Only 12 players took part in the 4th Topspin Sports Horsham Spinners Veterans and Senior 1 Star Ratings tournament recently at the home of Horsham Spinners Table Tennis Club, Farlington School.

There were eight players in both the vets and the seniors, so everyone should potentially have got seven matches, except the four eager beavers who took part in both vets and seniors and therefore played 14 matches on the day.

15-year-old Ed Cozens (Sx) from host club, Horsham Spinners TTC, only the fifth ranked player (the three players below him had no ranking points), won the Senior event, in his first ever senior tournament. No 1 seed, Rory Scott (IRL), won the veterans.


Ed Cozens played a blinder to win all seven of his matches against the odds and won his first Senior title. In a very mature performance, he only conceded two games all day, to Alan Papier (Av) and James Pettigrew (Sx). He thrashed the runner-up, the awkward combination bat exponent, Roger Pingram (K) 11-4, 11-5, 11-7 in their first match of the day.

Pingram won his remaining matches for the loss of three games, two of them vs Mike Du Plessis (USA). Ken Lewis (E) won five matches all in straight games to get third place. Papier won four and came fourth. Tom Kinga (Sx) (three wins), Liam Cuffe (Sx) (two wins) and Du Plessis (one win) finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. The only five-setters in the event were Mike’s losses to Pingram and Kinga, the latter being 14-12 in the fifth!


Controversy ruined the vets event unfortunately. The day before the tournament a player pulled out, leaving just seven players in the event, which would mean players would have got less than the normal minimum of eight matches at these events. The referee, Amila Thilakarathna, made the decision to allow Scott, who had not planned to enter, into the vets to replace the player who had pulled out (the draw had not been released prior to the event) and to ensure everyone got enough matches.

Scott had another event in Brighton in the morning, but motored up to get to the Horsham tournament about 12.15pm, two hours after the tournament had started. Now since the event was one large round-robin group, where everyone played everyone, his being late did not delay the tournament whatsoever. It just meant that matches had to be played out of order, which happens all the time at these tournaments, due to players playing in both age groups and other reasons.

The referee had no idea that Scott’s late arrival would upset anyone (and neither had Scott) and assumed that players were there to play table tennis, not to cause arguments. Anyway, a player objected to Scott’s late arrival, with the result that he and two other players refused to play Scott and had walkovers awarded against them, since the referee had already agreed that Scott could play and it would have been unfair to reverse that decision once made.

Scott won the four matches he actually played and received the three walkovers to win the event. Lynne Trussell (Sx) extended him to five games and Pingram, Papier and Du Plessis all nicked an end off him. Barrie Gilbert (Sx), the second seed, won his six matches and finished second, but was extended to 11-8 in the fifth by Pingram and lost a game to Chris Pullinger (Sy).

Papier and Pingram both won four matches and the former ended up third as he won their head to head in the deciding game. Papier also defeated Lewis in five. Lewis won thrice, including five game wins over both Trussell and Pullinger and was fifth. Pullinger and Trussell both won braces, but since Lynne beat Chris, she finished above him in sixth place to his seventh. Pullinger’s win over Papier was in five games.

Veterans runner-up Barrie Gilbert

Remaining Senior/Veteran tournaments in Sussex for the rest of the season are as follows:

Saturday 18th May Horsham Spinners Senior/Vet 1 Star
Sunday 19th May Horsham Spinners Senior/Vet 1 Star
Saturday 22nd June Burgess Hill Senior/Vet 2 Star
Saturday 29th June & Sunday 30th June The Burgess Hill Sussex Open (A Senior 2 Star similar to a Grand Prix)

Final Placings

Seniors: 1) Ed Cozens (Sx), 2) Roger Pingram (K), 3) Ken Lewis (E), 4) Alan Papier (Av), 5) Tom Kinga (Sx), 6) Liam Cuffe (Sx), 7) Mike Du Plessis (USA), 8) James Pettigrew (Sx)

Veterans: 1) Rory Scott (IRL), 2) Barrie Gilbert (Sx), 3) Alan Papier (Av), 4) Roger Pingram (K), 5) Ken Lewis (E), 6) Lynne Trussell (Sx), 7) Chris Pullinger (Sy), 8) Mike Du Plessis (USA)