Table Tennis

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Doubles Happiness have plenty smile about after being presented with Triples winners trophy by Ian Willson (right). Pictured (l-r) are: Simon Shotton, Frank Hanson, Steve Mason and Rick Kirby. Trying to get a tatse of what success must feel like are Nigel Devereux (above Steve’s head) and Derek Baker.

Frank Hanson (left) was a worthy winner of Star Performer of the Triples. He is pictured with Derek Elmhirst, who handed over the trophy.

Stiga were runners-up in the Triples competition after beating Butterfly on countback. Pictured (l-r) are team members Philip Sharpe, Derek Elmhirst; trophy presenter Ian Willson; and Nigel Devereux (right).



Party time and festive fun!

It was a Christmas cracker of an evening at Lincolnshire Wolds Table Tennis Club’s festive bash on Tuesday, December 15.
Fifteen WTTC members and three guests from nearby Hemingby TT club made merry for around four hours with a combination of food, fun games and much yuletide cheer.

Particular highlights were (in no particular order): Karen Ward’s homemade cheesecake(yummy); Derek Elmhirst’s ‘Bake off standard’ Victoria sponge; Simon Shotton’s Santa hat(permanently stuck to his head, I think); the two Dereks manfully assembling two tables together for the final event of the evening; a lovely spread of food; Mrs Devereux violently shoving Mr Devereux out of the way during their outstanding doubles victory; everyone forgetting whose shot it was in the triples/doubles, and then going ‘runaround’ even though it wasn’t ‘runaround, and much laughter along the way.

The fun-night idea was conceived by Karen and it was voted a big success; no serious TT matches this evening…just plenty of entertaining games…a sort of ‘It’s a Knockout’ meets ‘The Generation Game’.
Many thanks to Derek B for providing the bulk of the buffet.

Amazing what fun you can have with a table tennis table, a few buckets, a couple of chairs and much festive spirit.

Can’t wait for December 2016!


Competition winners:


Runaround (games 1, 2 and 3): Tony Lascelles, Ian Wilson, Derek Elmhirst

Most balls in a bucket KO: Nigel Devereux & Derek Elmhirst

Balls in a bucket speed KO: Nigel Devereux & Lesley Devereux
Triples (alternate shots): Ian Wilson, Doug Rodwell, Ricky Nichols
Triples (two doubles tables): Rick Kirkby, Doug Rodwell, Andrew Sandbach

Summer Awards Evening

Wolds Table Tennis Club held its summer awards evening at the Blue Bell pub in Belchford on Sunday evening.
After a Hughes-who of ‘uninvited’ and rather recalcitrant villagers were ejected from the premises, around 40 members and guests enjoyed a superb fish ‘n’ chips supper before a number of awards were handed out.
The club’s ‘blue riband’ event of the year is the Triples tournament which is held between January and May each year.
The competition was, as ever, keenly fought with the winners being Double Happiness (Steve Mason, Rick Kirby, Frank Hanson and Simon Shotton) and runners-up Stiga (Nigel Devereux, Derek Elmhirst, Ryan Hinson and Philip Sharpe).
The Star Performer of the Triples – the player who has made the biggest impact on the tournament – was won by Frank Hanson, with Mick Cox runner-up and Steve Mason, third.
The most prestigious award of the evening was the final prize to be handed out – the Spirit of the Club award.
Every member of the club gets the chance to nominate a fellow member for the award, which recognises such qualities as sportsmanship, camaraderie, coaching help and a sense of fun when playing. The award this year went to Mick Cox.

It’s also been a busy 6 months since our last soiree…and here, in no particular order, are some highlights and headline-making incidents

New (ish) members: Matt and Jack Leeming; Dave Middlehurst; Tom Wilkinson; Simon Shotton, and Brian Loveley.

Questionnaire: Thanks to those 14 members who took the time to fill one in; there was lots of very good info and feedback. It showed, thankfully, that 95% of what we do at WTTC meets with approval. However, it also proved a very useful exercise in providing information to help us devise our new monthly format for all 4 sessions. The aim is to give as much balance as possible to the sessions and to satisfy all tastes – some people want more singles, some people want more doubles etc etc; as from July 1 the new structure kicked in and seems to be going well; any further feedback at any time from members is always helpful and gratefully received.
Fantasy Doubles: A much heralded and talked about new competition, devised by Rick; we had great fun at the auction night in May during which the teams were bought by the seven captains; after a faltering start (to say the least!) we now have 6 teams of 4 in place ready to do battle over the next 12 months; we have had to tinker with the format and team line ups due to unforeseen circumstances, but it is great we will carry on with what should be another cracking event.

Triples 2014: A new format this year which did not go totally smoothly… at times it had more holes in it than a Brazilian back four (or English if we are being totally fair), but if you don’t try new things you never find out what happens; it's fair to say that the 4-person format led to an imbalance in the all round ability of teams, and there was just too much of a 'luck' factor in the team make up in matches. However, the event produced some great action, great performances, shocks, thrills and spills, and thoroughly worthy champions.

Triples 2015: In 2015 we are going to have two Triples leagues with teams of three – the Premiership 12 players/Championship 15 players; games will be played during a given week on any night or Sunday. Nigel, Derek and Rick are convinced the two league system will lead to more exciting matches and a more competitive structure in which more players in the Championship will have a chance of winning more games.

Lighting and Netting: Yes, well… we think the lighting is now sorted thanks to Derek’s exhaustive efforts. The netting is useful to a point but is a bit unwieldy… we might be looking at alternatives… one plan is to buy some surround boards and cut the netting to the height of the boards; there are, it has to be said, certain H&S issues as things stand which has seen several players take a tumble… watch this space
Thursday night coaching: Paul Emmerson has resumed his popular Thursday night coaching clinics and they will run through until the end of October; they are open to everyone but mainly to the ‘improvers’ who have the chance to improve their game further with Paul, who is a qualified coach. The club splashed out on a portable coaching trolley for Paul – which means he can offer so much more in terms of practice drills etc. We also have more Thursday nights available until the end of 2014 – see Club Nights link for more details.
Treasurer & Secretary: As from July 1 Derek Baker took over as treasurer and Nigel changed roles to secretary; as a result of the questionnaire, we also have a number of people who said they’d like to help out in various ways and Nigel, Rick and Derek will be calling upon their services as and when.
Sunday sessions & coaching: As the result of a major re-think regarding TT sessions earlier in the year, it was decided to have a fortnightly Sunday session and to move coaching with Bryn Tyler from Monday to Sunday. The Sunday sessions have proved really popular and are a great work out prior to a pint in the Blue Bell and/or the Sunday roast. The coaching has been put on hold for a while as numbers have dwindled somewhat due to various reasons and Bryn’s gardening business has become ever busier; we will hopefully get things back on track in the not too distant future.

Coming up in the next few months….

Aug/Sept: Boston League Invitation v WTTC select: This is the only ‘nod’ we give to league table tennis. The inaugural event was held last year and proved to be a great night of top class TT action. WTTC won 6-4 with Bryn, Mick Cox and Paul Emmerson flying the flag. The match this year will probably be 4-a-side and will be played on two tables on a Monday evening; the spare table can be used for members. If you fancy a night off from playing, the match will be well worth watching.

Sept: Wryder Cup: This curtain raiser to the new season was played for the first time in 2013 and was a tremendous addition to the WTTC calendar. The match will involve all the club and has a maximum of 24 places. The format is based on golf’s Ryder Cup and involves doubles and singles. Mary Silverston and Karen Ward will be captains. More details later in the year.

Sept/Oct: Grantham match – WTTC’s finest will be playing members of a national youth squad which is based at Grantham College. They will then be treated to a four-course meal provided by the college’s trainee chefs. The match has been made possible through the efforts of Rick’s good friend Graham Birks, headmaster of Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School (the alma mater of Margaret Thatcher) who has contacts at the college.

Nov/Dec: We have the official club competitions – Premiership, Championship and League One Singles; Premiership and Championship doubles.


Many thanks to Nigel D for organising a cracking event.

Competition Winners
(October-December 2013)

Wryder Cup:

What a fantastic idea from Mr Kirby, and what a fantastic start to the ‘official’ season way back in October!
Two teams of 10 players; captained by the two Steves, Mason and Devereux; the format styled on golf’s famous Ryder Cup, a mixture of fourballs and foursomes (doubles to you and me) and singles.
The captains worked overtime trying to get their pairings right, and it looked as though the Devereux variety of Steve had done his homework with his team leading 3.5/1.5 after round one.
However, Mr Mason then played a blinder. Having prowled the room watching his charges, he mixed the pairings up for round 2 to great effect… winning the section 4-1…and headed into the 10 singles matches with a 5.5/4.5 lead.
The singles were nip and tuck – including a 2-2 classic between the club’s top two players Mick Cox and Paul Emmerson – and with two matches left Steve M held a 2-point lead.
However, Brian Gilliland does what Brian Gilliland does when the chips are down and beat Doug Rodwell 3-0 and skipper Devereux came from a leg down to see off Bob Parish 3-1
So to a tiebreaker – one game, doubles, up to 21.
Steve M chose Mick as his partner; Steve D chose Paul. The match was tight, but Steve M and Mick gained the upperhand to win it 21-16.

A cracking night of TT.
Trophy presented by Mary Silverton to Steve Mason

Championship Singles:

What a tremendous start to the tournament season. A night of shocks and surprises – mentioned in dispatches must be Brian Cannon and Frank Hanson who finished 3rd and 4th respectively, with both players having chances to go much further.
The word Repecharge became the buzz word at WTTC from early November… everyone got two chances no matter what stage they were knocked out.
Our two finalists could not have taken more different routes – Brian Gilliland made serene progress beating all of his opponents, while Doug Rodwell had lost to Brian earlier and by the time the final came around had already played five matches, including an epic five-setter with Bob Parish. Having beaten Brian G in Final 1…Doug had to do it all again, as this was BG’s first defeat. And it was ‘super seven’ for ‘super Doug’ when he beat Brian 3-1 to win the title after a marathon three-hour competition. Never was a standing ovation more richly deserved.
Runner-up: Brian Gilliland
Winner: Doug Rodwell… fellow Hemingby teammate Ian Willson collected his award.

Trophy presented by Steve Mason

Championship Doubles:

Several players made their tournament debut in this event – a round robin containing 8 pairings. An 11th hour drama meant Margaret Cox replaced Martin Hollingsworth in partnering Bob Parish – many thanks to Margaret for saving the day! Every pairing won at least 1pt throughout the night, in a competition that was always keenly fought, but produced two top teams.
The Round 4 match up of Mary Silverton/Doug Rodwell v Brian Gilliland/Ryan Hinson proved to be decisive, with the latter pairing winning and remaining unbeaten all evening.
In the minor placings, only half a point separated sixth and third, such was the closeness of the competition.


Runners-up: Mary Silverton/Doug Rodwell
Winners: Ryan Hinson/Brian Gilliland
Trophy presented by Ian Willson

Premiership Singles:

After a postponement…then a will he play, won’t he play situation…the Premiership Singles finally had a field of 10, including university returnees Scott Baker and Ben Kirby. The first two balls out of the hat were Paul Emmerson and Mick Cox.. bad news for the top two ranked players but great news for the rest of the field!
Early shock casualties were Mike Wade and Mick Cox… both having lost two games and therefore departing the fray. Excellent early results were Nigel’s win over Mick, Rick’s win over Steve M, and Mark’s victory over Scott.
As the business end of the event began to take shape, it was Nigel who beat Steve M in the repecharge ‘semi-final’ to set up a meeting with Rick in the repecharge ‘final’, Rick having lost to Paul, who was undefeated on his way to the final.
Nigel found a bit more in the tank to beat Rick – with yours truly finding out what Dougie ‘The Great Wall’ Rodwell had been through on his way to winning the Championship Singles... I don’t know how he did it?
However, with Paul in top form and having a little too much in his box of tricks, it was the number one ranked WTTC player who lived up to top billing to take the final 3-0. A thoroughly deserved win from a very stylish and highly polished competitor.
Runner-up: Nigel Devereux

Winner: Paul Emmerson. Philip Sharpe accepted the trophy on Paul’s behalf.
Trophy presented by Brian Gilliland

League One Singles: Philip to present
A field of 8 was sadly reduced to just 6 competitors, after Margaret Cox and Martin Hollingsworth got caught up in the East Coast flooding alerts on December 5.
However, never mind the quantity feel the quality; several of the matches went to 5 ends.

The three stand out games from the evening were all 3-2 classics – Alan Lidmila’s win over Philip, Karen’s victory over Philip, and Lesley’s win over Julie.

Poor old Philip – he lost two matches 3-2, played some top TT, but was out… it’s a cutthroat business!

However, the pre-tournament favourite Ryan Hinson was looking mean, moody and focused, but didn’t have things all his own way.
Indeed, both Alan (semi-final) and Karen Ward (final) had big chances to beat him, but The Shadow rallied (literally) to make it a singles/double double.

Runner-up: Karen Ward
Winner: Ryan Hinson
Trophy presented by Philip Sharpe

Premiership Doubles:

One of those tournaments were the pairings were so evenly matched – all had strengths and weaknesses – that picking a likely winner was very difficult.
Indeed, the winning pairing only scored 5.5pts out of a possible 8, proving how competitive the evening was.
Special mention to Paul Emmerson and Mark Cox who drew 5 of their 8 games and only lost 1 – a case of so near yet so far.
However, there were two pairings who set the pace all night and never looked like relinquishing the top two spots – Mick Cox and Derek Elmhirst and Steve Mason and Mike Wade…. And that was how it stayed with the former beating the latter by a half a point.
Runners-up: Steve Mason/Mike Wade

Winners: Mick Cox/Derek Elmhirst

Trophy presented by Ryan Hinson

The Most Improved Player of 2013

This award came about following a thought from Nigel Devereux and a discussion with Rick, Derek and one or two others.

Because we have put such an emphasis on coaching, helping the improvers, and are constantly striving to help players of all standards at the club, it seemed logical to have that recognised with an award.

An esteemed judging panel was formed with the task of choosing a 1-2-3. And, although the panel members would probably be looking at the League One players for their choices, they were told the award could be won by any member; perhaps a 'top end' player who had only made a small improvement, but it had led to some notable victories; perhaps a Championship-standard player who was now taking some notable 'top end' scalps; or, indeed, an improver who had started at a very low base but had made great strides during the year.

The original panel was made up of Wryder Cup captain Steve Mason, Mick Cox, and Mark Cox - all three players have played regularly on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and were well placed to offer an opinion; and also Paul Emmerson, our Thursday night club coach.

Their choices were sent to me, and I compiled a list of their selections.

And although we had a clear winner after the first round of judging, there was no clear second and third, so I asked Derek Baker, Steve Devereux and Rick to give me their choices… and this finally settled the matter!
If that had failed to produce a clearer decision I was going to get UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon to intervene but it wasn’t necessary as a puff of white smoke appeared over 62 Boston Road at about 11.23pm on Thursday, December 12.

There were 11 players nominated … it’s fantastic that so many people have been judged to have improved so much in 2013 and had their efforts recognised.

The nominations were: Lesley Devereux, Brian Gilliland, Mary Silverton, Karen Ward, Nigel Devereux, Frank Hanson, Steve Mason, Mark Cox, Philip Sharpe, Derek Elmhirst, and Ryan Hinson

In third place: Lesley Devereux.

Lesley has improved greatly from her early outings and has been a dedicated member of the club taking on board all the coaching from many different players. She is now well capable of playing competitive doubles and singles with some of the better players.

In second place: Ryan Hinson

Ryan is one of the stand out improvers after beginning as a pretty rusty League One player. He has now not only helped Brian Gilliland to win the Championship doubles and won the League One singles, but is a good enough player to do well in the Championship.

Winner of Most Improved Player of 2013: Karen Ward

Karen struggled to beat anyone a year ago, but is now as good as anyone playing Championship table tennis
She has improved a lot and holds her own with many players at the club in both singles and doubles and was unlucky to only be runner up in the League One singles
Karen has made a massive improvement over the 12 months; now playing with and sometimes beating Championship and Premiership players at both singles and doubles

Positions in full:

9= Frank Hanson

9= Brian Gilliland

9= Steve Mason

8 Mark Cox

6= Nigel

6= Philip Sharpe

4= Derek Elmhirst

4= Mary Silverton

3 Lesley Devereux

2 Ryan Hinson

1 Karen Ward