The finals of the English Leagues Cup Competition took place over the weekend of 15th/16th June 2013 at Westfield Table Tennis Club, Wellingborough. The origins of the competition go back many years with the Wilmott Cup first being played for in 1935, the JM Rose Bowl in 1939 whilst the Carter Cup and Bromfield Trophy are more recent both commencing in 1966.
Wilmott Cup (Men)
The eight finalists were split into two groups of four. Sheffield, Guildford A, Wembley & Harrow and Hull comprising Group A with Reading, Birmingham, Lincoln and Brighton battling it out in Group B.
The day started well for Hull with the team of Chris Clinton and Reece Lo defeating the number one seeds, Sheffield, in a close fought 3-2 win. The second round and Sheffield overcame Guildford A 4-1 with Guildford A going on to beat Hull 3-2. The count back showed Sheffield topping the group with Hull second and Guildford A third. Wembley & Harrow fielded only one player so did not continue in the competition.
Over in Group B Reading had a fairly comfortable win over Brighton. Andy Wignall had a good start to Lincoln’s day by winning his two singles against Birmingham but the critical match was the doubles which Birmingham’s pairing of Amann Ubhi and Radek Mlynarczyk won, score 3-2 to Birmingham. Birmingham carried on their winning ways in the second round with a 5-0 win over Brighton although the match scores were closer than the result reflected. Andy Wignall took a sole win against Reading’s Hari Gehlot and Daniel Moses, 4-1 to Reading. Birmingham made it a hat trick of wins against the number one seeded team in Group B, Reading, and therefore were in the play-offs for first and second place. In the other group match Lincoln worked hard for their 3-2 win over Brighton.
Last year’s finalist, Sheffield, against a Birmingham team whose league had not won the competition since 1978 when Desmond Douglas, Douggie Johnson and Derek Munt were the victors. After a slow start to the day Birmingham improved in leaps and bounds, Radek Mlynarczyk defeated Mark Short in the first game, a similar result by Amann Ubhi (former Carter Cup winner) over Steve Horsfield and despite a fight back by Sheffield in the doubles the match went Birmingham’s way giving them a 3-0 win and the title. Another silver medal for Sheffield. Hull exceeded all expectations to take the Bronze with a 3-1 win over Reading whilst Guildford A’s Chris Bush and Alex Forshaw had a close 3-2 victory against Lincoln’s Andy Wignall and Mike Thornley.
Wilmott Cup Final Positions:
- Guildford A
- Wembley & Harrow
JM Rose Bowl (Women)
A full complement of ladies teams saw Derby’s Inta Zdanovska and Emily O’Sullivan start their campaign well with a 5-0 defeat of Bracknell & Wokingham in Group A. Leamington Spa, Kate Hughes and Charlotte Spencer, were 3-2 winners in a close match against Leicester. The second round and the number one seeds, Derby, had a much tighter match overcoming Leicester’s Karen Smith and Shreya Metha 3-2, the doubles being the crunch match whilst on court 8 Leamington Spa had a more comfortable 5-0 win. The final set of group matches resulted in a 4-1 win for Derby over Leamington Spa and a 5-0 win for Leicester against Bracknell & Wokingham.
In Group B, Hastings the number two seeds, started well with a 4-1 win over Guildford with Paulina Polakova taking Guildford’s single win. Leeds defeated North Herts with a similar 4-1 scoreline. Round 2 and Hastings’s Lisa Standen and Rose Rainton beat North Herts 4-1 whilst Leeds had a comfortable 5-0 win over Guildford. The final group round and Leeds pair of Nicole Finn and Zoe Cheesman went into an unexpected 2-0 lead against Hastings, Hastings pulled the next two back, the final match saw Zoe win in three straight against Lisa to gain a place in the play-offs for the title. The other match in the group and the sisters, Sandra Harper and Janice Laing, had a good 5-0 win against Paulina Polakova and Margaret Thornton.
An interesting prospect Derby v Leeds for first and second place. These two teams met in the zonal round and on that occasion Derby were 4-1 winners. Could history repeat itself? The match started well for Derby with Inta having a comfortable win over Zoe, Nicole pulled one back for Leeds against Emily. The doubles, which is so often the crucial match went Leeds way. Inta levelled the score in the fourth. The final game Emily O’Sullivan v Zoe Cheesman – first end to Zoe 12-10, second to Emily 11-5, Zoe scrapped the third 11-9 and with an 11-8 win in the fourth end saw Leeds take the win and the title. A well fought victory. Leamington Spa came home with the Bronze medal after a 3-0 win versus Hastings, Leicester finished 5th defeating North Herts 3-1 (a special mention to Karen Smith who remained undefeated throughout the day which shows the former England International is still a class act). Finally, a close 3-2 win for Bracknell & Wokingham, a win apiece for Sharon Mitchell and Wendy Porter plus the doubles, over Guildford concluded the day.
JM Rose Bowl Final Positions:
- Leamington Spa
- North Herts
- Bracknell & Wokingham
Carter Cup (Junior Boys)
Day 2 started well for the number one seeds Leamington Spa A with a straight 5-0 win over Bournemouth A. The other match in Group A saw Hull squeeze past North Herts 3-2. Round 2 and North Herts, Luke and Ethan Walsh, again just lost out 3-2, this time to Leamington Spa A. Hull in the other match in the group had a comfortable victory 5-0 against Bournemouth A. The final set of matches resulted in Leamington Spa A heading the group with a 4-1 win against Hull whilst North Herts gained their first victory, 4-1, defeating Bournemouth A.
Group B’s first matches saw a comfortable 5-0 win for Reading over Leamington Spa B and a 4-1 result for Wembley & Harrow against Bournemouth B with Jamie Trevillion having a good win to take Bournemouth B’s consolation match. Wembley & Harrow continued their winning ways with a 5-0 victory over Leamington Spa B and Reading gained a 3-2 win over Bournemouth B. The match between Reading and Wembley & Harrow for the honour of being in the play-offs for the title was a close fought affair. Daniel McTiernan took the lead for Reading in the first match, the score was levelled by Wembley & Harrow’s Gabriel Achampong in the second. A tense five setter in the doubles gave the lead once again to Wembley & Harrow, Liam McTiernan never stopped fighting to take the fourth and level the score against Karim Khassal. The fifth and final match and the brilliant play of Gabriel gained the day for Wembley & Harrow. Bournemouth B’s Matthew Daish and Jamie Trevillion had a good win against Leamington Spa B to finish third in the group, a match that had several close scores.
The number 1 seeds, Leamington Spa A got off to a slow start when Gabriel Achampong took the first 3-0 for Wembley & Harrow against Matt Outhwaite. Lawrence Sweeney levelled the score for Leamington Spa A against Omar Khassal. The crucial doubles went to Wembley & Harrow with a 3-0 win over Matt Outhwaite and Jesse Kendrick Hill. Finally, Gabriel Achampong, who had been on fire all day, and remained undefeated, had a good win over Lawrence to take the title for his team leaving Leamington Spa A the silver medallists for the second year running. Third place went to the Reading team of Liam and Daniel McTiernan and Sam Ricks who had a 3-0 victory against Hull’s Abhijay Mishra and James Garrod. Finishing fifth were the North Herts brothers in a closely fought 3-2 victory against Bournemouth B. Seventh place went to Leamington Spa’s B team, Anshul Satsangi and Lee Dorning, who defeated Bournemouth B’s pair of Josh Warren and Jacob Elliott.
Carter Cup Final Positions:
- Wembley & Harrow
- Leamington Spa A
- North Herts
- Bournemouth B
- Leamington Spa B
- Bournemouth A
Bromfield Trophy (Junior Girls)
Bournemouth, Kettering, Warrington and Wembley & Harrow were the four finalists for the trophy. Number 1 seeds Wembley & Harrow had a good start to the day with a 5-0 win over Warrington although Warrington’s Rachael Scott only just lost to Maria Wang in the fifth. Bournemouth A’s duo, Amy Blagborough and Becky Kuzo had a good 3-2 win against Kettering despite Nicole Bird winning both her singles. Wembley & Harrow continued their winning ways against Bournemouth but they did not have it all their own way. Maria Wang won her first match just pushing out Becky Kuzo 11-8 in the fifth. Amy Blagborough levelled the score for Bournemouth with an excellent win against Hiba Feredj winning 11-9 in the fifth. The doubles also went to five, Wembley & Harrow girls this time taking the win. Bournemouth again levelled the score with Amy defeating Maria. The final game and Hiba made it a 3-2 win. On the other table a similar struggle was going on between Kettering and Warrington. Nicole Bird started well with a win over Rachael Scott, Danielle Eden levelled the score for Warrington, the doubles went to Kettering in a close five setter. Danielle Eden again levelled the score defeating Nicole Bird and Rachael Scott gained the victory for Warrington in the last match against Lauren Ainsworth. The final set of matches and Wembley & Harrow had a good 4-1 win against Kettering whilst Bournemouth and Warrington were going game for game in the other match. Despite Danielle Eden’s two singles wins the five set doubles win by Bournemouth gained them the win.
Bromfield Trophy Final Positions:
- Wembley & Harrow (W 3 L0)
- Bournemouth (W2 L1)
- Warrington (W1 L2)
- Kettering (W0 L3)
Thanks to Westfield Table Tennis Club for hosting the event again this year, their hospitality as ever is superb. Thanks to all their helpers in preparation of the hall and in the kitchen. Appreciation to all the umpires for their work over the weekend which helped the tournament run so smoothly, along with Richard Hudson who was the Tournament Organiser on the day. Finally, a big thank you to all the leagues, players and spectators who supported the competition again this year.