St Pauls Open Handicap Singles
Post date: Sep 15, 2020 10:9:35 AM
Lawrence Stacey continued his strong start to the table tennis season by winning the St Pauls Open Handicap Singles tournament. He defeated familiar foe Ben Foss in what was a repeat of the final of the Division 1 Championships only 7 days earlier. There was a bumper entry of 36 players from across the GTTA leagues, each given a handicap using the standard system. It threw up some intriguing match-ups in the group stages and it was hard for spectators to pick a winner from the early stages.
Up and coming 3rd Division junior Jayden Tucknott had looked in good form, taking advantage of his handicap with 3 group wins against more experienced and higher-ranked opponents. However he was unfortunate to be drawn against Stacey in the round of 16, and pit up a good fight before losing out 21-19, 11-21, 21-17. Last year’s champion Joseph Bourgaize, playing before being due to return to university, was also determined to retain his title but lost out to the in-form Steve Ozanne in the quarter final. The semi-finals were tight affairs as 2nd Division Jez Powell came up against Foss, narrowly losing out to his younger opponent 21-18, 21-19, while on the adjacent table, Stacey had to come back from a game down against the hard-hitting Ozanne. Stacey eventually came through by a score of 13-21, 21-14, 21-16 but the game will be remembered for one particularly outrageous behind-the-back winner from Stacey that left Ozanne motionless and had the crowd applauding the improvisation. With the two finalists being similarly ranked, the final was played off scratch and so felt more like a league tie rather than a handicap match. Foss appeared determined to make amends for his defeat a week earlier and made an excellent start, winning the first end 21-19, Stacey returned from the interval with a better focus and reduced the number of unforced errors, ultimately managing to turn the game around 21-14, 21-16.
The Doric Insurance leagues started on 16th September, with the first round of Division 1 matches being played on 23rd September.