levelled it at 2-2, and pulled ahead in the fifth, going on to win a very high quality encounter. The Random Doubles also took place that night, with a round robin of the five pairs drawn out at random. The handicapping looked somewhat problematic at first, as Bob Andrews/Terry Marsh blitzed Les Leech/Steve Laird in the opener, with Bob smashing everything, to win 11/-1, 11/-2 ! However, things were much closer in almost all the other matches, with several going to deuce in the decider, with no team winning all their matches, nor any team failing to win at least once. When all the group matches had been played, the top two pairs were the "Likely Lads" (Bob/Terry) and Bruce Ghaemi/Tim Boyall, with three wins each, but, since Bob/Terry won when they played each other, they claim the title.

Veteran Singles Update - courtesy of Mike Boardman
We had 16 entrants, so four groups of 3 players, plus one group of four, with five group winners and 3 best runners-up to go through to the Quarter Finals. There were some fantastic games in the group of four, especially, which was made up of John Stock, Colin Tibbles, Dave Easey and Ben Divsalar, with a three way tie at the top the group, as John, Colin and Dave had each won twice, with John winning on count back, and Dave as runner-up (unlucky, Colin). The Quarter Finals ended up as Mike Boardman v Dave Easey, Les Leech v John Stock, Alan Thomas v Toofan Khalili and John McCance v Xin Jun Wang, which in turn gave Semi Finals of Mike v Les and John M v Alan, won by Mike and John M, respectively, to set up the Final, to be played on Finals' Night, of Mike Boardman versus John McCance.

Author: via Hemel Hempstead Table Tennis League
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