Virat the overall champion after another successful junior event

Participants in the Kettering & District Table Tennis League's Junior Tournament pose for the camera 0k1-cNZFY7vhs-pQhqvr
Participants in the Kettering & District Table Tennis League's Junior Tournament pose for the camera 0k1-cNZFY7vhs-pQhqvr

The latest Kettering & District Table Tennis League Junior Tournament was held at Weavers Leisure Centre, home to the very successful Westfield Table Tennis Club.

A total of 24 players (all pictured) entered the competition with Harborough TTC, Burton Baptist TTC, Corby Town TTC, Wellingborough & District Hindu Association TTC and Westfield TTC all represented.

The event was split into two parts. Players were put into groups of five and the results of these determined which banded event they would be placed in for the afternoon competition.

Group one saw top-ranked Virat Patel score four clear cut wins to finish on top.

Group one placings: 1 Virat Patel (four wins), 2 Ben Freeman (three wins), 3 Kaitlin Curt (two wins), 4 Ansh Shah (one win), 5 Dominik Cusk (no wins).

Abin Islam won all four of his matches to top group two though he did drop an end to Jake Townsend, who took the runners-up spot with three victories.

Group two placings: 1 Abin Islam (four wins), 2 Jake Townsend (three wins), 3 Kishen Parenh (two wins), 4 Olivia Ross (one win), 5 Lucy Haynes (no wins).

Group three consisted of just four players and it was Harry Lade who took the honours, dropping just one end to Dan Bain as he won all three of his matches.

Bain won his other two to clinch second spot.

Group three placings: 1 Harry Lade (three wins), 2 Dan Bain (two wins), 3 Danny Verrall (one win), 4 Kavish Dodhia (no wins).

Jack Bain took top spot in group four but only after he had survived a tough opening clash against Kyle Ghanie, who finished second.

Group four placings: 1 Jack Bain (four wins), 2 Kyle Ghanie (three wins), 3 Nathan Dixon (two wins), 4 Jack Perrin (one win), 5 Rory Tilney (no wins).

The final group was topped by Thomas Strupar as all the sections went with the seeding.

This group also provided the closest match of the morning session with Daria Gulbicki defeating Tom Dixon 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9.

Group five placings: 1 Thomas Strupar (four wins), 2 Ethan Curt (three wins)3 Dylan Dabell (two wins), 4 Daria Gulbicki (one win), 5 Tom Dixon (no wins).

In the afternoon session, the Band E event featured those players who had finished in fifth place in their morning group and it was Cusk (Corby) who took the title, winning all three of his matches. Haynes (Corby) was the runner-up with Tom Dixon third and Tilney fourth.

Band D was a close competition with three of the 10 matches going all the way to a fifth-end decider.

Dodhia (WDHA) was involved in two of these, coming back from 2-1 down to beat Gulbicki 3-2 and then recovering from 2-0 down against Shah to take a 3-2 win.

He was rewarded by taking the title ahead of Ross (Burton Latimer), Shah, Gulbicki and Perrin.

Kaitlin Curt (Westfield) took the honours in the Band C event, winning all four of her matches including a close 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 victory over Parenh.

There was a battle for second place between Parenh and Verrall (Harborough) but it was the latter who came out on top as he won their encounter in five ends.

The unfortunate Parenh came third, Dabell was 
fourth and Nathan Dixon finish fifth.

The Band B title was won by Freeman (Burton Latimer) with Ghanie taking the runners-up spot.

The match between these two proved crucial as Freeman claimed a 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8 success.

Meanwhile, Jake Townsend came third, Dan Bain was fourth and Ethan Curt finished fifth.

With the top five ranked players all winning their morning group it meant that the Band A event was always likely to be a close competition and so it was proved.

Harry Lade had won the previous event and when he established a 2-1 lead over Abin Islam it looked like he was in line to win successive tournaments.

This looked even more likely when he moved into a 10-8 lead in the fourth end.

Islam had other ideas though, saving the match points before squaring the encounter at 2-2 following a 14-12 win and then easing through to victory 11-7 in the decider.

Lade also led 2-1 against Virat Patel, who then took a leaf out of Islam’s book to fightback for a 3-2 success.

With Patel (WDHA) seeing off Islam 3-1, Thomas Strupar 3-0 and Jack Bain 3-0, he duly took the Band A crown to become the overall champion, finishing the day unbeaten with eight wins.

Strupar finished in fifth place in this top group but with Jack Bain, Lade and Islam all tied in second with two wins apiece, the organisers had to do some quick arithmetic to work out the remaining places.

When this happens, the positions are decided by the player’s ends won to ends loss record.

This pushed the unlucky Jack Bain down into fourth place but Islam and Lade could still not be separated as they had identical records.

This meant the battle for second went down to the head to head result between the two players, which had been won by Islam as he was awarded the runners-up spot.