MARTIN LOWE regained the Men's Singles trophy at the York Closed Table Tennis Closed Championships, defeating defending champion James Rule in a thrilling reversal of last year’s final.
The two are team-mates for Coneysthorpe 'A' in the York League, both unbeaten in the top tier this season, and they played out a final of the highest quality which went to the wire.
Rule took an early 5-2 lead in the first game. Lowe came back to within two points at 7-5 before Rule took the game 11-6.
Rule also led 7-4 in the second but Lowe took the next four to lead 8-7, going on to win it 12-10.
Lowe’s confidence was high and he stormed into an 8-2 lead in the third, winning it 11-6.
Rule halted the slide in the fourth game. At 5-5 he won three points to lead 8-5 and kept his nose ahead to win 11-9.
Lowe took an early 4-1 lead in the deciding set, but Rule came back and the lead changed a number of times with Rule winning four points to go 8-6 up and Lowe taking the next three to lead 9-8.
Rule took the next two to take championship point at 10-9 but Lowe saved that one and another at 11-10 down, before winning three consecutive points to triumph 13-11, and with it his ninth title.
In the semi-finals, Rule had defeated third seed Richard Moss (York RI) while Lowe beat fourth seed Filip Wojtkowiak (York RI).
In total 86 players competed for 21 trophies at this year's championships held at the York RI Gymnasium.
Sixteen-year-old German exchange student Clara Bellestedt (Clarence TTC), seeded second, won the Ladies’ Singles, defeating Andrea Potter (Millthorpe) in the final.
Potter won the first game 11-6. The next two were both close, Bellestedt taking them 11-9 and 11-8. She then dominated the fourth game, winning it 11-2 to take the title.
In the semi-finals, Bellestedt defeated Lydia Brown (University) and Potter shocked top seed Anne Barnard (York RI).
Rule and Lowe teamed up to retain the Men’s Doubles.
In the final they dropped the first game against Richard Crowther (York RI) and Jon Wooldridge (Bootham CC), but won the next two. Crowther and Wooldridge had game points in the fourth before Lowe and Rule took it 15-13 to win 3-1.
Top seeds Bellestedt and Barnard won the Ladies’ Doubles, defeating Potter and Marian Broadbent (BT) in straight sets in the final.
Broadbent teamed up with Wooldridge to win the Mixed Doubles. The top seeds beat Bellestedt and Mikey Arnold (York RI) in a close final, taking the deciding set 11-7.
Rule retained his Junior (under-18s) Singles title, beating Arnold in straight sets in a repeat of last year’s final.
However, John Farmery (Clarence TTC) defeated Rule, top seed and last year’s winner, in the final of the Hardbat Singles. The Hardbat Doubles was won by Bellestedt and Joe Wright (Bootham CC). They defeated Tom Thorp and Wojtkowiak (both York RI) in the final.
Lowe defeated Wooldridge in the Veterans’ (over-40s) Singles final.
They shared the first two games before Lowe won two close games 11-9 and 14-12.
Jeff Cohen and Andy Fletcher (both York RI) defeated defending champions Crowther and Wooldridge in straight sets in the Veterans’ Doubles final.
John Farmery won the Super Veterans’ (over-55s) Singles, beating Mark Blackburn (York RI) 3-1 in the final.
Arthur Sorley (York RI) won the Cadets (U15s) Singles, defeating Sam Lowe (Coneysthorpe) in the final that went to a deciding set, which Arthur won 11-3.
Sorley and Lowe teamed up to win the Junior Doubles final in straight sets against Matthew Lowe (Coneysthorpe) and Adam Stone (Millthorpe).
In the U11s Singles final, Alex Widdup (Millthorpe) beat eight-year-old James Borlase (Millthorpe) 3-1.
The divisional singles titles were won by Rule (Div 1), Calum Goodwin (University, Div 2), Steven Temple (Ryedale at RI, Div 3) and 13-year-old Jacob Martindale (York RI, Div 4).
The Men’s Plate was won by Ryan Hood. Arnold won the Handicap Singles, and Ishan Bairoliya (University) and Mark Blackburn won the Handicap Doubles.
The main sponsors of the tournament were GMB.