Joe Kennedy

Joe Kennedy made it back-to-back victories in the World Championship of Ping Pong qualification event at Hullbridge.

But, in contrast to the relative ease with which he won the event at Rowhedge – winning all seven group matches and not dropping a set until the final – he was made to dig much deeper before coming out on top.

Kennedy had to come from behind to beat David Tiplady in his fifth group match, and the result proved significant as defeat to Tony West in his final match meant Kennedy advanced as group winner by virtue of his head-to-head victory against Tiplady after the two finished level on match points.

The three other group winners – Paul Worrallo, Graham Sandley and Luke Walsh all went through with unbeaten records.

Worrallo and Walsh were beaten in the quarter-finals by Tiplady and Richard Hutchinson respectively, but Sandley was in good touch as he marched through to the final without dropping a set.

Kennedy came from behind to see off Fred Dove in the last eight, and then shaded Hutchinson 15-11, 15-13 in the semi-finals.

The final proved to be a classic rollercoaster affair as Kennedy twice led before being pegged back. But the Essex player took the last 15-12 to seal his second successive event win.

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By Paul Stimpson
September 16, 2014