Table-top tussles at Weybread village hall

THE Diss and District Table Tennis League held its championships finals night at Weybread Village Hall in front of 25 players and spectators.

Due to injury, Jason Evans had to withdraw from the open singles and over 18/under 40 singles events, meaning his semi-final opponents stepped up to the final.

The evening began with the handicap final with Trevor Cottee (+12) having a three-point start over Kieran Brady (+10).

However, Brady gained the advantage from the start and easily won the first leg 25-15. Although Cottee fought back in the second to take the leg 25-24, Brady won by winning more points over the two games.

In the under 18 singles singles, James Briddon beat Nathan Lamb 11-6, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 with some attacking shots which seem to surprise Lamb and he could never get into his rhythm.

The over 50s singles was a very tight and close match with Francis Webb squeezing past Chris Jones 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 8-11, 12-10. Both players attacked and defended and some good points were played.

Once James Skilleter got into his rhythm in the over 18/under 40 singles, he beat Kieran Brady in four legs. Brady took the first catching Skilleter cold 11-6, but could not hold, losing the next three legs 2-11, 4-11, 12-14.

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The Division One singles also went the distance. Young Nathan Lamb attacked the experience Alan Worthington and eventually won 6-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-7.

Lamb played some exceptional attacking shots and picked himself up well after the earlier defeat.

The league's chairman, David Mortlock, took the over 40s singles honour at his first attempt beating Trevor Cottee 11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 11-2. The early exchanges were close but Mortlock ran away in the forth to the take the title.

The Division One doubles saw the young pairing James Briddon and Nathan Lamb beat Tom Bailey and David Leeder in five legs. Their attacking shots saw them win through 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 8-11, 11-3.

Another five leg final took place in the open doubles between the eventual winners, David Mortlock and Chris Jones over James Skilleter and Peter Maybury. The latter led 2-1 but Mortlock/Jones dug in well which saw them come back in the fifth leg at 7-9 to win 11-9.

The over 60s singles saw Adrian Key beat Alan Worthington 14-12, 11-7, 11-9 although the Key had the 'rub of the green' with a few net and edge calls going in his favour.

The last final of the evening was the open singles and yet again a good final was witnessed by all. With both players in good form, James Skilleter and Chris Jones played a fast attacking match.

Skilleter took the first 11-5 but Jones fort back in the second 11-7. The third and fourth legs followed the same pattern as the first to as James won 11-5 and then Chris 11-9 to set up a final leg.

Skilleter got a good start in the fifth and led 5-3 as the pair changed ends and continued to attack making Jones play some unforced errors which saw Skilleter win 11-6 to take the title he last won 10 years ago.

Special mention to David Mortlock and his troops for collecting and returning the table tennis tables to/from the main event at Hartismere High School as without his help the tournament would not have taken place.

The league is sponsored by Leisure Sport Diss and Speedy Bat Sports.