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Wisbech Table Tennis Championships gets best entry in more than 20 years

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The Wisbech Championships was staged at the new venue of Littlechild’s Farm in Leverington.

Some 52 people contested more than 200 games over two days. This was the largest entry for at least 20 years and the first since pre-pandemic.

The main Open Singles event was won by top seed Wayne Mason over the unseeded Paul Rich in three ends.

After the group games were decided, the knockout rounds began and it was here where Wayne started his route to the final. Meanwhile, Paul had a much harder journey. In the quarter-finals, he put out two seed Brett Heppenstall. In the semis he beat four seed Owen Turner in a very tight game, 12-10, fifth end. However, this was to be the end of his endeavours as Wayne took full control in the final to win in three ends.

The Mens Doubles final saw top seeds Wayne Mason and Dale Parnell win in three well contested ends against two seeds Brett Heppenstall and Alan Ashberry.

The Ladies singles event saw favourites Carole Parker and Judy Hodgson meet in a very tight final, Carole eventually edging through 11-9 in the fifth.

Mixed doubles was another tournament where Carole Parker found herself against Judy Hodgson. This time it was with partner Owen Turner, whilst Judy partnered eventual Open winner Wayne Mason. Once again this was a great battle of five ends, with the Turner/Parker combination finally coming through 11-8.

In the Over-40s, some strong matches saw Owen Turner beating Steve Goodale, Derek Kiddle and Ian Owen to reach the final. Meanwhile Brett Heppenstall overcame Guntars Briedis, Peter Munch and Paul Rich to do the same. The final was to be another close game and went the distance until Owen eventually won, 12-10 in the fifth end.

The Over-50s saw 15 entrants. Top seed Alan Ashberry was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Igors Scekalevs, who in turn, succumbed to Ian Owen in the semis. Two seed Derek Kiddle was knocked out in the first round by Paul Rich, but through the middle of the pack came Keith Phillips, beating Paul in the semis to face Ian in the final, Ian winning in four ends.

The Over-60s also fielded a fine line-up of 13 players, with once again some excellent games. Steve Goodale beat Alan Ashberry and Keith Phillips beat Derek Kiddle in the semi-finals, both played to five ends. The final was also very close, but Keith came through against Steve in yet another five ender.

Seven players fought out the Over-70s. Alan Ashberry beat Peter Munch in one semi-final, whilst Chris Gay beat Graham Sheppard in the other. In the final, Chris fought back to take the second, only to see Alan take control over the next two for a deserved four set win.

The round robin Under-12s was won by the unbeaten Callam Burton, with the runners-up Freya Rose Sims and Jessica Patrick.

The Cadet event was also played round robin and here Callam Burton was again unbeaten to win, with Rhianna Patrick runner-up.

Handicap singles found that man again, Wayne Mason, coming through to win 31-26 over Kevin Buck in the final.

Consolation singles (for those knocked out in the open group rounds) saw Alan Ashberry beat Steve Goodale in the final.

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