Beckett Shield Final 2010 Report

Started by Mebs Virani

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Mebs Virani
Mon 06 Sep '10 @ 9:27pm

The final of this year’s Summer League competition marked an historic conclusion to the Beckett Shield. For the first time in the history of the competition a team was bidding to retain the trophy in successive seasons and a first for the Chestfield Warriors Club to have two club sides in the final. The holders,CW7 Unbeatables, had breezed into the final after a semi final win over the Herne Bay Mis-Fits while their opponents,CW8 Incredibles had stormed into the final on the back of a superb win over Herne Bay’s Best.
Jake Coombes of Unbeatables kicked off against Adam Jones in the opening tie. Coombes had to give his opponent a 10 point start and both players made a tentative start with mainly defensive rallies,with Jones unable to create any openings against his more experienced opponent. Coombes levelled at 13-13 and began to attack more which allowed Jones to play his shots and move ahead,21-19,but Coombes powered his way to a 25-21 win in the opening set. The second set followed the pattern of the first with Coombes maintaining his steady play and take the set,25-17.

The second tie was the highly talented but nonchalant Josh Algar,against Connor Russell of Incredibles. The latter had the benefit of a 15 point start over Algar and showed no nerves as he confidently rallied defensively with Algar,forcing him into uncharacteristic errors and at times producing some scintillating outright winners to run away with the first set,25-12. Algar steadied himself in the second set,putting Russell under pressure with heavy chops and backspin and forcing more errors form him. Russell was ahead 22-13 but his game disintegrated as he tried to force winners against an unusually restrained Algar. Russell led 23-22 but Algar made it to 24-24 before stealing the next point to take the tie to a decider. The final set saw Russell compose himself and produce a display of intense steady play that moved him to a 19-6 lead and eventually take the game,25-14.

The third tie was crucial to the outcome of the match. Russell had a 7 point start over Coombes and started very confidently with a good blend of defence and counter-attack to move into a 16-4 lead. Coombes dug deep to halt the slide with an array of sparkling attacking shots to level at 19-19 and a strong finsish saw him take the set 25-21. Coombes started the second set better,giving little away to trail at 12-18,but poor shot selection and unforced errors from him allowed Russell to finish the set,25-17. The final set was a wonderful display of allround table tennis from both players,with Russell moving into an 18-12 lead,but Coombes used all his experience to level at 20-20 before winning 25-23.
Algar faced a mammoth task against Jones,starting at -1 and Jones on 17. Jones attacked freely to go 21-4 up but Algar won 21 of the next 22 points with a brilliant exhibition of blocking and counter attacking table tennis to leave Jones stunned. Algar continued in the same fashion in the second set,but Jones had his opportunities at 24-24 but it was fitting that the winner came from young Algar to give Incredibles their second Beckett Shield title. The match was a great tribute to the players,their club and coach.

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