Busy time for tournaments
Dumfries Table Tennis Club members have been out and about since September, playing in several of the new season’s competitions.
The first of these was the North Ayrshire Open at St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats, at the begiinig of September.
Danny Bajwa was the club’s most successful entrant reaching the semi-finals of the men’s singles and the men’s doubles.
He lost the former to Stirlingshire’s finalist Stewart Crawford, a former international player, and, with partner John Hannah (Ed/Dundee), the latter to winners Chris Main (North Ayrshire) and Gerry Campbell (Stirlingshire).
Danny also claimed the junior boys’ singles title, beating Charlie Morton in the final, and, with Josh Orr, reached the semi-final of the open junior doubles.
Josh recorded the only other result of note by reaching the semi-final of the band five event but it was good to see that another five club players also competed.
Next Danny and Josh entered the Edinburgh League’s Under-18 Assessment at Bathgate Academy on September 29. Top seeded Danny sailed through group one and then faced his closest rival, Martin Johnson (North Ayrshire), in the second round play-off for places 1-7.
In the event he defeated Martin 3/0, overcoming greater challenges from the Bokedal brothers, Josef and Elias, each of whom won a set from him. Danny was a clear winner with six victories. Meanwhile Josh, second in his first round group, played for places 8-14, where he finished fifth out of seven, 12th overall.
Saturday, October 13 brought the first round of the 2018/19 Scottish National League. Unfortunately it clashed with the first weekend of the British League, so many Scottish League teams had to rely on substitutes. Dumfries players Keir Morton and Danny Bajwa were away in England, with Drumchapel and North Ayrshire respectively.
Division 1: Dumfries A therefore fielded Dylan De Silva with two borrowed players, Tanuj Kohli (Stirling) and Colin Green (Galashiels). Dylan was their only winner in the opening match with South Ayrshire A. Things improved in the second match, against Drumchapel A, when Colin and Dylan both defeated the young Alisa Khalid. Their best result came against North Ayrshire B, when Dylan earned two 3/0 wins, and the accolade of Player of the match, on the way to a 6/0 victory.
Division 4: Here Dumfries B had four home-grown players, Gordon Duff, Josh Orr, Catrin Ace and Kenny Lee. Gordon won their sole point against Brunswick B when he beat Derek Paterson 3/1. Kenny replaced Catrin in the match with North Ayrshire D. Gordon and Josh both won two ties and Kenny beat Naomi Provan 3/2 but lost to Holly McNamara 1/3. Josh was player of the match in this encounter. However, the third match brought a second 1/5 defeat at the hands of Nuffield Health Milngavie. Josh recovered from a 1/2 deficit to beat Jonathan Fletcher 3/2 for their only point.
The third tournament, the Perth Grand Prix, took place on October 14. As the only Dumfries entrant, Kenny Lee proved his stamina; although he did not progress beyond his men’s or band 1 groups he pushed Welsh player Rashad Al-Dahiri to a fifth set.
Danny Bajwa In action at the Edinburgh TT League Under-18 Assessment. Pictures courtesy of Anna Porsch and Gordon Muir.
Full stretch Josh Orr battling hard at the Edinburgh TT League Under-18 Assessment.
Winner Danny Bajwa at the Edinburgh TT League Under-18 Assessment, pictured receiving his prize from Lindsay Muir.