In the final week before finals of the Mount Gambier Table Tennis Summer 2021 season, and with only the top two teams in each grade progressing to the playoffs next week, there was plenty riding on nearly all matches.
Led by the ever-reliable Josh Jantosh, Mac’n’Toshes battled out a fiercely tight A-Grade contest against Kevin Patzels Four Donkeys. Patzel and Mac’n’Tosh player David Fox commenced proceedings with what turned out to be the rubber of the round and possible the season. Fox gained the ascendancy early by taking the first game by 15 points to 13 before Patzel fought Back to grab the next two games and the upper hand. Fox again lifted, taking the fourth game to send it to a deciding fifth. Neither player gave an inch as they went point for point in a mesmerizing display of power and cunning reflexes. Eventually fatigue set in, Patzel the first to waive as Fox held his nerve and held on for a 11-6 result. That result may have been the ultimate difference between the teams as they finished locked at 6 rubbers apiece, Mac’n’Toshes claiming victory by the barest of margins of 25 games to 24 on the countback. The other A-Grade matchup produced a much more decisive result as strong performances from Ben Newman and Ward Freeman guided Boom Shakalaka to a comprehensive 8-4 victory over Leigh Barry’s Leighmonzz. Barry, Justin Huthchesson and substitute player Sanith Ghetia all pushed their respective opponents in Freeman, Robin Pellen and Newman to five tough games however ultimately Boom Shakalaka proved too tough in all three contests.
Revengers jumped out of the blocks early in their B-Grade encounter with Iron Filings, Rayelene Hutchesson and Cameron Beal posting easy wins against Kuncheria Luka and Hayden Luo respectively to give their team a 2-0 lead. Joel Schofield then sparked the Filings to a run of wins through the middle section of the night with a win over Rowan Hardcastle. In the end it was the Iron Filings who held off the Revengers to record a 6-5 win, Beal remaining undefeated on the night. In the other B-Grade match, Turn It Up player Kylie Boston battled toe-to-toe against her Tweakers opponent Chris McGregor, Boston showing her classy skills in touch and placement to take the first game. McGregor then hit his straps, his trademark back and sidespin lobs unsettling Boston as he took the second game to square the contest. Boston regained her composure though, scrapping to take the third game before McGregor claimed the fourth to send it into a decider. It became a battle of nerves as the players traded points, neither making a mistake until finally a backhand error from Boston with the scores locked at 10-all enabled McGregor to serve out the final point for a memorable win. McGregor finished the night with a clean sheet in singles however he played somewhat of a lone hand as Tony Elletson also performed strongly to lead Turn It Up to a comprehensive 9-3 victory.
In the C-Grade, Fireballs dominated early against Blue Goblins, winning 4 of the first five rubbers led by Nat Harris-Jones, Lorraine Halleday and Tom Horrigan. The Goblins came home with a wet sail at the end of the night with victory in four of the last six rubbers, but it was Fireballs who snatched the overall win 7-5. Highlights included Fireballs player Tracey Escreet’s five-game battle with Blue Goblins’ Nudeen Cook, the latter outlasting her opponent in a contest that had onlookers up out of their seats. Halleday remained undefeated for Fireballs whilst Cook also kept a clean sheet for the Blue Goblins. The final C-Grade match of the regular season saw Snowballs produce an even team performance to completely outclass the Griffins. Brandon Malin maintained his strong form for the victors to record a clean sheet, whilst for the Griffins Jedda Hardcastle also went undefeated but had no support from her teammates. The showpiece was undoubtedly the grudge match between Hardcastle and Snowballs player Campbell Fox, both players eager to claim bragging rights. Hardcastle started strongly, storming to a 2-0 lead and seeming to have to the battle under control, before Fox remarkably fought back to take the next two games and send the contest to a thrilling decider. Again, Hardcastle appeared to gain control, but Fox was not to be denied, both players unable to penetrate the others’ defences as they engaged in lengthy rally after lengthy rally. Eventually as the pressure mounted on match point, Fox pushed a forehand just long paste the edge of the table to give Hardcastle the win and send the crowd into raptures.
At the conclusion of the regular Summer season, Mac’n’Toshes will face off against Go-Ghetiams in the A-Grade final, Wolf Pack will battle Iron Filings for B-Grade honours and Snowballs and Fireballs will battle it out in the C-Grade decider.
Registrations are now open for the Autumn season commencing on April 28th 2021. People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to come and try out, for enquiries contact the club via email firstname.lastname@example.org or via their Facebook page.
- A-Grade: Josh Jantosh (Mac’n’Toshes), Kevin Patzel (Four Donkeys), Ben Newman, Ward Freeman (Boom Shakalaka)
- B-Grade: Chris McGregor (Teakers), Tony Elletson (Turn It Up), Cameron Beal (Revengers)
- C-Grade: Lorraine Halleday (Blue Goblins), Nudeen Cook (Fireballs) Jedda Hardcastle (Griffins), Chris Turner, Brandon Malin (Snowballs).