Bassett defeats flying Ryan in tough Wisbech Association final

Sport News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Sport News from the Fenland Citizen, fenlandcitizen.co.uk, @FenlandCit on Twitter

Wisbech and District Table Tennis Association held its 66th Annual Championships at their new dedicated centre at Pinnacle House for the first time on Saturday.

It was for the seniors this year as the junior tournament will be held towards the end of the season in May.

The championships were going to be more open with the absence of last year’s seeds 1 and 3. In the open singles there were four groups of six players, with two going through to the quarter-finals. Just three of the seeds made it through as the No 2 seed Richard Mussett was ousted by his team-mate Mark Pearman.

The player of his group was Ryan Ringer-Duffy, a very good county junior, who won all five of his games. In the quarters No 3 seed Brett Heppenstall went out to Mike Crowson and No 4 seed John Blyth fell to Steve Ely. Chad Bassett (No 1) made it through to the final, beating Crowson in three. The other finalist after two hard-fought five-end rounds was Ringer-Duffy. Bassett won a tough final 10-12, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8.

In the men’s doubles there were 12 pairs and No 1 seeds were John Blyth and Chad Bassett. In the quarter-finals No 2 seeds Peter Munch and Heppenstall went out to Craig Pack and Graham Sheppard in an exciting five-end game finishing 12-10. In the semi–finals they went out to Grant Brightey and Steve Ely. The final was close and the unseeded pairing of Brightey and Ely beat Blyth and Bassett 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6.

In the veteran 40 singles with 13 entrants No 4 seed Peter Munch went out to Steve Mason in a very close five-ender. In the quarters the three other seeds went out: No 1 seed Richard Mussett to Igor Scekalevs. No 2 John Blyth to Steve Ely and Mike Crowson (No 4) to Graham Sheppard. Mason and Ely were finalists.

A very exciting and hard fought final saw Mason win through 11-8, 6-11, 15-13, 16-18, 11-9.

In the veteran 50 singles Mason saw off No 1 seed Richard Mussett and so went through to the final as No 3 seed Mike Crowson withdrew in the semis. Seed No 2 John Blyth and No 4 Peter Munch met in the semi-final with Blyth going through to the final to defeat Mason 11-8, 15-13, 8-11, 12-10.

In the handicap singles newcomer Brett Heppenstall (on 2) was against last year’s winner Irmantas Kukuris on 16. Kukuris, having improved greatly this season, surprisingly won again 31-17.

In the consolation singles Chris Gay beat Peter Munch in a very close final 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 10-12, 12-10.