Kit wins the battle of Wensum to clinch Open singles crown

The Norwich and District League Senior Championships took place on March 17 at Catton Grove Primary School.

In the flagship event, the Open Singles, there were a couple of notable victories in the rounds as the up-and-coming Jordan Gabriel beat the evergreen Russell King and Kit Lo beat number two seed Tony Zeqiri in one semi-final. In the other, Lauren Spink beat Wayne Mason three-straight.

This set up a thrilling final between Wensum Club players Spink and Lo. Both started with terrific pace and attacking shots pushing each other very wide on both wings and using every part of the court.

In the first game, Lauren went 3-7 down, but recovered to 9-10 only to see the game slip away 9-11. The second game saw some spectacular lobbing and smashing rallies, with Kit forcing Lauren to some expensive errors to win again 11-9. In the third, Lauren returned to her more usual consistency, with some excellent serves, wide loops and punching backhands, winning this game 11-6 and the fourth 11-7.

Despite going 7-5 up in the fifth game, Lauren lost the next four points and saw the game slip away, with a backhand error, 9-11 to Kit who had really excelled on the day.

In the men's 'banded' singles for players with a handicap of zero or above, Jordan Gabriel continued his excellent form with an 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 win over Stephen Harsley.

In the women's 'banded' singles, a round robin event was played, with Janet Kelly cruising to victory with three straight sets wins.

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The open doubles saw top seeds Kit Lo and Tony Zeqiri beat second seeds Russell King and Ben Thompson, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 11-6. Ben went on to victory over CEYMS team-mate Russell in five sets in the Veterans over-40 singles, while Russell had a straight sets win over Paul Durrant in the Veterans over-50 singles.

In the handicap singles, Hungarian Arpad Berger (+4) played excellently to beat Jordan Gabriel (0), 11-7, 11-4, 11-6. In a new 'fun' event, the Hard Bat singles, around 20 players competed with exactly the same type of 'hard bat', which proved a great leveller, making players focus on the basic skills without the benefit of differing bat rubbers and spin serves. Father and son Paul and Chris Durrant made it to the final with Chris winning through 11-9, 11-7, 11-8.

• In Premier A of the Grant Matthewson Norwich & District Table Tennis League, Wensum E stormed into sixth place, in the latest round of matches with three wins, taking 11 points out 16. Sean Molloy was in excellent form winning 11 out of 12 singles; his only loss being to UEA number one Matt Haynes. Perhaps their best result was the 7-3 win over Wensum D, with only two players.

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