In a sure sign that autumn is here, the 2019/2020 table tennis season got underway last Monday with the Kennon Trophy and Plate handicap competitions being contested.
Both competitions are played over nine sets of singles and each player is allocated a set number of handicap points in order to provide a level match.
In the Championship contended Plate competition, youth coach Dudley Jackson introduced another Trimpell fifth team, the Falcons, and courtesy of Garstang B conceding the away fixture they soared through to the semi-finals.
Also in the opening round of the plate competition, the Trimpell Eagles won a close match against the newlyformed Kens Richardson tribute team called Ken’s Crowd in a narrow 5-3 victory.
Ken’s Crowd got off to an early 1-3 lead with wins from Ethan Packard and Jack Edwards.
Eagles then managed to tie the match at 3-3 with a memorable 15-13 win in the fifth end against man-of-the-match Ethan Packard.
In the semi-finals, Trimpell Falcons welcomed Trimpell Eagles with the Eagles winning comfortably 1-7.
In the second semi-final Barton beat an invigorated 3-1-5 Table Tennis side 5-3 in a the closest encounter of the week.
In the Kennon Trophy, newly-promoted Trimpell Dragons welcomed a strong Garstang A side.
The home team struck first as Bethany Ellis held off the challenge of Adam Dennison.
Graham White then narrowly lost to Joe Dennison 11-9 in the fifth game after a courageous display.
The visitors then began to show their strength and Tom Clark sealed a 5-2 victory for the visitors and a safe passage to the semi-final stage.
St Luke’s A/B welcomed Trimpell Bulldogs in the match of the week.
David Hewitt was in scintillating form, winning against Phil Goymer and Graeme Moorby with wins for both John Haworth and Martin Wakelin against Adam Ordonez taking St Luke’s to a favourable 4-1 advantage.
As the tide turned, narrow wins for Moorby against Wakelin and Howarth were followed by Ordonez winning against Hewitt saw Bulldogs tie the match at 4-4.
In the final pairing of the evening, Phil Goymer proved too much for Haworth with Bulldogs sealing a memorable 4-5 away victory.
The man-of-the-match award was shared by St Luke’s A/B player Hewitt and Bulldogs’ players Goymer, and Moorby each with two points.
The handicap format of the Kennon Trophy was brought into question in the semi finals as last year’s beaten finalist Trimpell Raptors eased through to the final, winning 5-0 against Trimpell Bulldogs.
Last season’s winners Garstang A also had a similar passage through to the final in their encounter with St Luke’s A, winning 6-0 and leaving players in the defeated teams bewildered as to how to make any inroads in the competition.
Meanwhile, Toby Ellis competed for the first time in a Grand Prix table tennis event held at Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre, UCLAN Preston.
At the age of 13 he was the youngest competitor and with no senior points played band five and six.
He put in a mature and controlled performance and fought to win both groups, winning a total prize money of £130.
The solid form continued on Sunday as the youngster won all his matches, again taking the Cadet boys (U15) and Junior boys (U18) titles at the Garstang 2 Star Tournament held at Garstang Academy. Bethany, Toby’s sister won the girl’s Under 13 competition.
Toby has now won every cadet competition he has entered (Hull 2 Star, Sycamore 2 Star and Garstang 2 Star) so far this season, come a runner up in The Ellesmere Port Cup, won two Grand Prix bandings and will now as a result be ranked in the top five in Under 15 boys in England.
Other local junior representation at Garstang were Jess Felton, Anna Walsh, Adam and Joe Dennison and Olivia and Ethan Walling.
There were also more junior successes at the recent Table Tennis England Sycamore 2 Star Tournament held at Carlton Le Willows Academy Nottingham.
Toby Ellis’s confident play took him to the final in both Cadet (under 15) and Junior (under 18) boy’s competitions.
From a very strong turnout of 22 cadets, Toby beat the number one seed 3-1 to win the final.
In the tougher older category from a 36 player turnout, Toby fought hard to win again the number one seed of that age group and came out as runner up in the final, a very impressive result for the 13 year old from Morecambe who was seeded seventh in the junior competition.
Bethany, Toby’s sister won the girls under 13 competitions, also beating the number one seeded girl there.
Adam and Joseph Dennison also attended the tournament with a great result for Joseph Dennison in winning the under 13 boys’ title.