Leicester & District: Rogers is club champion

Author:
John Bowness (publicity officer)

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Please note - this news article was published more than three years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Knighton Park, the largest table tennis club in Leicestershire and the only one with its own premises catering solely for the sport, held its club finals that produced a new club champion in 15-year-old Jack Rogers, who has improved in leaps and bounds during his three years in the Leicester League, capping a productive period having recently won the National Cadets Consolation Singles.

Earlier in the proceedings there was a dress rehearsal of one of the open semi-finals when Karen Smith faced Division One team-mate, Les Baker, in the final of the Veterans Singles.

Smith, the holder, found herself 2-1 down as Baker looked particularly sharp. Smith won the fourth 11-4 and just managed to keep the momentum going to take the decider 11-9 to retain the trophy.

Meantime there was an intriguing tussle in the final of the Junior Boys which featured 12-year-old Oscar Bentley against a relative newcomer nevertheless on the cusp of becoming a senior in Brajesh Patel who has showed marked improvement in Division Four as his fledgling league career took off. In this final, after a nervous start when he won the first 12-10, Patel gradually upped his game to win three straight against an opponent with many more years as a junior.

Patel also contested the Handicap Singles, this time against an even younger opponent in Edward Brown who is eleven. Brown, receiving 7 up to 21 each time, won the first 21-10, in effect 14-10. But Patel did very well to change his game slightly to get home 24-22, 21-19 in the next two, showing a mature mind. Another young loser in Brown, but again with plenty of time to develop.

All four players seemed a little nervous in the Handicap Doubles final, all four play in Division Three, with Simon Aldis and Steve Bessant, receiving one point, defeating Chris Parmar-Saville and Martin Pember 21-18, 21-15.

Came the repeat of the veteran singles final in the Open Singles semi-final when Les Baker this time sprang from 2-1 down against Karen Smith to take the fourth 11-9 before tip-toeing home 14-12 to progress to the final.

In the other semi-final, a real humdinger and see-saw affair, Jack Rogers finally overcame Reza Kiani 3-2 (10-12, 11-9, 2-11, 11-9, 11-4).

The final provided a surprisingly one-sided tussle with Rogers taking the first two 11-9, 11-7. Baker came out for the third with intent and soon went 4-0 up, only to lose nine points in a row for Rogers to cap a majestic display 11-5 to take what must be the first of many such successes.

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