Thanks to Adrian and Sue Reeves, and Antony Moore, for the pictures.
Under 15 Runner-up Archie Hillier
Under 15 Winner Oliver Kierans
Doubles Runners-Up Morgan Smith and Paddy Shephard
Doubles Winners Brian Hayes and Cameron Brealey
Division 2 Singles
Division 2 Singles Runner-Up Steve Coltman
Division 2 Singles Winner Jill Wilson
Handicap Runner-Up Brian Hayes
Handicap Winner Barry Ross
Veterans Runner-Up Keith Dickenson
Veterans Winner Paddy Shephard
Singles Runner-Up Brian Hayes
Singles Winner Ed Slot
Division 1 Runners-Up IBM A
Division 1 Winners IBM B
Division 2 Runners-Up South Wonston D
Division 2 Winners South Wonston B
Hursley Shield Runners-Up Kings C
Hursley Shield Winners Five Tees B
Team Eliminating Cup Runners-Up Hursley A
Team Eliminating Cup Winners IBM B
Conder-Winnall Cup Runners-Up Kings B
Conder-Winnall Cup Winners Kings A
Sly (Giantkiller's) Cup Mike Richardson (received by Chris
Owen Booker (Top Average) Cup Winner Paddy Shephard
Arthur Richards (Services to League) Cup Winner Adrian Reeves
Winchester Table Tennis League: Finals Night 2014
A Saturday evening in late April - the only place you'd want to be is Itchen Abbas and Avington Village Hall for the Winchester
Table Tennis League's Finals and Presentations Evening. The weather and Village Hall always close to perfect, the table tennis
always of the very highest quality.
The highlights were the Open Doubles and the Open Singles Finals, and Adrian Reeves' much-regretted farewell from the Committee after 25 years
of exceptional service.
Adrian has played many parts, ranging from League Secretary to Tournament Heats and Finals Night Organiser,
from Handbook editing to Chairman, and from HTTA Rep to President: always with a sense of fun and good humour,
and with painstaking attention to detail while keeping a great awareness of the bigger picture.
Helping to found and run Kings TT Club, bringing table tennis to a wider public in Winchester,
is a perfect example of his determination to help to make the Winchester area a better place to live in.
Adrian is always happy to confess that he owes a lot to his wife Sue for her support and help over the years, and we do, too!
Under 15 Junior Singles
Oliver Kierans (South Wonston)
Archie Hillier (South Wonston)
11-6, 11-4, 11-6
Ollie Kieran has been making waves in his first real season in Division 2, and caused a shock last week by beating Cameron Brealey,
himself a rapidly improving Division 1 player. Archie on the other hand has yet to make his League debut, and playing in front of
a good-sized and knowledgeable crowd was bound to crimp his style a bit. He showed
what he can do with some excellent forehand hits - but Ollie's varied collection of serves often undid him before he could get
properly into the rally. It will be interesting to see how both players develop over the coming year!
Brian Hayes (Castle)
& Cameron Brealey (Kings)
beat Morgan Smith (South Wonston)
& Paddy Shephard (South Wonston)
12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 2-11, 11-9
Paddy Shephard and Morgan Smith had been undefeated all season as a Doubles pair in the League - it was going to be interesting to
see if the scratch pairing of Brian Hayes and Cameron Brealey (from different clubs) could make an impression where so many others had failed.
Cameron has only been playing table tennis for 3 years, so his progress has been dramatic - especially as he's a Veteran, when
people are traditionally expected to have stopped learning new tricks! Brian started playing relatively late, too, as a 16-year-old,
and has since turned himself into one of the best players in the Winchester/Southampton area.
In what Adrian Reeves described as perhaps the best match he's seen at Finals Night since the move to Itchen Abbas 6 years ago, the action was soon
fast and furious. Brian Hayes is a very exuberant and physical player, with great ball skills and will to win, and he was very ably backed up by
Cameron, who certainly wasn't awed by the apparently unstoppable pair at the other end of the table. Brian and Cameron punched and crunched
their way to a 2-0 lead, but then Paddy and Morgan got settled in, and when they took the 4th at 11-2 it seemed highly probable they'd go on
to clinch things in the 5th. But no - the 5th was as close as any; either team would have been worthy winners, but Brian and Cameron squeezed home in front.
Division 2 Singles
Jill Wilson (Kings)
beat Steve Coltman (Swanmore)
11-7, 12-10, 11-6
A change of tempo for the Division 2 Final. Jill is one of the season's greatest improvers, comparing her scores this season against the
same players last season, but honours in her matches with Steve this season had been even. A five-game match seemed likely, but in the event Jill
was the more comfortable of the two and played with greater fluency.
Barry Ross (Kings)
beat Brian Hayes (Castle)
What does the Handicap prove? Nothing, probably, but it can produce an exciting and close match, which is what we want to see! In this case,
as it turned out, +11 starts might seem slightly generous towards Barry, but I don't think any other number would have made more sense.
Normally if one player is a lot better than the other, his or her best strategy is to play ultra-cautiously and rely on the other
to make the errors. But Brian doesn't really do cautious, and Barry has some very strong attacking shots for a
middle-ranking Division 1 player. This was a good battle which might have gone to a fascinating third game - the crowd would have enjoyed that.
Paddy Shephard (South Wonston)
Keith Dickenson (IBM)
6-11, 5-11, 9-11
Keith Dickenson has had a very good season for IBM B, but Paddy's style doesn't seem to suit him very well. Keith's best shots are hit low and
hard with little top-spin and little net clearance - so that if his timing is slightly off, the net gets clipped or the end of the table gets missed.
Paddy mixed things up, gave Keith little opportunity to settle, and always looked as if he was in command.
Ed Slot (IBM)
Brian Hayes (Castle)
11-9, 6-11, 11-13, 11-5, 11-6
This was the showcase event of the evening, and was a real cracker. Ed was the current title holder and had no intention of
giving it up. Brian had already shown us his talent and skill in the Doubles and Handicap Finals, and had actually beaten Ed off Scratch
in the Handicap Semifinal. Ed takes the Handicap seriously - he was last year's winner, and had his first Finals Night
win in the Handicap as long ago as 2007 at the long-since-demolished Civil Service Club at Flowerdown - so losing that Semifinal meant something.
The big question was: was Brian at an advantage from having played twice already, to get a feel for the atmosphere and settle his nerves a bit, while Ed had had no such warm-up -
or had Brian used up too much energy already? Brian's game involves a lot of running back and sideways, and looks incredibly exhausting.
It turned out to be an extremely energetic match, and the longer it went on, the more Ed benefitted from his greater calmness and endurance.
He runs half-marathons at a good pace, and Brian maybe doesn't. But don't get the impression Ed let Brian burn himself out- both players went
at it flat out, and there were some really astonishing hard-hitting ralleys. Take a look at this YouTube video
if you want to get some idea!
Ed won in the end, but it was a magnificent performance from both players. The clapometer went off the scale for the first time in the history
of Itchen Abbas and Avington Village Hall.
|Arthur Richards ('outstanding achievement')|| Adrian Reeves (Kings)
|Owen Booker (top average in any Division, and played at least 75% of matches)|| Paddy Shephard (South Wonston)
| Colin Sly Giantkiller (most surprising win by an underdog)|| Mike Richardson (Five Tees B)