Matt Evans hammered all opposition with his heavy topspin to lift the Championship Singles title at the annual Milton Keynes Closed Table Tennis Championship on Sunday.
The teenager remained extremely focused all day long as he powered his way to victory, beating Charles Philippe in the quarters, Dan Appanna in the semi and Alan Cherry in the final.
The closest there was to an upset was when Dan trailed 5-10 in the 5th to Michael Wilkins in the last 16 round, but he came back strongly to win the next 7 points.
And it was a bad day all round for our defending champion Dave Murphy who, in this event, went out in straight games to Craig Brown in the quarters.
There was a sensation in the Championship Doubles when, after reaching the semi-final stage and having knocked out two-time winners Dave Murphy/Neil Riddy, Kelvin Choong walked out the door leaving his uninformed partner, the usually amiable Dan Smalley, bemused and rather unimpressed. Following a discussion at the referees table, Tom Tofield stripped off for action and was sent out to contest the semi-final as a substitute partner for Dan, and they performed very well in taking the Julian Adams/Mark Purcell combo to a decider.
In the other half of the draw Alan Cherry/Craig Brown made their usual imperious progress to yet another final, but were then overwhelmed by the sudden brilliance of their opponents, who conceded a mere 16 points to take their first title together.
On the distaff side it was a great day out for scintillating Sarah Hudson. The 7 times Ladies Singles champion has been in great form for most of the season and was too strong for the rest of the field, notably her ace rival Julie Snowdon who she beat in the final. Sarah then paired up with Sue Lewis to take the Ladies Doubles over Sue Willson and Christine Scaysbrook. However the icing on the cake was winning the Mixed Doubles with Julian Adams against triple champions Craig Brown/Julie Snowdon 11-7 in the 5th of a very entertaining contest. A first time win for the ex-Stormers pairing, though both have won this event before with other partners. A consolation for Julie was taking the Women’s Veterans title for a 7th occasion, her final opponent being Sue Lewis.
The Mens Veterans went to Alan Cherry with a final win over Mark Purcell. Mark used to be a regular at this tournament but hasn’t entered for 9 years. Perhaps his success here will encourage him to play again. Perennial winner Dave Murphy compounded his bad day by losing to Michael Wilkins in the quarter-final. Michael won the over 60s, at the first time of asking too, beating Dave Wackrill in the final.
The under 18 Singles went to Matt Evans with Ed Simms runner-up. The Restricted Doubles (for Lower Division players) gave a 2nd title to an impressive Sue Lewis in partnership with ageless Jim Brogan. Father and son Bernard and Simon Green were losing finalists.
Dave Wackrill won the Plate Singles (for Championship Group losers) beating a red-hot Sarah Hudson in the final.