GALLERY AND REPORT: Ipswich Table Tennis Championships at the Corn Exchange

Ipswich Closed Table Tennis championships at Ipswich Corn Exchange
Ryan Collins

Ipswich Closed Table Tennis championships at Ipswich Corn Exchange Ryan Collins - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Ryan Collins again dominated the senior events in this year’s Ipswich Table Tennis Championships at the Corn Exchange, with a clean sweep of the three major titles.

In the men’s final against Wayne Shaw he was devastating, hitting winners from both wings past an opponent who had already thrilled the crowd in the semi-finals against Andy Warner, the number two seed, with his defensive play and sudden counter hitting.

The men’s doubles, with Collins and Michael Wright against Nigel Hodder and Warner, was definitely the game of the night for spectators, with both pairs hitting incredible shots from all over the court.

The ladies’ singles final between Clair Westlake and Sonia Talbot was a very close and often tense match with both players trying to be the first to get in with their main attacking weapon, the forehand loop or drive.

The match went to five sets with three of the games going to deuce and was eventually won by Westlake with a brilliant controlled pushing and hitting game in the final leg.

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In the mixed doubles final, Collins and Westlake were just too strong for Hodder and Talbot and the partnership of the men’s and ladies’ singles winners secured the title in four games.

The ladies’ doubles between Talbot and Rosemary Curtis and Karen Pengelly and Westlake was no exception. It went to five sets, the former eventually prevailing.

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The three other events, played in front of a good crowd were the veteran singles, boys’ and restricted singles.

In the veterans’ event, Hodder was in outstanding form, beating Charlie Fulcher in straight games. The other two events were taken by Daniel Shelley who beat last year’s champion Will Hall in the junior singles and Tracy in the restricted event.

With Collins dominating the senior event, a new kid on the block could well take over his crown.

Daniel Shelley, 14, not only won the restricted singles which is open to any player outside the Premier Division but he also won the cadet singles beating Alex King and the junior doubles with Jack Pengelly, beating Joshua Kear and Alex King.

The Premier Singles event which is closed to the top 10 players with the highest winning averages probably provided the shock of the day with Wu Dong Lui playing his best ever table tennis, beating two seeds to win this event.

The super vets competition was won by Richard Hagger who beat Barry Thaine in three.

There was a really excellent victory in the girls’ singles with Natalie Wills defeating Katherine Shaw, the number one seed, in three very tight games.

Undoubtedly the match of the day on Saturday was the Division Three singles game which went the full distance with every game being close and eventually won by Alex King. The runner-up was Nick Revell.

The Division One and Two singles were won by Laurence Sanders and Rob Wood respectively, defeating opponents, Tracey and Des Hindle.

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