Dorning plays way into form to win senior event

Lee Dorning claimed victory in the senior competition at Lillington Free Church's second tournament of the season.
Lee Dorning claimed victory in the senior competition at Lillington Free Church's second tournament of the season.

Lillington Free Church’s second graded tournament of the season attracted many new players but it was a regular attendee who lifted the senior event .

Lee Dorning of the host club has played little table tennis this season but emerged from his group to reach the semi-final where he swept aside Kosha Kustra of the Barnt Green club.

Michael Khovanov

Michael Khovanov

In the final, Dorning lined up against County Council’s Nilton Green who had enjoyed an excellent win over Free Church’s Sam Weaving.

Back to his old form, Dorning took the winner’s trophy.

The junior event was hotly contested. England number 28 Hawley Ellicott defeated Blaenafon’s Ben Allen in one semi-final and Rugby’s county junior Sam Cafearo beat Henry Belcher of Birmingham’s Continental Stars in the second before losing out to Ellicott in the final.

The cadets was played as a round-robin, with Oxfordshire player Toby Dow finishing in pole position and debutant Pelin Karabulut of Continental landing the runners-up spot.

Lillington’s rapidly improving Dan Stone showed his potential when overcoming Cai Bristow of Blaenafon in his under-13 semi-final.

However, Matthew Burgess of Rugby, who plays two divisions above Stone in the Leamington League, proved a step too far for the Free Church player after having seen off Joseph Fisher of Bodicote in his last-four clash.

The Grade A singles featured Ellicott and Weaving in one semi-final, with Ellicott proving the victor and Free Church’s Dave Ramsey and Steve Bertie of Continental in the other. Ramsey secured his final spot but could not get the better of the in-form Ellicott.

There was an all-Kidlington semi in the Grade B event with Farshad Shaddel seeing off Christelle Rajapaksa. By contrast, the other semi was an all-Free Church affair with Emily Beasley beating Milly Green. In the final, Shaddel took the trophy on his first visit to the tournament.

Oxfordshire county junior Victoria Coll of Kidlington dispatched Barry Fulford of Bournville in the last four of the Grade C event before utilising her experience to beat Karabulut in five in the final.

Three Church players contested the semi-finals of the improvers’ event, with Nathan Jackson going on to beat Morris Wong of Kidlington in the final.

All four semi-final places were filled by Free Church players in the beginners’, with Joe Hamer, who the host club have yet to unleash in the league, beating Morgan Page and Michael Khovanov overcoming Joe Cole. Khovanov continued his recent form to win the final.

Consolation events: Seniors: 1, Ian Beasley (Free Church); 2, Livvy Fletcher (Free Church).Juniors: 1, Kiaresh Shaddel (Kidlington); 2, Emily Beasley (Free Church). Under-13: 1, Morris Wong (Kidlington); 2, Michael Khovanov (Free Church). Grade A: 1, Harry Purewal (Free Church); 2, Livvy Fletcher (Free Church).Grade B: 1, Toby Dow (Bodicote); 2, Eve Briscoe (Free Church). Grade C: 1, Joe Shrimpton (Free Church); 2, Andre Berthineau (Continental).Improvers: 1, Jack Knowles (Free Church); 2, Cai Bristow (Blaenafon). Beginners: 1, Barney Holtham (Free Church); 2, Deva Bakthisaran (Free Church).