A high quality field featuring no fewer than four of the top 40 players in England contested the latest Super League tournament to be played at the Corby Smash Table Tennis Centre in Northamptonshire.  Northants own Chris Doran (ranked at number 5 nationally) was the star attraction, and was looking to win this event for the third time in succession.  Would Michael O’Driscoll (ranked 10), Ismaila Akindiya (16) or Mitchell Jones (37) be up for the challenge?

The first round produced just one shock result with Steve Smith (Warwickshire) upsetting the seedings, with a 3-2 win over the number 8 seed John Fuller (Northants).  Bedfordshire’s Elroy Edwards almost matched Smith’s performance but, after leading 2-0, he eventually slipped to a five end loss against Warwickshire’s Andy Frain (number 13 seed).

Round two saw young Louis Price (Avon – Seeded 15) up against the 3rd seed Akindiya (Notts) and this clash was probably the match of the night.  Price took the first end 11-9, but Akindiya looked to have worked out his young opponent to take a 2-1 lead (11-7, 11-2).  However, Price with Dan Ives in his corner, was not done and levelled the match with an 11-5 win.  The fifth end was a close encounter but eventually the more experience player pulled away to take the decider 11-7 and ruin Price’s hopes of a tremendous and unexpected victory.  This round did see a slight upset with Matt Evans (Bedfordshire – seeded 12) defeating Shandor Czuczor (Hungary – seeded 5) by three games to one.

Into the third round, and 4th seed Mitchell Jones (Middlesex) was given an almighty scare by Bedfordshire Evans before scraping through 11-9 in the decider.

The semi final stage saw top seed Doran play Jones with Jones putting in a strong display but Doran was too good and took the victory 15-13,11-3,11-13,11-6.  The other semi final was between the 2nd seed O’Driscoll and the 3rd seed Akindiya.  This proved to be an absolute classic of an encounter.  Akindiya opened up a 2-0 lead courtesy of two 12-10 wins.  O’Driscoll showed all of his fighting qualities to level the tie at 2-2 with two 11-6 wins of his own.  The momentum looked like it had swung into O’Driscoll’s favour but Akindiya showed his mental strength to take the decider 11-8.

And so the final saw top seed Doran facing 3rd seed Akindiya.  The two of them produced an entertaining match but Northants man Doran was always in control to take the crown and the £200 prize money with an 11-6, 11-6, 11-13, 11 – 8 victory.

Final placing’s (   and initial seeding’s)

  1. Chris Doran (1)
  2. Ismaila Akindiya (3)
  3. Mitchell Jones (4)
  4. Michael O’Driscoll (2)
  5. Andy Hawes (6)
  6. Tony West (11)
  7. Matt Evans (12)
  8. Joe Killoran (7)
  9. Louis Price (15)
  10. Chris Cockburn (14)
  11. Pat Glynn (10)
  12. Ben Wilson (9)
  13. Paul Beck (16)
  14. Steve Smith (21)
  15. Andy Frain (13)
  16. Shandor Czuczor (5)
  17. Dan Smalley (17)
  18. Richard Hayes (18)
  19. John Fuller (8)
  20. Henry Arthur (22)
  21. Elroy Edwards (27)
  22. Anthony Ellis (20)
  23. Matt Horricks (24)
  24. Peter Bannister (25)
  25. Alex Aston (19)
  26. Mark Conway (28)
  27. Nick Howard (23)
  28. Pete Hillery (32)
  29. Helmuth Osborne (26)
  30. Viv Rayson (29)
  31. Andy Michalski (31)
  32. Mateusz Filipowicz (30)