GALLERY: Colchester & District Table Tennis League Tournament

Wudong Liu
Colchester Tournament Pictures

Wudong Liu Colchester Tournament Pictures - Credit: Contributed

Jane Li of Tollgate became the youngest-ever Colchester Ladies champion and, in doing so, completed a unique treble of titles, winning the Cadet (U15), Junior (U18) and Senior titles at last weekend’s Colchester & District Table Tennis League Tournament.

Held at the Holmwood House School Sports Hall, Jane became the first person to achieve this feat and also won the Junior Doubles.

Her opponent in the ladies’ final was Aimee Sparkes of Great Horkesley and, as expected, the final was a close, five-set roller coaster.

Li took the first set with Sparkes coming back strongly to take the next two ends, before Li won the final two.

Li, pictured right, also won the Cadets on the Saturday as well as the Junior Girls’ against runners-up Sam Hume (St James) and Gracie Edwards (H20 Rowhedge) respectively. To add to her silverware she completed a memorable weekend teaming up with Tollesbury’s Ben Page to beat favourites Jermaine Fearon and Josh Sidki

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The men’s final was no less exciting, in fact it was the seventh consecutive time that the title has gone the full, five set distance, each time producing a different winner.

Defending champion Kieran Lally was up against twice-Ipswich Men’s winner Jake Collins.

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He had recently undergone eye surgery and, following the loss of the first set, was forced to apply eye drops before returning to take the second end. Collins moved through the gears to take the third end but Lally struck back in the fourth.

However, the trademark ‘head-roll’ loops were in evidence and the crowd waited with bated breath for the final set.

This proved something of an anti-climax as Collins opened up a 6-0 lead that Lally could not overcome.

Lally teamed up with Greg Green to beat Tollgate club-mates Andy Warner and Nigel Hodder in the Men’s Doubles in three straight sets.

The younger pairing have never been beaten since joining forces two years ago and only dropped one set in this year’s final.

Gill Locke (St James) and Annabelle Rodriguez (Tollgate) were beaten by the scratch pairing of Aimee Sparkes and Lilo Roesch (University of Essex), whose original partners withdrew from the weekend due to the flu virus in the Ladies’ Doubles to win another close five-set encounter on the night.

The mixed doubles went the way of the Ipswich pairing of Aimee Sparkes and Jake Collins who beat holders for the past two years Gill Locke and James Denyer.

Andy Warner won the Veteran’s 40-plus title for the first time, while Charlie Fulcher (Tollgate) retained the Vets 50-plus beating John Andrews (H20 Rowhedge). Ian Whiteside (Pegasus) retained the 60-plus event.

Jermaine Fearon defeated Josh Sidki in the Junior Singles final.

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