Warner is surprise champion
TABLE TENNIS: Andrew Warner eventually emerged triumphant at the 2002 Britannia Ipswich Top 12 event.Warner beat Richard Hutchinson in a thrilling final to end the stranglehold that his opponent and Andrew Dosher have had in the event over recent seasons.
Table Tennis: ANDREW Warner eventually emerged triumphant at the 2002 Britannia Ipswich Top 12 event.
Warner beat Richard Hutchinson in a thrilling final to end the stranglehold that his opponent and Andrew Dosher have had in the event over recent seasons.
All bar a few of Ipswich's finest table tennis players gathered for the annual tournament.
With two groups of six players and just two places available from each group the matches produced many intense rallies.
In group one Dosher was given a scare by comeback boy Andrew Mann before Dosher just prevailed at 19 in the third set.
The top four in group one all had chances to qualify as Michael Wright defeated Andrew Holmes, Holmes in turn beat Nigel Hodder, but Hodder beat Wright.
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This anomaly resulted in a tie between Holmes and Hodder for second position but Holmes went through by virtue of a greater sets average.
Dosher won the group outright by winning all his games, but went to three with all players bar one as Holmes, Hodder and Wright pushed him very close.
In group two Hutchinson won all his matches 2-0 apart from an encounter with Warner, while it was left to Ian Brown and Warner to fight for the second spot in the section.
This game produced some excellent rallies and the scores were very tight as Brown eventually prevailed at deuce in the third.
Unfortunately for Brown, his leg scores weren't enough and Warner went through with the same win game ratio of three to two.
Earlier John Tallent had beaten Brown 2-0 while Jimmy Farrow has taken Warner to three.
Hutchinson easily beat Holmes to qualify for his third final on the trot, while Dosher against Warner went the distance for the sixth consecutive meeting.
It was a match that swung towards both players and perhaps should have gone to Dosher, as he put an unlucky start behind him by taking the second and leading well in the third.
But a combination of good fortune and plucky play from Warner eventually saw him win at 18.
Warner had already lost to Hutchinson in the group stage and lost the opening game in the final.
Warner played more aggressively and opened up a good lead in the second but Hutchinson – many times the Ipswich champion – came back before letting the game slip at 19.
And in the third set Warner showed his class by looping strongly and using his backhand smash to take his first major title.