Lorestas Trumpauskas completed a hat-trick of Veteran Men’s Singles wins with a victory over Stephen Horsfield on Friday night, but he had to work harder in 2013 than he had in either of the previous two Nationals.
Having progressed through his group with relative comfort, Trumpauskas beat Andrew Horsfield 3-1 in his quarter-final to set up a meeting with dark horse Mike O’Driscoll in the semi-final after the Yorkshireman beat Costas Papantoniou 3-1 in his quarter-final.
Also in the last eight, both John Dennison and Stephen Horsfield progressed after they each won in four games respectively against Andy Wignall and Abdul Wuraola.
The remaining three matches in the Veteran’s Singles all went to five games as the event game to a thrilling crescendo.
Firstly, Trumpauskas beat O’Driscoll after an incredible fifth game. The first four games in the semi-final undulated between the pair as the defending champion took the first 11-4 and the third 11-5 but, inbetween, lost the second 13-11 and the fourth 11-3.
In-form O’Driscoll then appeared to have the upper hand in the deciding game when he led 10-8 but the stubborn Trumpauskas held firm and saved three match points to secure his own at 14-12.
His eventual final opponent, Horsfield also had his own dramatic semi-final with Dennison. Having trailed 2-0 (12-10, 11-9) he fought back bravely to level with 11-4 and 11-8 games before sealing a superb comeback with a 12-10 deciding game.
In the final, it was Horsfield who struck first, 11-7, but the two-times champion came back to show his pedigree with 11-6 and 11-7 games. When Horsfield levelled 11-9, the final created its own drama and had the crowd enveloped in excitement.
Unfortunately for supporters of the underdog, Trumpauskas came out strongly to win the final game 11-6 and claim his third successive title at Ponds Forge.
Lorestas Trumpauskas bt Stephen Horsfield 3-2 (7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6)