Chris Doran beat Gavin Rumgay in five epic sets to take the English Open Ping Pong Championship title.

The event had been scheduled as the last qualifier for the WCPP finals at Alexandra Palace but, with the qualifiers already known, was restyled as the English Open.

Doran was imperious in the group stage, conceding just 66 points as he won all seven matches 2-0. Group runner-up Trevor Kerry was the only player to remotely trouble Doran, going down 15-13, 15-7.

Rumgay also sailed through the groups with a perfect record, dropping only 83 points across 14 victorious sets.

In the knockouts, Doran’s form was maintained as he did not drop a set on his way to the final, though Carl Breindel pushed him in the last 32 before Doran prevailed 15-8, 15-14.

He then defeated Yohan Lecomte in the last 16 and Matt Ware in the quarter-finals, before seeing off WCPP qualifier Ashley Stokes 15-14, 15-7 in the semis.

Rumgay’s progress was similar as his last-32 clash was the closest – he beat Keith Baker 15-14, 15-12. Craig Feargrieve and Gergely Urban were defeated in the next two rounds, while his semi-final victim was Zoltan Koszo of Serbia (15-9, 15-6).

The two finalists have played out some thrillers on the Grand Prix circuit and this sandpaper bat encounter was no different.

Doran took the first 15-10, but the Scotsman roared back in the next two, taking them 15-12, 15-11 to move into the lead. Doran levelled up thanks to a 15-10 scoreline in the fourth and the stage was set for a decider. In the event, it proved the least close set of the match, Doran claiming it 15-8 to take the top prize.

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