TABLE TENNIS: Lorna lands ladies’ title

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SPALDING & DISTRICT TABLE TENNIS LEAGUE (Sponsored by Magellan Solutions Ltd): THE second of the Spalding and District League’s individual competition evenings saw Lorna Staff take the ladies’ crown.

The night turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for the organisers, with just over half of the league membership turning out.

In the event, only one of the four titles can see a champion retaining their trophy. Likewise, only one can see the two seeded players fighting it out for the title.

The Ladies’ competition had just two entries, with the other three ladies in the league being unable to play because of injuries. Staff, who plays in Division One, proved too strong for Division Two’s Hannah Gilbert.

Division Two was also completed. With 12 entries, four preliminary matches were needed and one of these saw a repeat of last year’s final. Paddy Palgrave gained revenge over the second seed for that defeat and then progressed to the semi-final where he lost out in five ends to Reece Kerry, last year’s under-17 champion.

The other semi saw Joe Bombardini come from behind against Gary Simpson, to go through where he justified his top billing with a 12-10, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6 win.

The Division One competition reached the final pairing, but ran out of time. This was the only event where both seeds lived up to their billing.

Number one Pete Budd beat last year’s champ Phil Chandler and is joined by John Gilbert, who defeated the ladies’ champion.

Budd, who had needed five ends to overcome Chandler, then played him again in their delayed first round veteran’s tie, which no doubt played a part in his defeat – his first of the season.

Chandler now meets Mark Willows in the semi, while second seed John Gilbert has already made it to the final with a win over Keith Davey.

Bombardini (starting on 20) also made it to the Roy Gibson semi-final with a win over Willows (4).