The Police National Table Tennis Championships were held between 3rd – 6th may 2011 at Potters Leisure resort, Great Yarmouth with over 500 competitors taking part in various indoor sports from all over the country.
The table tennis event was dominated by West Midlands Police Officers and staff, taking home 4 of the 5 titles they had entered. Forensic Scene Investigator Ian Ferguson and Special Police Constable Melanie Farquhar took home the top titles winning their individual events respectively. Ferguson won his second men’s singles title some 9 years and 5 finals after winning at his first attempt back in 2002. Ferguson reached the final overcoming Simon Dilkes (Metropolitan Police) in a 5 set semi final and then won a pulsating 5 set thriller 9 in the 5th against former 3 time champion Steve Cowley from the British Transport Police who had beaten Tim O’Mahoney 3-0 in the semi final.
Fittingly Melanie won the womens individual title at her first ever attempt having not played competitively for almost 2 years, beating former 4 time champion Suzanne Robinson from Gloucestershire once again 11-9 in the deciding set having overcome Sarah Hudson 3-0 in her semi final. Suzy had beaten Jane Ellis (Nottinghamshire) in her semifinal and played a fantastic match in the final and despite the disappointment of missing out on 3 titles in a row by the narrowest of margins was extremely gracious in defeat. Melanie showed signs of her old self with some incredible attacking play and looks determined to make her mark on the National circuit once again following her impressive return to the sport.
The individual winners combined with deadly effect cruising to the Mixed doubles title without the loss of a single set, beating West Yorkshires Janet West and Ian Marshall in the final.
Farquhar then partnered Leanne Murdoch in the womens doubles and lost in the final to Gloucestershires Suzy Robinson and Lesley Slack, to give Melanie 2 golds and a silver at her first ever Police National Championships.
Ferguson though wasn’t to be denied his hatrick as he partnered PC Leigh bradford to take the Men’s doubles crown, beating last years champions Neil Harris and Ian Marshall (West Yorkshire) 3-2 in the final to complete a wonderful treble.
Steve Cowley put his disappointment from the Men’s singles to one side when he duly won the veterans title 3-1 against Metropolitan Police staff officer Winston Wong. Wong was to suffer double disappointment, when once again he was to be a losing finalist, this time alongside Jim Craggs in the veteran doubles, where the Nottinghamshire pair of Adam Ellis and Dave Greaves proved too strong.
Chris Jacob of Essex Police dominated the retired singles once again, beating Bassam Mocharrafie in the final and Fiona Cartwright won the retired Ladies singles overcoming Wendy Evans in a tight 4 set final.
Following the awards ceremony the Police Sport United Kingdom secretary Anthony pitt, announced the team that will travel to Palermo, Italy for the forthcoming European Table Tennis Championships in October 2011.
The GB team comprises of the following;
Manager – Fiona Cartwright
Coach – Ian Ferguson
By Ian Ferguson