League championships get under way

TABLE TENNIS: The Beccles and District Table Tennis League, sponsored by Alan Cook Accommodations, held its preliminary rounds of the league championships at Hales Village Hall, with the finals night the following week.

Monday evening saw the handicap events – open, over-60 and under-60 – contested on a new format of best of three legs up to 21 points, with each player being given a handicap.

The open event was played on straight knock-out. Adrian Key starting 0-10 against Joe Herne won 21-18, 21-20.

Alan Harper eventually made it to the final after beating Gordon Howes. Starting 14-0, Alan won 19-21, 21-19, 21-13.

The over-60 event was played in two groups with the winners and runner-ups progressing the semi-finals.

This time Alan Harper (10-0) lost to Doug Cheer 19-21, 17-21 but Gordon Howes made it the final after beating Adrian Key 21-12, 21-19 after having a point start.

The under-60 event followed the same pattern. Oly Howes squeezed past Barry Fortune 21-13, 19-21, 21-20 after Fortune started 8-0 to play Richard Herne in the final. He beat Lester Borrett 21-14, 21-14, who had a 6-0 start.

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The Pot Luck Doubles was also played in groups.

Group A winners Gordon Howes/Luke Glaysher met James Skilleter/Trevor Cooke. Howes/Glaysher won the first leg 21-17 and had a match point in the second before losing 22-24, 19-21.

Group B winners Oly Howes/Joe Herne lost to Barney Garrod/Alf Stubbs 21-15, 21-9.

The 21-up singles was drawn out on the night with no seeding.

Barney Garrod easily made it to the final from the bottom half and will play Ian Brown, who had to work hard to beat James Skilleter 21-15, 21-19.

The main events – open singles and open doubles – took place on the Wednesday.

Four singles groups saw the winners and runner-ups progress.

Notable performances from the groups was Barry Fortune’s win over Adrian Key, and Doug Cheer narrowly got the better of Luke Glaysher by eight points. Both players won one match and four legs each.

The No 1 and No 2 seeds, James Skilleter and Ian Brown, easily progressed to the semi-finals.

Skilleter meets Oly Howes after Howes beat his father Gordon 15-13, 11-4, 10-12, 11-8, and Brown plays last season’s winner, Greg Collett, who got the better of Barney Garrod.

The final of the doubles will be played between James Skilleter/Greg Collett and Barney Garrod/Ian Brown.

The latter beat Adrian Key and Luke Glaysher by 11-2, 11-8, 11-13, 11-7.

But the match of the night was a repeat of last season’s final between Gordon and Oly Howes and Skilleter/Collett.

The Howes pair found themselves 2-0 and 8-4 down when they rallied well and put their opponents under pressure to draw level.

However, they could not keep the momentum going as Skilleter/Collett made a good start in the fifth and hung on to win 11-4.