Great successes at the table tennis competition

The table tennis players were in good shape last weekend. Photo provided.

by Allan Clarke

Rockhampton’s most passionate table tennis players continued to take to the courts at Leichhardt Park Play Center last week when the opening stages of the men’s singles were staged and the women’s singles were played until ‘at the end.

Relevant newcomer to the city, Kelsey Le Maistre managed to win the women’s trophy on her second attempt to win the title.

Ann-Louise Stewart capped a great tournament when she advanced to the women’s singles final after winning the club’s coveted singles and doubles events a night earlier.

The club holds competitions in a veteran age category at these annual closed titles for participants aged 40 and over in the current year – and there is no separate competition for men and women.

In a big double, Stewart excelled to win the master’s singles against Allan Clarke by three sets to one and teamed up with Pam Clarke to win the doubles against event favorites former firm James O’ Sullivan and Jeff Green, in another four-set result.

The women’s singles final was quite entertaining, with both players displaying excellent reflexes around powerful attacking shots in extended rallies.

Le Maistre won the first set on seven points and looked good at the start of the second before a change in fortune saw her fall to nine points.

Opponents went point-for-point in the third stanza before the winner narrowly prevailed 12-10 in a set that could easily have given Stewart a practical advantage.

Not to be deterred, the challenger won Game 4 by six points, and at two apiece, the contest looked pretty open in terms of a potential winner.

However, Le Maistre took control and played consistently enough to win the next two sets and the title.

The two finalists had to have a cool head in the first round robins.

Le Maistre had the easiest race at home and edged out Monica Deeth, Patricia Green and Pam Clarke – all of whom she lost at this event last year.

Stewart had a bit of a nervous wait to see if she qualified for the trophy, as in an interesting situation, no player was undefeated when they qualified.

Stewart beat Linda O’Sullivan and Emily Steffen but lost to Erica Nolan.

Nolan was successful against Stewart and O’Sullivan but ended with a brilliant effort provided by improving junior Steffen.

On a countdown, per tournament rules, Stewart was declared the group winner by a small margin.

Men’s singles competition continues this week with a knockout draw after round robin matches saw the best players qualify for the main draw.

The less fortunate participants will make it to the playoffs in the second division plate along with the women who did not reach the final stages of their competition.

Matthew Pettett tops the table, with Rayden Smith the second seed and the other two major chances appearing to be Matthew Steffen and Dane Coughlan.

The open doubles event will also be held, and some interesting combinations are in the mix due to the restrictions placed on top-rated players in the City Premier League. The youngsters Matt and Emily Steffen were the best placed.

Other pairs seen as chances include Matt Pettett and Linda O’Sullivan, Joel Coughlan and Chris Leitner and Dane Coughlan and Monica Deeth, while a few other untested combinations might bother their fanciest rivals.

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