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Gray shows his class on way to Britannia Top 16 table tennis title

PUBLISHED: 12:55 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:55 02 January 2018

Steven Gray, left, won the Britannia Top 16 table tennis title. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Steven Gray, left, won the Britannia Top 16 table tennis title. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

Players from around the region travelled to the Britannia Table Tennis Club in Ipswich for this season’s Britannia East Anglian Top 16 invitation table tennis tournament.

Gary Young, left, was runner-up in the Britannia Top 16 table tennis tournament. Picture: CONTRIBUTED Gary Young, left, was runner-up in the Britannia Top 16 table tennis tournament. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

And Steven Gray showed his class to take the title, after players had won through four groups, with the top two from each going on to compete in the top band.

In group one there were no seeding upsets as Andrew Warner and Andrew Holmes both beat Antonio Beckles and Jack Perkins, with Warner winning 3-0 in their encounter to come top.

In group two, likewise, the seedings went to form as Gary Young came top with Lee McHugh second, while Keiran Bean beat Kelly Yuenyongpknan for third.

But in group three, Chris Rees Croft caused a big upset by beating Mathew Currant 11-9 in the fifth set. Currant had a real go in his match with number three Gray to try and qualify, losing in four sets, and in the match to determine the group winner Gray overcame Croft 3-0.

In group four another upset was sprung when Ipswich’s Derek Bloomfield beat Daniel Young 3-1 to finish second, as Andrew Dosher topped the group.

In the quarter-finals Warner beat McHugh in straight sets, as did Gray against Derek Bloomfield. Holmes took a leg off Dosher and Young beat Rees Croft 3-0.

In the first semi-final, Gray showed all-round class in taking out Warner, coming from a set down using excellent serves and follow up loop drives, as Warner was stretched at times to compete in the second and third sets.

In the second semi, Dosher let a good lead slip in game one against Young, in what was generally an entertaining game, which went the way of Young 3-1.

The final ebbed and flowed as Young just edged a tight opening set but was left in awe at times by Gray’s class which took him into a 2-1 lead.

In the fourth set it was Young’s turn to show his class as he ran away with it.

From a spectator point the fifth set was disappointing because Gray went 4-0 up and even a time-out from Young couldn’t halt the flow as he was relentless on his way to victory.

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