Individual Handicap Singles
Post date: May 11, 2021 9:32:24 PM
The winter table tennis season may be coming to a close, but Lawrence Stacey showed no dip in form as he claimed his second GTTA Individual Handicap trophy in 3 years. The tournament is a popular one, first contested back in 1939 and with the exception of World War II and period between 1961-65, has been competed every year since. Despite being run under the handicap system and theoretically being a level playing field, it boasts an illustrious list of past winners including Bert Brenton, Ron Marquis, Dave Rihoy and Garry Dodd.
The unpredictability of the handicap system was evident early on as Jenny Powell, off a 14-point start playing to 21, overcame Stacey 2-1 in the group stage, though both progressed to the next round after beating Ian Le Page. In the quarter finals, Powell continued her good form in impressively blowing away the challenge of Erik Teteruck 21-4, 21-11, while Stacey, Andy Gill and Jez Powell also progressed, albeit in tighter matches. The semi-finals pitted Jenny Powell against the experienced Division 1 player Andy Gill and despite a +12 advantage, Gill's variety of left-handed spin serves and forehand loops were too much for his Division 4 opponent. On the next table, Stacey had a ding-dong match with Jez Powell, featuring some entertaining back from the table rallies. Powell lost narrowly on deuce in the first end before fading slightly in the second to lose 22-20, 21-11. Andy Gill (L) & Lawrence Stacey (R) with tournament secretary Ian Fitchet
The final was also a tight affair and although Stacey had to concede an 8-point start, he attacked well from the off, having no troubles against the Gill serve. In the second game, his opponent rallied and from 16-16, came back well to force a deuce but squandered two game points and ultimately succumbed 21-17, 24-22. Next on the GTTA calendar are the Divisional Championships on 12th & 13th May followed by the traditional season-ending Mark Kilby Hard Bat on Monday 17th May.