Lucky for Hewitt taking King’s Lynn singles for 13th time

MLNF Gary Hewitt Mens singles winner
MLNF Gary Hewitt Mens singles winner
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The King’s Lynn Table Tennis Association, sponsored by IBA and Lynnsport, held its annual championships at Lynnsport at the weekend.

Top of the shop in the singles were Gary Hewitt who took the open singles for the 13th time, having first won in 1992, and Melissa McDonald who took the Ladies singles title for the fifth time, her first win being in 2005.

MLNF Leigh & Melissa McDonald Mixed-Doubles-Winners.j

MLNF Leigh & Melissa McDonald Mixed-Doubles-Winners.j

Hewitt was rarely troubled, winning the men’s title in fine style, beating Brett Heppenstall in the final in straight sets. McDonald had also had a comfortable win, but did drop a set in the final to Kerry Smith.

This was Hewitt’s first year as a veteran, and while his passage to the open singles title may have been smooth, he had to work far harder to take the vets title, just getting the better of Owen Turner in a very close fought final 11-9, 9-11, 11-9,14-12.

Turner was also unlucky to lose out in a tremendous men’s doubles semi-final, when he and Serafim Melo lost out to Rich Johnson and Karl Brown on deuce in the fifth. Johnson and Brown then went on to beat Mark Pearman and Dale Parnell in the final.

McDonald took the ladies title, beating Kerry Smith in the final in four sets. The two also met in the mixed doubles final, where again Melissa and her partner Leigh McDonald took the title in straight sets over Smith and Steve Goodale.

MLNF Karl Brown & Richard Johnson Mens doubles winners.

MLNF Karl Brown & Richard Johnson Mens doubles winners.

However Melissa and her partner Tracey King found things harder going in the ladies doubles, having to settle for the runner up spot, losing out to Carol Parker and Mavis Hughes.

With a very strong entry this year, the consolation event was also keenly contested, Steve Goodale eventually getting the better of Steve Barrett in five sets to take the title.

The junior events were dominated by Aaron Howell and Archie Rayner, with Howell taking the Junior title, Rayner the cadet title and the pair teaming up to take the junior doubles title. However it was great to see some really strong performances from all the juniors and hopefully this will encourage them to enter the KLTTA league next year.

The ‘vets’ competition (over 50s and over 60s) were dominated by Allan Nicholls, who scored a close win over Steve Barber in the over 60s and a straight sets win over Steve Goodale in the over 50s. Unfortunately the efforts took its toll on Nicholls who damaged leg muscles and was unable to play on Sunday.

Kings Lynn Table Tennis Championships'Aaron Howell ANL-160131-172735009

Kings Lynn Table Tennis Championships'Aaron Howell ANL-160131-172735009

The Division One singles, as expected was a very close contest, but Leigh McDonald won through to beat David Woolley in straight sets.

The handicap events saw Melissa McDonald in winning ways again partnering her husband Leigh to success in the Parker Doubles. Meanwhile the Ernie Mastin Singles final produced one of the closest games of the weekend with Howell just getting the better of Mike Cooper 42-41.

Three special awards were made at the weekend.

The Neil Pearman award for the most promising junior went to Oliver Thompson-Hall who played terrifically, just losing out to Howell in the Junior final, and pipped on deuce fifth set by Rayner in the cadet final.

MLNF Steve Goodale Plate winner.

MLNF Steve Goodale Plate winner.

The Graham Eastwood award for the best performance at the championships went to Cooper who played an incredible 15 games on Saturday, reaching the finals of both the Parker Doubles and Ernie Mastin competitions.

The Victor Ludorum award for the most successful player of the tournament went to Melissa McDonald.

The KLTTA committee would like to thank its sponsors for the event, IBA Ltd and Lynnsport without whose help there would have been no tournament, and also all the volunteers who helped set up, take down and umpire all weekend. Special thanks go to Steve Mason who umpired at least twice as many games as anyone else to keep the tournament moving.

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