Jags in top gear

TABLE TENNIS: Britannia Table Tennis Club hosted the first round group stage of the Ormesby Cup at the Dome, Defoe Road in Ipswich.

BRITANNIA Table Tennis Club hosted the first round group stage of the Ormesby Cup at the Dome, Defoe Road in Ipswich.

Britannia Eagles, being the Premiership champions of Ipswich, represented the Ipswich League and fielded a team comprising Andrew Dosher, Andrew Holmes and Ian Brown.

In their first match they faced the very strong CEYMS of Norwich who included former Suffolk starlet Russell King, former Norfolk singles champion Matts Olsen and comeback player Trevor Bunn.

The first team in each match to reach five wins was deemed the winner.

In the first game Dosher was pitched against King which was their first-ever clash. England rankings suggested a Norwich victory but Dosher, who hasn't played much in ranking events bar county and a few National League outings this term, coasted to an emphatic win.

He allowed King, ranked 100 places above him, just 11 points in three sets with scores of 5, 4 and 2!

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It has to be said King didn't show his best form but this was just the start Ipswich wanted.

Unfortunately they couldn't follow this up as Bunn took out Brown in a tight four ender.

Olsen then beat Holmes in another match which went to four sets even though the Swedish player always looked in control.

At 2-1 down Ipswich were looking to get back on track as Brown played King. Brown saved a number of game points in the first set to nick it, but found himself under the cosh in the next two before securing the fourth set with some trademark back hand hits.

King got his tactics right in the decider to increase the Norwich lead to 3-1.

Dosher then returned the winner by 19 in the third.

Again Olsen proved a handful for the Suffolk number three with his range of forehand and backhand shots plus serve and follow-up too strong for Dosher who went down at seven in the fourth end.

Holmes, though, showed a lot of grit and took out Bunn in another four setter to reduce the arrears to 2-4. Then Brown who had lost to Olsen in the Norwich League just a few weeks previous, turned the tables and ran out a three straight winner at 7, 7 and 9. Olsen was forced into looping shots as Brown countered with his attack.

Holmes couldn't contain King but still went down fighting losing 6, 8 and 7 which meant the Norfolk side had won 5-3 and on paper this was a fair result.

In their second match Ipswich entertained the might of Jags (London), who included former Jamaican international John Dennison and Selwyn Campbell.

In the first game Dosher found himself outclassed by Campbell who has been ranked around 50 in England. Despite having a game point in the third Dosher was well beaten 3-0.

Holmes then gave what was undoubtedly the best performance of his life as he took Dennison the distance.

He led 2-1 with an array of chop blocks and outright kills which bemused his illustrious opponent.

But in the final two games Dennison showed his pedigree to win, not before having to dig into his arsenal of attacking strokes.

Brown then went on a slight favourite against Adrian Davies, the London side's number three, but found his array of strokes against his defensive game too consistent to contain and went down 3-1.

Dosher then again was overwhelmed, this time by Dennison who played superbly with strength all round to win by scores of 5, 7 and 4.

It was left to Campbell to complete the rout over Brown, who did enjoy respectable scores by taking the third end.

This meant with two defeats Ipswich were condemned to finishing bottom and Jags took first spot by beating CEYMS 5-2.

Both Bunn and King beat Davies and Olsen showed just how good a player he is by taking both Campbell and Dennison to four.

Olsen is not ranked on the England list because he doesn't play competitions but is capable of beating players inside the top 100. King also took Dennison to a fourth set.

Ipswich cannot be too disappointed with the outcome as they gave it their best shot and were up against very strong opposition.

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