Three quarters of the open grade premiership winning team (from left) Geoff Geddes, Pam Clarke and Matthew Pettett. The fourth member was Dave Hockings.
Three quarters of the open grade premiership winning team (from left) Geoff Geddes, Pam Clarke and Matthew Pettett. The fourth member was Dave Hockings.

Awesome foursome claims open grade premiership

TABLE TENNIS: In what would have to be the longest fixture season, in terms of time, in the history of the Rockhampton Table Tennis Association, the combination of Matthew Pettett, Dave Hockings, Geoff Geddes and Pam Clarke were awarded the premiership in open grade at the conclusion of the final round of matches this week.

The first season, which generally runs during the first school term, hit off early in February and was due to conclude during the first week of April. However, the effects of COVID-19 struck and towards the end of March all sporting activities had to cease.

With activities recommencing mid-July, the decision was made to continue with the year’s initial competition in view of uncertainty about how long sport would stay on the field of play at that point in time.

The premiership for this fixture competition, which is a four-person team concept played in two divisions, was always to be decided on the first past the post basis.

When the comp went into recess, Pettett’s squad held a small lead on a bunched field but after the break this side piled on the points to finish with a 13-point cushion over runners-up Kerrod Coughlan, Relly Pingol and Matthew and Emily Steffen.

The city’s players who attended the Mackay Open Championships last weekend returned with some excellent results against some really strong competition from all parts of the state. Unfortunately, Pettett could not repeat his heroics in the men’s open singles at the recent Rocky and Bundy carnivals when he beat Mackay’s number one Chanung Jung, formerly from South Korea.

On this occasion Pettett went down fighting to Jung in the semi-finals. He and regular partner went down in the final of the mixed open doubles event.

Clarke and Erica Nolan were runner-up in the women’s open doubles, while Nolan made the semi-finals in both the women’s open singles and the open mixed doubles.

In a good double, Clarke won the over-60 women’s singles and Nolan the corresponding event at over-30 level.

The city’s leading juniors were using this tournament for some tough matches in the lead-up to the state junior championships at Brisbane late next week. With the singles events being played via the round-robin format they got what they bargained for with many youngsters playing the same opposition on quite a few occasions across the age and ratings sections.

Matthew Steffen’s best win was in the men’s under-21 singles, while he reached the final of the under-18 singles. Unfortunately, Nick Green was pitted against Steffen in both these events and whilst he does boast some victories against his regular practice partner, he didn’t post one this weekend.

Green did conjure an excellent win the singles in the third section of the ratings events that are based on a points system, taking tournament performances into account.

Fourteen-year-old Emily continues to impress with her improving game and her win in the under-15 girls singles was impressive. She also made the finals of the under-21 and under-18 singles which are excellent results.

Colte Nolan made it to the main draw of the under-11 boys singles, while younger brother Cruz participated in his first tournament and excelled to make the main draw in the under-9 event.

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