National Championships: titles for Paul DRINKHALL and Kelly SIBLEY
06/03/2011 – Paul DRINKHALL is the National Men’s Singles Champion after regaining the crown he won in 2006/7 and 2008/9 seasons. Paul was totally focussed on the job at hand and stayed true to his values and at every stage was made to work fo
06/03/2011 – Paul DRINKHALL is the National Men’s Singles Champion after regaining the crown he won in 2006/7 and 2008/9 seasons. Paul was totally focussed on the job at hand and stayed true to his values and at every stage was made to work for this title. Losing finalist Danny Reed deserves the highest credit for his outstanding contribution to a wonderful National Championships and throughout his matches that included his victory over Liam PITCHFORD in the semi final and his unbelievable doubles championship win with Chris DORAN was simply superb.
Paul was determined and had to be “in the zone” throughout this entire tournament and he is a very worthy National Champion for a third time! Paul DRINKHALL beat Danny REED 11-7, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9.
The new Women’s National Champion for a second time is Kelly SIBLEY. She had to work her socks off in the final against Jo PARKER and once again we were all treated to a wonderful spectacle of top quality table tennis from our top two ranked players with Kelly running out a 4-2 games National Champion. Jo was going for a famous third consecutive National Women’s singles title but it was just not to be!
The rallies in this match were to die for any table tennis enthusiast and both players played their hearts out in a classic defence against attack encounter- absolute magic! Both these young Women are a credit to the sport and their supreme professionalism is an example for any young player to aspire to. Kelly SIBLEY beat Jo PARKER 11-7, 10-12, 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8.
The second seeded pairing of Chris DORAN and Danny REED (a new pairing this year) won the Men’s Doubles Championship final by beating hot favourites Paul DRINKHALL and Liam PITCHFORD. After taking a two love game lead found themselves back at 2-2 and a fight on their hands with the top seeds levelling the match. The entire final was played at breakneck speed and of the highest quality at every single point played. It was a splendid advertisement for our wonderful sport and certainly the best ever doubles match I have had the pleasure to watch!
The sheer excitement and drama in the last game kept the heart racing and at 7-7 a rally of sheer top quality ended with a edge ball by REED and another next point top quality rally that DORAN put away shouting out ” Steven ?” with the last points going nip and tuck was simply outstanding and without question “the match of the tournament”. The four players were simply incredible at every point and boy oh boy what a match to treat the packed audience.
Chris DORAN and Danny REED beat Paul DRINKHALL and Liam PITCHFORD 11-7, 14-12, 7-11, 10-12, 11-9.
Warm favourites Kelly SIBLEY (Warwickshire) and Jo PARKER (Surrey) took their third Nationals Doubles title with a straight 3-0 games victory over the junior Cleveland partnership of sixteen year old Chloe WHYTE and fifteen year old Jess DAWSON from the Ormesby club.
It was a superb achievement for the junior pairing the reach a National final and they were not overawed by the occasion by giving it their best shot and at times acquitted themselves very well over the hugely internationally experienced pairing of Kelly and Jo. Kelly SIBLEY and Jo PARKER beat Chloe WHYTE and Jess DAWSON 11-7, 11-7, 11-5.
(by Geoff WARE, courtesy ETTA)
Photo: Paul DRINKHALL (Photo Roscher)