Table tennis season ends with thrilling final tournament

Torbay Weekly

An excellent entry of 55 local players took part in eleven separate events, 197 matches in total were played throughout the day, with many of the finals being held back for the Finals and Awards Night.

The events played to a conclusion at Torbay Leisure Centre saw Poppy Dayment win the Under 11 competition, Charun Tatom take the Division four award and Jason Prescott was the third division winner. The Ladies doubles was won by Sonja Ryland and Jackie Whitehorn, the super veterans final will be contested by Dennis Gibbs and Martin Dilkes at a later date.

Dennis Gibbs retained the Henry Pearce cup, his 19th veterans title, with an excellent display of attacking table tennis, hitting through Kevin Nicholls’ superb defence 12-10, 11-9, 7-11,11-5.

The second division singles was eventually won by Torre Titans’ Christopher Harper who defeated Torbay Academy’s Stuart Shipley 14-16, 11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 12-10.

The Mixed Doubles, was a top-quality encounter in which the Buzzards pair of Sonja Ryland and Kevin Nicholls prevailed, defeating the Batmen’s Naomi Jackson and Mark Burridge 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7. The Men’s doubles saw the number one seeds, Herbie Sage and Kevin Nicholls, defeat Dennis Gibbs and Bob Parkins 14-12, 11-6, 11-6.

The fifth match of the night was the ladies’ singles which pitched two ladies who had just locked horns in the mixed doubles. Naomi Jackson was able to get revenge for her earlier defeat with a fine victory over Sonja Ryland, which went to a deciding fifth game, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4.

So on to the final encounter, another NA Batmen / NA Buzzards clash. Veteran Batman, Dennis Gibbs, who first won this title in 1977 was looking for his 18th Burton Cup victory, his opponent, youngster Herbie Sage, was looking for his first men’s singles title, Dennis had collected 10 before Herbie was born!

There were flashes of brilliance by both players as Herbie took the first two games. Dennis dug in and took the next two and it was neck and neck in the fifth until two excellent forehand winners in a row from Herbie gave him the edge, winning 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8.