Wom­bats cause boilover

Benalla Ensign - - Local Classies -

Af­ter go­ing through the sea­son un­de­feated, it looked as though Owls only had to turn up to win the Be­nalla Ta­ble Ten­nis Club’s A-grade grand fi­nal last week.

But their tal­ented op­po­nents, the in-form Wom­bats had other ideas.

Leading player John Ba­jada struck first for a mag­nif­i­cent sin­gles vic­tory over Adrian Squires.

Both play­ers went point for point with Ba­jada fi­nally pre­vail­ing for a 21-13, 13-21, 21-19 vic­tory.

Wom­bats fought back in the sec­ond sin­gles match-up, with Stu­art Smith over­com­ing Michelle Feldt­mann for a straight sets vic­tory.

Smith played a fan­tas­tic ar­ray of top spin shots to get his team on the board with a 21-19, 21-17 vic­tory over a de­ter­mined Feldt­mann.

The im­por­tant dou­bles match was hotly con­tested and af­ter an epic strug­gle it was Owls who pre­vailed, go­ing on to a 21-16, 13-21, 21-17 win to take a 2-1 lead.

In the fi­nal round of sin­gles Owls’ Michelle Feldt­mann faced off against the hard hit­ting Adrian Squires in an ef­fort to wrap up the match.

With both play­ers thrilling the crowd with mag­nif­i­cent long ral­lies, it was Squires who fi­nally pre­vailed, show­ing con­sis­tency for a 21-18, 18-21, 21-15 vic­tory, to even the score at 2-2.

The de­cid­ing sin­gles brought to­gether two out­stand­ing per­form­ers in John Ba­jada and Stu­art Smith.

Ba­jada was

straight

into

his stride in the first game, pro­duc­ing many spec­tac­u­lar shots to win 21-16.

Both play­ers showed great dis­ci­pline in the sec­ond sin­gles, match­ing each other in a point for point strug­gle.

But it was Smith who won through, play­ing im­pres­sively to even the games score to 1-1, af­ter win­ning 23-21.

Smith ab­sorbed the pres­sure best, the young­ster com­ing of age to take out the match with a 21-14 vic­tory over Ba­jada, earn­ing a 3-2 win for Wom­bats in a mem­o­rable per­for­mance.

He was awarded player of the match, ac­count­ing for both sin­gles in a sen­sa­tional per­for­mance.

B-grade

Frogs got away to a good start in their grand fi­nal quest against Red­backs, with Phil Howard and Gil Smith win­ning the first round of sin­gles in style.

They had a chance of wrap­ping up the match in the dou­bles, but a de­ter­mined ef­fort from Ge­off Wal­lis and Kieran Linke, who teamed bril­liantly for a 21-19, 25-23 vic­tory, up­set their plans.

Phil Howard then won the next sin­gles to seal the grand fi­nal for Frogs, for a tight 3-2 vic­tory.

He was awarded player of the match for his im­pres­sive per­for­mance.

C-grade

An ex­cited Fal­cons out­fit rose to the oc­ca­sion to en­joy a 3-2 vic­tory over Mag­pies to take out the C-grade grand fi­nal in a hard fought af­fair.

The tal­ented ju­nior team pro­duced some great shots un­der pres­sure, with Jack McNulty and Coby Linke play­ing well to win a sin­gles each.

They then com­bined to take out the hard fought dou­bles in three sets.

Beth Grant was the player of the match, giv­ing a sparkling dis­play to win both sin­gles in tight matches.

Team­mate, Ann De­gan played well for Mag­pies, pro­duc­ing some fine shots in tense matches.

Leading play­ers

The leading play­ers for the sum­mer pen­nant com­pe­ti­tion were:

A-grade: John Ba­jada 23 wins; B-grade: Dean Ba­jada 20 wins; C-grade: Beth Grant 23 wins.

Round one of the win­ter pen­nant com­pe­ti­tion started last night with 44 play­ers con­test­ing the 12-week event.

Swan­pool and district

A-grade

At Ta­tong, the Fal­cons’ Paul Larkin and Bruce Forster won all but one set against the Tiger’s Rob Ersk­ine and Andrew Mar­riott, 4-1. Larin won both of his sets while Forster won one set only.

Also at Ta­tong the Bombers’ Colin Ex­ton and John Ba­jada con­tin­ued their re­lent­less dom­i­nance of the A-grade com­pe­ti­tion de­feat­ing Pete and Stu­art Smith of the Mag­pies 5-0.

B-grade

In the only match re­sults avail­able, the Cranes’ Tim But­ler and Tom Smith scored a 5-0 vic­tory against the Tur­tles’ Miles Old­meadow and Mike Larkin.

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