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There was a substantial increase in entries for this year’s championships, with 60 players entering as compared with 44 last year.  Total event entries added up to about 160.  The competition was played over 5 weekday evenings, plus a Sunday afternoon for the Cadet and Junior events.
Day 1, Tuesday 23rd April
Mixed Doubles:  Eight pairs took part in this event and it was played on a single group double elimination basis, which means that a team has to lose twice to be eliminated from the competition. There were a number of close matches, with Gill Toumbas and Ian Francis featuring in several of them.  They beat Joan Bayman and Abdul Olagboyega 11-9 in the fifth in their first match before losing to June Nelson and Semi Idowu in their second.  They then came back from 2 games to 1 down to win 11-7 in the fifth against Faith Frankel and Kwai Kam and went on to beat Sandy Nash and Gordon Izatt 11-9 in the fifth.  They were finally eliminated by Tumay Ekrem and Anatol Gasiorowski, who had lost their third match 11-7 in the fifth against June and Semi.  This proved to be the only loss for Tumay and Anatol, who went on to meet June and Semi again in the final deciding match, where they managed to reverse their earlier defeat to this time win 17-15 in the fourth! Club Champions: Tumay Ekrem and Anatol Gasiorowski.
Veterans Over 40 Singles:  Most of the competitors had favoured a best-of-5 format for all rounds of the evening’s events but it became evident that this may have been the wrong decision, as the competition continued very late into the evening and had to be postponed when the quarter final stage was reached.  The eight players who had reached the quarter finals (to be played soon) were: Jack Boult and Kwai Kam from group 1, Iain Francis and Alan Pearse from group 2, Semi Idowu and Atanas Shalev from group 3 plus Gordon Izatt and Sandy Nash from group 4.  We will report the outcome of this event when completed.
Day 2, Wednesday 24th April
Open Doubles:  This event was affected by the withdrawal of Semi Idowu and Terry Bateman, last year’s runners up, due to Terry being unwell but it was still a good competition.  Peter and Joan Bayman reached one semi-final, after beating Steve Cross and Terry Wilson 16-14 in the fourth, but lost in three against David He and Abdul Olagboyega with two of the games going to 11-9.  The other semi-final saw a win in three straight for Iain Francis and Anatol Gasiorowski over Albert Francis and Michel Moore, with two of the games again going to 11-9.  In the final, Iain and Anatol took the first game 11-8 but David and Abdul fought back to win the next three games and take the title.  Anatol had to settle for second place this year, after winning the event last year with Huseyin Cakir. Club Champions: David He and Abdul Olagboyega.
Day 3, Thursday 25th April

Ladies Singles: This was won by Tumay Ekrem, for her second title in this year’s championships.  She remained undefeated, with June Nelson taking second place. Club Champion:  Tumay Ekrem

Open Singles:  This event saw 21 entries, with one withdrawal leaving a convenient 5 groupsof 4 players each.  The group stages saw some close matches, with Kwai Kam beating Tumay Ekrem by just 12-10 in the decider and Tumay just beating young Vasi Kaskov after losing one game 15-17 to him, a good effort by Vasi against a strong opponent. The other groups were fairly straightforward, although Iain Francis had a narrow win over Abdul by 11-9 in the decider in their group.  The knockout stages saw Semi Idowu beat Albert Francis by 16-14 in the decider and then Jack Boult by 14-12 in the decider!  Tumay Ekrem beat David He but then found Dob Tokov too strong for her in the next round.  Atanas beat young Adam Saraoui in a good match but hen he also found Dob too hot to handle, losing 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 in the semi-final.  Kwai Kam had beaten Iain Francis in another close match but then lost to Semi 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 in the other semi-final.  In the final between Semi and Dob there were some great rallies but Dob was relentless and ran out the winner in three straight. Club Champion:  Dob Topov
Day 4, Friday 26th April
This was billed as the fun day of the championships and it proved to be just that.  A brand new event was introduced and was a big hit. 
Sandpaper Bat Singles: This was based on the format and used exactly the same bats and balls as those used in January’s World Championships of Ping Pong at Alexandra Palace, for which three qualifying events had been held at Ellenborough.  The ‘double point’ rule was also included, which gave each player one chance per match, on their serve, to pick up a different coloured ball and, if they won the rally, they would score two points instead of one (if they lost the rally the opponent still only scored one point).  This could prove crucial if used tactically and added an extra bit of excitement to the matches.  This event attracted 24 entries, the highest number for any singles event of the championships.  Six groups were played followed by the knockout rounds and the unfamiliar bats produced some interesting and sometimes unexpected results.  Group 1 saw winner David He go through with Albert Francis; group 2 saw Anatol Gasiorowski through, with young Kyle Kam showing great form to take second place; Group 3 saw Peter Bayman through as winner, ahead of second place Iain Francis; group 4 was won by Ian Herriott with Steve Cross second; Group 5 saw another young cadet player Aaron Fernandez win through ahead of Atanas Shalev, who Aaron beat in straight games; Group 6 saw Gordon Izatt win through with yet another youngster, Luke Freeman, going to a decider in all his matches but fighting through for second place.  The knockout stages, surprisingly, saw almost all the matches won in straight games as some players clearly began to master the unfamiliar bats better than others.  Atanas Shalev got better and better, beating Kyle Kam, Peter Bayman and David He on his way to the final.  In the other half of the draw, Ian Herriot beat Iain Francis, Aaron Fernandez and Albert Francis to meet Atanas in the final.  The final was hard fought but in the end Atanas proved just a little too consistent for Ian Herriott and ran out the winner in straight games despite his earlier loss to young Aaron Fernandez, who had been beaten by Ian!  This event was enjoyed so much that there were calls for us to hold more of these ‘ping pong’ events at other times throughout the year (so watch this space!). Club Champion: Atanas Shalev .
Drawn Doubles: This is the other fun event, as nobody knows who their partner will be until the draw is done on the day. This was run on a knockout basis throughout and saw some strong pairs go out. Abdul Olagboyega and David Wilson went through the top half of the draw, beating Atanas Shalev and Faith Frankel, Paul Kail and Gordon Izatt then, in the semi-final, Joan Bayman and David He. Terry Wilson and Peter Bayman beat Anatol Gasiorowski and Kyle Kam and then came back from losing the first game 3-11 against Kwai Kam and Steve Cross to win 11-9 in the decider. In the final Terry and Peter won the first game 11-5 but Abdul and David came back to level the score. In the decider Terry and Peter changed ends at 5-1 ahead but Abdul and David fought back again and took the game 11-7 to win the title. Club Champions: Abdul Olagboyega and David Wilson.
Day 5, Sunday 28th April
Cadet Singles:  This event had 16 entries and produced some excellent competitive play.  Five groups produced ten players to go through to the knockout stages, where two preliminary matches saw Rayan Ansari beat Jeffrey Man and Kyle Kam beat Tyreid Savage.  This took us to the quarter finals, in which Jackson Mc Farlane, Vasi Kasakov, Kyle Kam and Max Gonpot came through as winners against Chisom Halliday, Rayan Ansari, Aaron Fernandez and Seth Mayuga respectively.  In the semi-finals, Max and Vasi had straight wins against Kyle and Jackson to set up the final, in which Max took the second game 15-13 but Vasi came through as winner by 3 games to 1.  Club Champion:  Vasi Kasakov
Junior Singles:  Eight entries here produced two groups of 4, with the top 2 in each group progressing to the semi-finals.  Adam Saraoui and Max Gonpot came through from group 1 and Vasi Kasakov and Rayan Ansari from group 2.  In one semi-final Max met Vasi for the second time in the day and, although Max only lost by 10-12 in one game, Vasi again proved a bit too strong.  In the other semi-final, Adam defeated Rayan.  The final between Adam and Vasi produced some excellent play and close games but Adam came through to win in straight games, 12-10, 11-5, 11-8.   Club Champion:  Adam Saraoui.
Junior Doubles:  Eight pairs contested the doubles and the group matches produced four semi-finalists.  In one semi-final Max Gonpot and Rayan Ansari proved too strong for their opponents, Jackson McFarlane and Jeffrey Man.  In the other semi, The winner and runner-up in the Junior Singles were paired together, so Adam and Vasi might have expected an easy win, but Richard Huang and Seth Mayagu gave them a good match and even took the second game 11-9 before Adam and Vasi came back to beat them.  In the final, Max and Rayan got off to a good start, taking the first game 11-9, but Vasi and Adam again dug in to win the remaining games and take the title.   Club Champions:  Adam Saraoui and Vasi Kasakov.
Day 6 Monday 29th April
Ladies Doubles:  This event produced the surprise of the championships.  With just three pairs entered, the Division 2 pairing of June Nelson & Tumay Ekrem looked to be be the odds-on favourites, with Rosetta Delisle & Cara Skinner seemingly destined to fight it out for second place against Gill Toumbas & Joan Bayman.  Rosetta and Cara lost their first match against June and Tumay but then managed to beat Gill and Joan in straight games, although only by 14-12 in the first.  June and Tumay just needed to beat Gill and Joan to take the title but Gill and Joan caused an upset by winning the match 11-6 in the deciding game.  This led to a countback situation with Gill and Joan coming third due to their earlier straight games loss and Rosetta and Cara taking the title by just 6 points when points won and lost were taken into account.  Unfortunately, Tumay had to leave quickly and missed the prize presentation and photo. Club Champions:  Rosetta Delisle and Cara Skinner.
Veterans Doubles:  This event was reduced to 12 teams by a few now-shows so some pairings had to be adjusted at the last minute.  The group matches produced some great play but few real surprises and eight of the teams progressed to the quarter finals.  Peter Bayman and Terry Wilson were outmatched by Dob Topov and Lech Bogdanowicz, as were Rob Costa and Rosetta by June and Tumay and Louise Johnston and David Wilson by David He and Abdul.  Alan Pearse and Thanos Morphitis put up a fight against Iain Francis and Ian Herriott but lost in the deciding game.  In the semi-finals, Dob and Lech made short work of June and Tumay whilst David and Abdul had a real fight on their hands after losing the first game 8-11 to Iain and Ian but came back to win by the narrowest of margins at 12-10 and 14-12 in the final two games. The final was less of a close match, with Dob and Lech continuing their dominance to win the against David and Abdul without having dropped a single game throughout the event.  Club Champions:  Dob Topov and Lech Bogdanowicz.
Vets 60+ Singles:  This final event of the championships had 12 entries.  With two of the favourites, Atanas Shalev and Terry Bateman having had to withdraw, the field was left wide open.  The group match results were somewhat predictable but David He scraped a very close win over June Nelson in their group and the two Wilsons, David and Terry, had a close battle in theirs, with David just coming out on top by 11-8 in the decider.  Peter Bayman scraped through by 15-13 in the second against Rob Costa and by 11-9 in the third against Thanos Morphitis.  Alan Pearse and Arnold DeSouza had a more straightforward passage in the remaining group.  In the quarter finals David Wilson beat Thanos after losing the first game 11-13, David He beat Alan Pearse in a close match, June Nelson proved too strong for Arnold De Souza and Peter Bayman beat terry Wilson 11-7 in the decider.  The semi-finals saw June Nelson still on form and beating David Wilson convincingly whilst David He beat Peter Bayman in a close match.  The final saw a re-match between June Nelson and David He, both by now quite exhausted after a long evening of competition.  David took the first two games and, with applause coming from the spectators, thought he had won but had to be reminded that it was best of five!  June was not finished yet and fought very hard before finally losing to David by 11-13 in the last game.     Club Champion:  David He
Tournament Secretary Peter Bayman would like to thank everyone concerned for making this year’s championships a success and congratulations to all the trophy winners.  Special thanks must go to all those who helped to prepare the club each evening and to help in many other ways.  A special mention to Joan Bayman, who was there helping every day and to Charlie Izatt who was not only there every day but enabled Peter to play in the competition by expertly taking control of the competition when Peter was busy playing.  Thanks Charlie!

Well done to all those who took part and a special mention to the juniors, whose standard of play was excellent and whose behaviour and sportsmanship was a big credit to all of them.

(All pictures taken by Peter and Joan Bayman)


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