Wilkinson seals a hat-trick of titles

FINALISTS: Andrew Wilkinson (left) and Anthony Barella prepare for the Open Singles final in the Sunderland and District Table Tennis Association's Closed Championships.
FINALISTS: Andrew Wilkinson (left) and Anthony Barella prepare for the Open Singles final in the Sunderland and District Table Tennis Association's Closed Championships.
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ANDREW Wilkinson made up for a disappointing defeat in last year’s Sunderland and District Closed Tournament by claiming a hat-trick of titles this time.

After an impressive display of attacking table tennis, he won the Open Singles, Open Doubles with team-mate Marc Cotton, and Mixed Doubles with partner Diane Cartmell.

Wilkinson was the top seed in the Open Singles and beat fourth seed Steve Penman (St Chad’s) 3-0 in the semi-final.

In the final, he took on second seed Anthony Barella, who was in excellent form to beat third seed Keith Weatherby by the same score in the other semi-final.

It promised to be an excellent final with both players having attacking styles – and so it proved.

The Thompson Insurance team-mates battled it out in the first end before Wilkinson finally took it 13-11.

Wilkinson then won the next two games comfortably to win back his title for the sixth time.

In the Open Doubles, Wilkinson and Cotton accounted for Adam Curran and Steve Penman (both of St Chad’s) in a battle between the top two seeded pairs.

It turned out to be a thrilling encounter which was eventually decided in the fifth 11-3.

In the Mixed Doubles, the top two seeds again progressed to the final and Wilkinson and Cartmell came out on top with a comfortable 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 win over Anthony Barella and Lynne Herrington.

Herrington made up for her defeat by winning the Ladies Singles with a fine 3-1 triumph over Cartmell to secure her 18th singles title – the first one have been won back in 1983.

The tournament saw its biggest entry for more than 15 years and officials were particularly pleased to see strong entries for the Cadet, Under-11, Under-13 and Junior events, with some players playing in the tournament for the first time.

Despite their young age, the standard of table tennis impressed onlookers and the Sunderland Association is hopeful that the youngsters continue to develop and go from strength to strength and play in local leagues as well as local, regional and national tournaments for years to come.

The youngsters’ enthusiasm, attitude and exemplary behaviour was a delight for organisers – a credit to the players themselves and coach Dave Godbold.

There were six different winners of the various junior events.

Peter Smallcombe (East Boldon Methodists) was the winner of the Under-11 Singles (Round Robin), with Lanchester CC’s Jack Slane finishing runner-up.

In the Under-13 Singles, Simon Knopf (Sacriston) edged Joshua Weatherby 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9 in an epic final which saw both players playing open and attacking table tennis.

Weatherby made up for his defeat in the Under-13 Singles by winning the Cadet Boys Singles with an excellent victory over Robert Renton (St John).

Once again, the finalists played some enthralling table tennis throughout, with Weatherby edging home 11-7 in the fifth and deciding end.

The Cadet Girls Singles was played in a Round Robin format and saw the promising Charlotte Weatherby (St Chad’s) victorious, with the impressive Shelly Brogan (John Spence) as runner-up. Both girls played some fantastic table tennis.

Top seed Adam Curran (St Chad’s) was victorious in the Junior Boys Singles following a comfortable win over Robert Renton (St Johns).

However, Renton can take some comfort in the knowledge that he still has further opportunities to win this event as his game matures.

In the Junior Girls Singles (Round Robin), Erin Harrison (Sacriston) claimed first spot to retain the title she won last year. Lauren Cook of Lanchester CC was runner-up. The event was keenly contested with some impressive rallies being played by all participants.

In the Veteran Singles, the top seed Keith Weatherby (St Chad’s) edged a tight final 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 over unseeded John Williamson (Durham CA), who had caused two major upsets on his way to the final by overcoming fourth seed Marc Cotton in the quarters and second seed Steve Penman in the semi-final.

In the Over 60’s final, Geoff Salter (Durham CA) beat Jimmy Scope (St Chad’s). Salter went 2-1 behind before storming back to win the fourth 11-3 and just edging the fifth by the closest of margins 13-11.

In the final match of the day, Syd Gooding (St Gabriel’s) had an excellent victory over Diane Cartmell of Division One leaders Thompson Insurance A to claim the Consolation Singles.

Results: Open Singles: Andrew Wilkinson (Thompson Insurance A) beat Anthony Barella (Thompson Insurtance A) 13-11, 11-6, 11-2.

Ladies Singles: Lynne Herrington (Thompson Insurance B) beat Diane Cartmell (Thompson Insurance A) 11-2, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4.

Open Doubles: Andrew Wilkinson and Marc Cotton (Thompson Insurancew A) beat Adam Curran and Steve Penman (St Chad’s) 11-2, 6-11, 11-9, 11-13, 11-3).

Mixed Doubles: Andrew Wilkinson and Diane Cartmell (Thompson Insurance A) beat Anthony Barella (Thompson Insurance A) and Lynne Herrington (Thompson Insurance B) 11-6, 11-4, 11-5

Veterans Singles: Keith Weatherby (St Chad’s) beat John Williamson (Durham CA A) 11-9, 11-9, 11-7.

Over 60 Singles: Geoff Salter (Durham CA A) beat Jimmy Scope (St Chad’s) 11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 11-3, 13-11.

Consolation Singles: Syd Gooding (St Gabriel’s C) beat Diane Cartmell (Thompson Insurance A) 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3

Junior Boys Singles: Adam Curran (St Chad’s) beat Robert Renton (St John B) 11-2, 11-5, 11-6.

Junior Girls Singles (Round Robin): winner Erin Harrison (Sacriston Desperadoes), runner-up Lauren Cook (Lanchester CC).

Under-13 Singles: Simon Knopf (Sacriston) beat Joshua Weatherby (St Chad’s) 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9.

Under-11 Singles (Round Robin): winner Peter Smallcombe (East Boldon Methodists), runner-up Jack Slane (Lanchester CC).

Cadet Boys Singles: Joshua Weatherby (St Chad’s) beat Robert Renton (St John B) 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7.

Cadet Girls Singles (Round Robin): winner Charlotte Weatherby (St Chad’s), runner-up Shelly Brogden (John Spence)

H The draw for the semi-final of the Team Handicap Cup sees Silksworth IM take on St. Gabriel’s B, while St Chad’s will be away to either Durham CA A or Thompson Insurance A in the other tie.