Hawes leads the charge as Norwich’s top players chase the silverware

PUBLISHED: 10:34 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:34 06 February 2018

Vuong Ngo, left, faces Kevin Grubiak. Picture: James Ashworth

Vuong Ngo, left, faces Kevin Grubiak. Picture: James Ashworth


Norwich Table Tennis League held its annual tournament at Norwich City Table Tennis Club, with Andy Hawes, Mats Olsson, Ella Barnard and Kevin Grubiak taking home the silverware.

Mats Olsson, right, up against Vuong Ngo. Picture: James AshworthMats Olsson, right, up against Vuong Ngo. Picture: James Ashworth

In the open singles, Tony Zeqiri had to battle through a tough section of the draw after finishing second in his group, facing last year’s champion Hawes in the final.

Both players produced quality table tennis, but Hawes’ variety and consistency forced Tony into bigger shots, and Hawes took the title in straight sets.

Hawes also finished top in the handicap competition, beating Stuart Laws in the final 3-0.

Laws’ big forehand loop caused Hawes some problems, but some excellent counter-hitting earned Hawes the title.

Ella Barnard, left, and Janet Kelly. Picture: James AshworthElla Barnard, left, and Janet Kelly. Picture: James Ashworth

The other star performer of the day was Mats Olsson, who won both the over 40s and over 50s singles titles.

In the over 40s, he faced Neil Charles in the final.

Olsson’s retrieval from Charles’ big hitting was excellent, using his trademark loops to win the final set 11-6.

In the final of the over 50s, Olsson faced Jamie McIntosh. A contest of attack against defence, after a tight start Olsson took the title in four sets.

Andy Hawes, left, takes on Stuart Laws. Picture: James AshworthAndy Hawes, left, takes on Stuart Laws. Picture: James Ashworth

Olsson also won the doubles competition with partner Charles. They faced the attacking pair of Zeqiri and Chris Cockburn in the final, who worked hard but struggled to get into the match.

A practiced pair from other tournaments, Olsson’s and Charles’ well-oiled combinations set up Charles’ backhand time and again to win the match.

In the ladies singles final, Janet Kelly faced Ella Barnard.

Barnard came flying out of the blocks, dashing round the table to set up strong shots from both wings, preventing Kelly from using her best shots.

Despite Kelly’s strong defensive game, Barnard’s attacking play proved too strong on the day and took the title.

In the men’s singles, Vuong Ngo faced Kevin Grubiak in the final.

Grubiak took a 2-0 lead in a commanding start, but Vuong used his serve well to set up his forehand attack and take the third set.

The fourth set was very close, but Grubiak held his nerve and narrowly won the set to take the trophy.

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