Kidderminster & District Table Tennis League: Finals Night. Monday April 16, 2018.
Jason Thompson retained his Kidderminster open singles table tennis title - but only after he was pushed all the way by clubmate Jamie Cartwright in a thrilling end-of-season finale at Aggborough Social Club.
The two Bromley players served up a battle royale in the final of the open singles as the hard-hitting Cartwright cruised into an early lead against the more measured, counter-attacking Thompson.
Thompson took the next two games by narrow margins only for his young opponent to demonstrate the full range of his attacking skills in a one-sided fourth game.
With the games level at 2-2, Cartwright had his opponent rattled at 6-2 in the decider.
But a couple of missed shots gave Thompson his opportunity and once he had pulled it back to 7-7 you sensed there was only going to be one winner - and so it proved.
The consolation for Cartwright was the trophy for most wins in division one this season to add to his open doubles titles with Tom Savary, and the hard bat trophy following an entertaining final a couple of weeks ago against top defender Steve Horton.
The format for Finals Night this year saw the semi-finals being contested prior to the final. Thompson overcame the dangerous Craig Preece 3-0 in his semi but Cartwright had a bye after Steve Horton was forced to pull out at the eleventh hour due to injury.
The Bromley vet had collided with a table while playing in Wolverhampton, leaving him with injuries to his elbow, hip and foot.
Earlier on Finals Night 15-year-old Joe Horne held his nerve to win the Handicap Singles against Cookley’s Marko Radisa.
The Restricted Singles, for players outside the top division, saw Dan Jones triumph 3-1 over Tony Bartram in another good match on the night.
The all-Harriers Super Vets final was won comfortably by Chris Maiden, who mostly managed to keep the ball away from the dangerous backhand of his team mate Steve Dorrell.
This was the 76th staging of the league’s Finals Night and the event on Monday was well-supported by local players and their friends and family.
The guest of honour was popular veteran John Rowell, whose links with the Kidderminster league stretch back 30 years.
The awards presented were as follows:
Division 1: winners Bromley A; runners-up Bromley B.
Division 2: winners Jim’s Gym; runners-up Wordsley B.
Division 3: winners Bewdley Institute D; runners-up Bewdley Institute B.
Division 1: Jamie Cartwright; Division 2: Dave Whittingslow; Division 3: Greg Small.
Veteran Singles: winner Jason Thompson; runner-up Steve Horton.
Veteran Doubles: winners Steve Horton and Jason Thompson; runners-up Dave Stephens and Alex Westwood.
Open Doubles: winners Jamie Cartwright and Tom Savary; runners-up Jason Thompson and Steve Horton.
Junior Singles: winner Declan Gardiner; runner-up Dylan Griffiths.
Hard Bat Tournament: winner Jamie Cartwright; runner-up Steve Horton.
TC Jackson Cup: winners Holy Trinity A; runners-up Bewdley Institute F.
Regent Cup: winners Bewdley Institute D; runners-up Bewdley Institute B.
Vice Presidents Cup: winners Bromley A; runners-up Bromley D.