WARWICKSHIRE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS 2011
With a disappointing entry, this brand new competition looked like making a faltering start. However, what a fine feast of attacking table tennis was served up by the 3 teams at Colebridge TTC last Saturday
The host club had 2 teams, and with Aces seeded No.1, Braves’ youngsters – Alan Caffery, Rajinder Davsi and Amit Ubhi kicked off proceedings with a semi-final against Hamstead. The latter’s blend of youth (Nabil Khalfey) and experience (the Bertie brothers), proved irresistible and they ran out 5-1 winners, Braves only success coming from Caffery with a 3-1 defeat of Lester Bertie.
It was, perhaps, appropriate that the final should be contested by the Birmingham and Leamington champions, but Aces got off to the better start, with Ian Ferguson opening with a 3-1 win over Steve Bertie and Amann Ubhi defeating Lester by the same score. Khalfey kept his team in touch, his quick hitting proving too strong for Micky Browne in set 3.
Ferguson restored the two sets lead, with a speedy and exciting response to Lester’s first game success, but brother Steve caused a minor upset with a final game defeat of Ubhi, in a set noteworthy for spectacular rallies and score swings.
Set 6 saw a repeat of the previous one, with Ferguson edging out a defiant Khalfey in the final game, and if that was not enough, another 5 game set was needed for Lester to scrape through against Micky.
Set 7, and the battle of the ‘young turks’. Khalfey swept through the first game, but his opponent showed why he has become one of the County’s strongest players, with a variety of winning shots that his opponent could not match. Khalfey looked as though he might take the set into a 5th game, matching Ubhi point for point, but an unlucky edge ball saw Ubhi clinch the match for Aces.
Let us hope that next year more teams will be persuaded to enter, and if they can serve up some matches as good as this Final, what a treat awaits the spectators.
21st April 2011