Tournament Report from Tournament Secretary Bill Nelson
The League held its Individual Championships last Sunday at The Forum, Malvern Theatres. Those players and spectators that stayed to the end saw some fine table tennis. Star of the day was Hong Kong Chinese player Nancy Yeh who was a convincing winner in the Main Singles, Ladies' Singles, and with Steve Meredith, the Mixed Doubles events.
In the Main Singles Nancy beat Svilen Andreev 11-7, 11-6, 11-4, her trade-mark powerful backhand drive much in evidence. Svilen was most generous in his congratulations to Nancy at the end of the match. Svilen was not without success, however, beating Craig Preece in the fourth game in the Division 1 Singles, and teaming up with Craig in the Main Doubles event to beat Graham Thompson & Chris Hewitt in three straight games.
The Ladies' Doubles event was won by Liz Hallam & Ann Barnes with a straight games victory over Nancy Yeh & Natasha Snee. This was a good performance by Natasha as the only Division 3 player in the match. Cadet Kyle Day from Hereford, in his first season in the Malvern League, had a good day, winning the Cadet Singles against Reece Taylor-Lock in straight games and in the Junior Singles against Ben Meredith. In the Division 2 Doubles, Kyle teamed up with Simon Morgan in a closely fought contest with Luke Gresty & Eliot Brandwood, which Kyle & Simon won 13-11 in the fifth game.
Simon, however, had rather less luck in the Division 2 Singles, being convincingly beaten in three straight games by Matt Newport. The Division 3 Singles final between Stephen Lindner & Dave Brown was a battle of attrition, with neither player able to produce the decisive attacking shot to win the point. Stephen finally won in five games, regaining the title he lost last year. Stephen teamed up with Ed Palmer to beat Will Jones & Reece Taylor-Lock in the Division 3 Doubles in the fourth game.
In the Veterans' Singles final, Graham Thompson, after a shaky start against Nigel Foreshew, pulled back to win the last two games to clinch the title In the SuperVets' competition, Dave Woodyatt found it hard to counter Geoff Woodward's defensive style, and although Dave stage a brief recovery in the third game, Geoff ran out the winner in the fourth. The Inter Divisional event was a family affair, with James Glazzard & Ray Page beating Steve Glazzard & Ben Meredith in two straight games.
The Banded competition for young players from the League's coaching programme, held every Sunday evening during the season at Dyson Perrins Academy, attracted six participants. Morgan Coe, Phillip Banks, Roan Hopkins, Josh Oldnall, Peter Palmer, and Thea Snee played a round robin competition. Morgan, Josh and Roan each won four matches, so were in joint first place. Phillip won two, and Peter one. However the best match of the day was between Thea and Peter. Thea took the first game 11-7, with Peter coming back to take a very close second game 13-11. The deciding game was equally well fought, with Peter eventually edging out Thea to win 11-9. These two young players, together with the rest of the group, are to be congratulated for their fine performances throughout the day.
The League's thanks must go to all our sponsors for their generous contributions. To our principal sponsors Paperstation Ltd for the Main Singles; Express TV Services for the Main Doubles; Ledbury Exhaust & M O T Centre for the Div 2 Singles; Paytons Quality Solicitors for the Cadet Singles; Roy Holland for the Veterans' Singles; The Meredith Brothers for the Div 2 Doubles; and an anonymous donor for the Mixed Doubles.
Thanks are also due to Richard Cullis and his team who ran the event on the day, including Colin Dolding, Dave Steen, Ken Hipwell, Anthea Knight, Dave Hallam, Liz Hallam & Graham Collier. Also the many players who helped before and after the event to load tables, assemble barriers, and set up and later clear the venue. All can take credit for achieving another successful Championships
Bill Nelson - Tournament Secretary