Rocky snares Cree Shield

IN what turned out to a one-sided affair, Rockhampton won back the Cree Shield from Bundaberg on the weekend at the city’s Table Tennis Centre at Leichhardt Park. This annual event alternates between the two cities and this year the unenviable duty of travelling lay with the southerners.

On paper the visitors appeared to have a strong outfit in some sections, but a few locals played above expectations to close out the shield holders. The event is starting to gain a reputation to the effect that the victor is the home side and it’s becoming obvious that it will take a special effort to upset this trend.

One encounter in which the visitors had a solid line-up was the open grade. However, brothers Dane and Joel Coughlan and Darren Green all played strongly to set up a great victory for Rocky. Joel Coughlan, who returned from an international competition in Jordan only seven days earlier under an injury and illness cloud, played the house down. His defeats of John Fourro 22-20, 11-8, 12-10 and Bodo Rose 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8 were both quite impressive.

Green was also undefeated in the singles rounds beating Chris Rose 11-9 in the decider and Than Tran over four entertaining sets. Dane Coughlan, who has not been enjoying good form lately probably played the best match of his career when he blasted Bundy’s top player, Bodo Rose, in straight sets where Rose’s highest score was seven points.

The home side’s squad in the category for open women always looked the goods and they didn’t disappoint with a crushing victory. Pam Clarke, Ann-Louise Stewart, Helga Leitner and Paula Hockings all returned undefeated score cards in their singles rounds.

Shaun Pettett and Kerrod Coughlan spearheaded the reserve grade clash and their undefeated efforts created a win by seven rubbers to five. While Vince Crough and Allan Clarke struggled in the singles they contributed positively in the doubles ties.

The B-grade outfit of Craig Ottaway, Kent Jacobsen, Joe Clifton and Jason Hockings conjured a great team effort in the singles rounds after they lost three of the four doubles. Jacobsen and Hockings were both undefeated while Clifton excelled when he figured in a doubles victory, won one singles and went down in the other by two points in the decider.

In another big win the reliable outfit of Jason Warr, Steve Black, Matthew Pettett and Chris Leitner delivered the goods in the C-grade contest with an empathic victory. While some of the rubbers ended with close scorelines the home side prevailed in most of the contests.

Evergreen Gerard Watts was joined by Dave Hockings and Zenon Harabasz to be undefeated in the singles rounds of the veteran section on their way to a solid win. While Daniel Pun narrowly failed to tick a box in the singles rounds he played well in the doubles including a win with Harabasz.

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