Table Tennis for All

Norman Booth Centre, Elderfield, Mulberry Green, Old Harlow, Harlow, CM17 0EY. Tel: 01279 438199

October Superleague

14 Oct 2009

by Keith Lesser
Wang Zheng (2) won the first super league of the season in a very entertaining evening’s table tennis. The standard in the final was a good quality with topspin’s away from the table, solid fishing & even serving each other off. Even at the top level, it shows a good serve can do damage. Po Huang Chen (1) played well to finish 2nd.
Does Chris Doran have Olympic potential?
With 2012 a stone throw away, questions will be asked by the Super League community if any potential Olympians were on site. We don’t know the answer for sure, but Doran is an excellent young player. I remember first playing Chris in a band one group at a Grand Prix (many years ago) and being ranked above him! Somewhat miffed after coming off the table losing 3-1, I was young enough myself to care about ranking points, never mind going out at the group stage! I also felt at the time (this is important) how refreshing it was to play an up and coming youngster with such a great attitude and friendly manner. Talent and a cool head will no doubt hold Doran in good stead for the future and apparently not bad at golf either. I forgot to mention in the same band one group he beat top seeded Neil Charles and went quite far in the tournament, even at this early stage in his TT career being one of the lowest ranked players in the event.
Doran lost to Eckersley in Round Two
Doran lost in Harlow Super League (HSL) in the second round to the in form Nigel Eckersley. Eck played out of his skin (and didn’t the room know about it). Doran must show in the future his steely determination alongside the ability to play chop. Recent losses against Euan Liddle (towards the end of last season) and Eck in HSL on 14/10 suggest otherwise. Quite astounding when you consider Doran’s great win in January’s British League (BL) match against player of the season Gareth Herbert. It’s a shame Liddle was in the States for the latest round of BL as it would have been nice to see the two 100% Division One South & Midlands players crunch each other (Liddle & Herbert). Herbert may have conceded more than 2 points in any one leg, which I am yet to see this season as TTK romp back towards the prem.
Matthew Syed’s most entertaining player of all time
Apparently on the verge of giving up table tennis, Matthew Syed’s kind words of encouragement in a recent Table Tennis News (TTN) gave Eckersley renewed energy for the game we all love. Nigel is a good bloke off the table, but on the table crikey, would you want to play him? Can’t say I’ve ever had the privilege but it looks like a nightmare. What a tricky customer, add to that the anecdotes. “You’re too old to play that shot, come on Eck, he can’t play chop, wicked Eck, zzzzzzzzzzzz”. A funny bloke, a great entertainer, but timing the outbursts to once a leg rather than every point might actually mean people remember the great table tennis being played rather than catchphrases.
Mauthoor has win of season so far
Umair Mauthoor beat Dong Da Quin (5) gaining a maximum victory. Mauthoor has an awfully powerful forehand now and was even complaining of soreness. This was after last weekend’s successful BL for Fellows Cranleigh in Division 2. Dong who started his BL career in 0809 with a great win against David Meads that surprised his team.
HSL provided too tough a challenge for UM, with Eck ending his run abruptly in the quarters. At 9-8 up and 2-0 down, Eck got a “wicked” net and Umair kicked the adjacent table with some force. I heard murmurs from the crowd saying, “I hope he has broken his foot and that the scoring table is ok”. Needles to say yellow cards should have been produced (but weren’t) and at one stage it looked as though a punch up would ensue. What a kick denting the scoring table with ferocious venom. This eventually died down and the Northern visitor who now resides in Sussex took the match 3-1. Nigel will look to play more HSL. That is if Barry allows him back and if he can tie it in with his South East of England ETTA responsibilities.
Wicked Shot Eck, you are in the semis!
Eck followed his gigantic quarter final win against Umair Mauthoor by pulling out with a sore back and took 4th place. Barry Granger is quoted as to saying he expects all players to finish and being over 50 isn’t an excuse. The latest copy of TTN is now out, available in all good stockists!
Lesser, you Muppet turn up on time!
Lesser played aright actually, winning all matches after a close 1st match loss with Martin Kubrt. Lesser was seeded 16 originally but turned up 10 mins late and had to forfeit his seeded position. Regardless, Mikael Papantoniou beat the new 16 seed Fred Dove and marched through to the top 16. Mikael has improved, but a steward’s enquiry is needed into Costas losing to his son on purpose in order to give him ranking points. Surely this is not allowed.
So till next time at HSL, cheers to all the organisers, Ross, Barry, Fred & of course Neil who all did a sensational job,. Lets not forget the great cottage pie in the kitchen and the umpiring skills of all concerned.