Saturday 29th September brought with it the first Lillington Graded Tournament of the season and also a first for the local club. For this tournament, two local companies had kindly offered some sponsorship. Bradley Cave Chartered Accountants of Kenilworth covered the costs of the trophies, and Pooch Parlour of Harbury covered the costs of the match balls. Lillington TTC would like to express its thanks to both companies for their generosity.
On the table, former regular Matt Squires made a winning return after making the trip up from Bristol. He safely negotiated his group in the Seniors, before working his way through Ryan Lines, Kesh Parmar and a semi-final against Kris Kustra. In the opposite half of the draw, it was local player Murray Stevenson, playing some excellent attacking table tennis, who was the form player. He saw off Chris Mulligan and Samantha Meredith before winning a pulsating semi-final against Lillington stalwart Hugh Matthews. In the final, though, it was Matt’s defensive skills which combined excellent movement around the court with a variety of spins which proved decisive as he lifted the trophy.
In the consolation event for the Seniors, Leigh Morris from Nuneaton battled his way through the field which included a quarter-final against club mate Derek Thompson and a semi-final against the unpredictable attacking flare of Matt Rayner. Leigh couldn’t take that final step though, as Lillington cadet, Timmy Cooper, battled through a semi-final against club-mate Lee Dorning and eased to a 3-1 final victory.
In a combined Junior/Cadet event, Sam Henderson proved a touch too strong for the field. Kit Turner was his victim in the semi-final, with the other semi-final between Tom Harris and Sam Weaving going to Sam. In the final, Sam’s excellent retrieving skills were not quite enough to prevent Simon taking the title. In the consolation event, Nick Parmar showed good variation of spin and touch to beat Adam Pulman in the final.
Emma Kilpatrick from Rugby showed how rapidly she is improving by reaching the final of the Under 13 main event. She won the first leg against Rees Chandell, before Rees hit back to win 3-1. The Under 13 consolation event was won by Frank Jones, who beat Lewis Singleton in five sets, having to come from 2-0 down to do it.
In the afternoon graded sessions, Tom Brocklehurst came through his group and a couple of tricky opponents in Murray Stevenson and Steve Smith to book his place in the final. In the bottom half of the draw, Aaron Riley and Chris Mulligan looked the form players and met in the semi-final. Chris was unable to make it an all Lillington final as Aaron saved a match point in the 5th before winning it 12-10. In the final, Aaron was virtually error free as his controlled performance saw off Tom 3-0.
In the consolation event, Leigh Morris again reached the final and again had to beat a team mate in Roger Hill to do so. Would it be second time lucky? The answer was no. Matt Rayner, unlucky to find himself in the consolation, beat Cherry Matthews and Steve Proctor to reach the final, before condemning Leigh to his second final defeat of the day.
In a round-robin Grade B, William Panes topped a six-person group to take the winner’s trophy. Sam Henderson came in second, with Harry Purewal and Jo Outhwaite third and fourth respectively.
Grade C was another round-robin event, which was won by Sam Weaving, who was undefeated in the competition. Trailing in his wake were Nick Parmar, Charlie Snelson and Daniel Shaw who finished second to fourth.
Kit Turner won the Improvers event, winning his semi-final against Ricky Chamdal 3-0 and beating Tom Harris in four sets in the final. Tom had battled past Adam Pullman in his semi-final. The Improvers consolation was won by Josh McKenna-Jones who beat Chad Pickering in the final. Chad had got past tournament first-timer, Alex Birri in the semi – Alex putting in an excellent showing at his first attempt and will surely taste success in the future.
The Beginners was won by Emma Kilpatrick, as she beat Sam Basford in the final. The consolation was taken by Frank Jones at the expense of Jay Robinson.
Leamington A notched two wins and a draw on the opening day of the Heart of England Cadet League, staged in Warwick on the 22nd September. First up was Rugby A who were trounced 9-1. Number 1 Timmy Cooper claimed 3 wins, a feat emulated by Sam Weaving with the less experienced Adam Cofler chipping in with two excellent scalps. The Spa’s top outfit then drew with Sutton Coldfield with Cooper again notching 3 and Lee Dorning 2. Finally, Coventry fell 6-4. Coventry’s George Allison ended Cooper’s unbeaten run but fell in straight games to Dorning who went on to achieve an impressive treble. Cooper and Weaving with one apiece and a Dorning/Cooper doubles win saw the home team to victory.
Leamington B gained good experience, with two narrow defeats and one maximum. First they fell to Hamstead 4-6 with Joe Hunt notching two and Adam Pulman and Kit Turner one each. They then fell 4-6 to Walsall with Turner taking 2 and Hunt 1 as well as combining for the doubles. Finally, Evesham were thrashed 10-0 with James Keay, Pulman and Turner posting a clean sweep.