After a long day on Sunday with plenty of competitors doing table tennis battle, the finals of the Trafford League Closed Championships have been played on Monday 24th April at Kings Road Primary School.
Thanks go to Darren Morgan for arranging the day at his fantastic venue.
Many congratulations to all the winners (& runners-ups) who made it to finals night.
Results & videos are as below:-
Division 2 Singles - Howard Gardner Vs Paul Wadsworth
With these two guys having played each other many times in the league, this was always going to be interesting now they both made it to a Tournament final.
Despite Paul saying he felt the nerves beforehand there was no sign of this from the off as he raced away with the first game 11-3.
In the second he again made a good start, however, Howard battled well to get back to deuce and subsequently took it 12-10.
The next two games were a tight affair and they won one apiece taking the match into a decider.
Some great rallies ensued until Paul put himself into a winning position and held his nerve to win 11-9 on his second match point to take the title 3-2.
Division 1 Singles - Pete Chastin vs Paul Doolan
After playing in two finals last year, Paul was no stranger to tournament finals so was hoping the experience would count against Pete. However, both players have done well throughout the league season but haven't played each other, so the glory was up for grabs.
With Paul being fired up he flew into a quick lead with Pete being unable to stay with him and he took the first game 11-5.
Into the second game and Paul tried to keep the momentum going, however, some great angled blocking from Pete from his opponents forehand loop won him plenty of points and kept him in the game. It was close all the way but Paul edged it 11-9.
The third saw Paul playing really well and he wasn't letting up with his attacking play. After a short fight back by Pete, Paul won it 11-5 for a 3-0 victory.
Handicap Singles - Paul Doolan vs Graham Clayborough
With Paul nicely warmed up from the previous match the pressure was on Graham to start off well against his Poynton team mate in this best of 3 games to 21 points.
Paul started well and stormed into a 7-3 lead with some great early play. Graham then settled into the match and won the next four points to level it up. Paul obviously wasn't impressed and subsequently won six of the next seven points for a decent advantage. Graham wasn't to be outdone and again fought back with some fine serve/smash play. Alas it wasn't enough as Paul took the game 21-15.
Both players were really going for it in the second attacking as much as possible. Similar to the first game Paul took an early lead with Graham fighting back. After some fantastic rallies Paul pulled away at the end again to win 21-15 and triumph 2-0.
Drawn Doubles - Jake Shaw & Steve Buffey vs Adam Thompson & Pete Chastin
With an even match-up, a good game was looking to be on the cards and this proved to be the case.
Adam & Pete got off to a flier in the first game and took a decent lead. Jake & Steve battled back well to get within a point but Adam/Pete hung on to win 11-9.
The second saw some fine attacking play from both pairs with Adam/Pete getting into an 8-6 lead. Jake/Steve who were playing well were still there however, and won the next 5 points to win 11-8.
Into the third and it was a mirror image of the first game with Adam/Pete taking it 11-9.
Jake & Steve started off really well in the fourth and looked like they meant business. However, Adam/Pete weren't to be beaten and came back well to gain a small advantage near the end. The final point was a superb 21-shot rally that gave Adam & Pete an 11-8 win and take the match 3-1.
Vets Singles - Phil Biggs vs Phil Bowen
Being Phil B vs Phil B, both from Flixton Pumas, it was hard to know who to cheer for. This is the match for the Over 40's, however, you wouldn't know this pair had over 120 years between them as two of the leagues' best players moved around the table like young gazelles.
The first game saw Biggs make a great start and shooting into a 4-0 lead which he finished off in no time 11-4.
Bowen wouldn't have liked that and knuckled down in the second, playing much better. A tight game ensued until Bowen won the last few points to win 11-8 to level it up.
Into the third and Biggs took it 11-6 for another easy game.
With the momentum really in Biggs' corner, he carried this on into the fourth and looked like the winner, however, Bowen rallied superbly and won 6 of the last 8 points to win 11-8 and take it into a decider.
With these team mates knowing each others' game inside out it was now anyone's guess who would win the final game. Biggs got a good start and was leading 5-3 at the changeover. Bowen then found an extra final gear with some great play at the end and won it 11-9 for vets victory in the narrowest of margins for a 3-2 result.
Open Doubles - Darren Morgan & Jake Shaw vs Adam Thompson & Phil Biggs
This final saw the Stretford Eagles pair of Darren & Jake facing Flixton Pumas Adam & Phil in what looked to be a close match-up.
Darren/Jake, with their 'home' advantage started well and maintained a couple of points lead until near the end, when Adam/Phil got into their stride and surged past them to win 11-7.
The second game seesawed both ways until the game was poised at 9-9 and up for grabs. A great rally made it 10-9 to the Stretford pair and a lucky net at the best/worst time saw them level the match at 1-1.
Into the third and it was a one-sided affair with Darren/Jake unable to match their opponents and it was soon over 11-6.
The fourth was an even start with Darren/Jake seemingly over their rough patch, however, the Flixton pair upped the ante and ran out comfortable winners 11-5 to win the match 3-1 and be the doubles champions.
Open Singles - Jake Shaw vs Phil Bowen
And so onto the final match of the evening with two 'big guns' in this 'best of 7' extravaganza.
A very strong start by Jake with some powerful forehands saw him into an early lead. Phil fought back well but Jake held on to win 11-7.
The second saw another quick getaway by Jake, again with Phil coming back at him. This time though, Phil got ahead and stayed there winning a close game 11-9.
Into the third and Jake found peak form, all his powerful loops hitting the table. He didn't let up at all and won easily 11-1.
Phil knew he was under the cosh and in the fourth showed why he's so hard to beat, as he played much better and was dealing fairly comfortably with everything Jake threw at him. He built up an early 4-point lead and maintained it to the end 11-7 to level the match at 2-2.
With things getting down to the nitty gritty, it was neck-and-neck in the fifth with some amazing play by both players and Jake edged it 11-7 in the end.
The pressure was really on both players then as the end was nigh and in the sixth game Phil couldn't get going. A few unlucky shots of his that were millimetres wide, coupled with his opponents' fantastic play saw Jake run the game out 11-3 and take the singles title 4-2 in his first season in the Trafford League.