New generation of table tennis players impress
Just when the older generation were getting used to having it all their own way at the Dereham and District Table Tennis League annual champion-ships, along comes a batch of new blood to upset the applecart.
Just when the older generation were getting used to having it all their own way at the Dereham and District Table Tennis League annual champion-ships, along comes a batch of new blood to upset the applecart. And it was certainly refreshing to witness.
The Open Singles was won by Chris Durrant, proving that now he can more than mix it with anyone in the league. His opponent Keith Hunt had enjoyed a good tournament to reach the final and he took early leads in the first two sets, but Chris didn't let him get away, coming back to take the first two sets 11-9, 11-9.
The third set was even closer, with Chris always seeming to have the upper hand, forcing Keith back from the table with strong attacking play and running out the winner 15-13 in the third set.
The Division Two final also featured a young player, Matthew Hubbard of Bintree, who, now aged 18, has improved his game enormously this season. He faced Colin Smith, a player he had lost to in all their previous meetings, and in the first set it was Smith who won 14-12.
A year ago this would probably have been the undoing of Matthew, but he showed how his game has matured, mixing steady play with a series of fine attacking strokes, and he came back to take the next three sets 11-8, 13-11, 11-8 to win the division's trophy.
In the juniors events the U14 final featured two players new to the league this season, brothers Matt and Phil Denton.
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Having already wrapped up the U17 event, Phil overcame his brother in four sets 14, 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5.
The final was watched by many of the more seasoned campaigners who appreciated how much these two have developed their games in their first league season and championships.
Division Three saw another two team mates in the final, Jon Cheyette and Alan Ruttledge of Hunworth. And this one turned out to be the closest final of the night. With the first two sets shared, Jon took the third 11-9, Alan the fourth 12-10, and at 10-8 in the fifth an unfortunate mis-serve by Alan saw Jon take the match.
Paul Durrant won the Veterans' competition, beating Nigel Houseago in the final, and father/son combo Paul and Chris Durrant beat brother combo Paul and Steve Barrett in the Open Doubles. The Handicap event was also won by the Open Singles winner Chris Durrant, who beat Paul Barrett.