Treble title treat for magic McVitie + SLIDESHOW

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DARREN McVitie capped off an excellent season, which saw Thompson Insurance A retain the Division One title, by winning the open singles and open vets singles events at the Sunderland and District Association’s closed championships.

McVitie overcame Steve Penman (St Chad’s) in straight sets in the open singles before going on to defeat another St Chad’s player, Jimmy Scope, to make it a double success.

Darren McVitie.

Darren McVitie.

McVitie was denied a third title in the open doubles when he and partner Chris Blake – the top seeds – were defeated in the semi-final by eventual winners Jimmy Scope and Adam Curran (St Chad’s).

The pair played brilliantly throughout and followed up with an excellent display in the final to defeat Ryan Richardson (Silksworth IM A) and Steve Penman.

In the women’s singles, Eszter Soos (St John’s A) played some great table tennis to beat Amanda Paxton (Redby CA A) to win the title for the first time.

Curran and Soos won the mixed doubles with a fine win over John Williamson (West CA A) and Paxton.

Curran has had an excellent debut season in the First Division (helping his team to finish third) and capped this off by winning a hat-trick of titles, taking the Under-18 Boys crown – beating Jacob Helm – to add to his open doubles and mixed doubles successes.

Dave Cutler (Mortimer CA) won the consolation singles, beating Soos in the final, to complete a great season after helping his team to achieve promotion to Division One and finish runners-up in the Team Handicap Cup.

There will more on the younger competitors in the tournament in the Echo next week.

H The Sunderland and District League’s final outstanding match saw Sacriston St Bede’s A clinch the Division Two title in the ninth set of their final game against stubborn Redby CA.

Mortimer CA, who had interested spectator Dave Cutler at the match to observe proceedings, were sitting at the top of the table on 66 points.

Mortimer’s superior “sets won” record meant that Sacriston needed a 6-4 win or better to claim the three points necessary, over a side that had previously beaten them 6-4 and drawn 5-5 in their two encounters earlier in the season.

They eventually got over the line by the skin of their teeth thanks to a quite brilliant hat-trick of wins from man-of-the-match Jon Mawson, who must be the division’s most improved player over the season.

The highlight was a stunning 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 victory over Rob Kerr. Mawson was ably supported by Paul Dale (2) and Kevin Smith, while Rob Kerr (2) and Dave Thompson, who also combined to take the doubles, won for Redby.

Up 5-2 at one stage, Sacriston were stuttering towards victory, but Kerr cranked up the pressure, coming from behind to beat Kevin Smith 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 13-11.

The ninth set was a tense and tactical five-ender for Mawson and Thompson. Thompson drew first blood, coming from 8-10 down to take the first game 12-10.

Mawson bounced back to shade the second game 11-9 and then raced 5-1 up in the third, but Thompson refused to lie down and staged a remarkable comeback, playing some wonderful attacking strokes to steal it 12-10 and move 2-1 ahead.

Just as Sacriston feared the match, and the title, was slipping away, Mawson dug deep, and employing accurate and controlled pushing, sidespin and backspin, took the fourth 11-4 to force a deciding end.

Mawson duly stormed in front and clung on with grim determination to ensure victory and the title for Sacriston.