On a night of some pulsating table tennis played in a fabulous spirit Pete Hodgson and Andy Kirkland came through some tough matches to be crowned DTH Senior Doubles Champions.
Twenty-eight players entered the competition and, after being seeded in accordance with the latest player averages, they were then paired up with the number one seed playing with the number 28 seed, the number two seed with the 27th seed and so on, before 14 pairs were drawn into two groups of seven. Matches were up to 31 and Group A was won by Rob Vaughan and Chris Cutts, who won all their six matches scoring the maximum points of 186 with some steady table tennis to qualify for the semi-finals.
Who would be joining them from Group A was a much closer affair which went right down to the wire.
Pete Eyre and Glen Gillgrass, who won five out of their six games, just managed to squeeze into secnd place by one point with Keith Smith and James Wormwell being the unlucky duo to miss out on a semi-final spot. If Group A was nip and tuck then Group B was more clear cut with Andy Kirkland and Pete Hodgson topping it with five wins out of six, scoring a total of 180 points.
When Paul Linfield and Jeff Reay managed to return the same win/loss ratio and 176 points to go with it then they were the pairing to also go through to the semi-finals by the virtue of finishing runners up in Group B. In the first semi-final, which ebbed and flowed throughout, it was Vaughan and Cutts who managed to hold their nerve to win it by 31-27 and they were joined in the final by Hodgson and Kirkland, who defeated Eyre and Gillgrass by a similar scoreline of 31-24. If the semi-finals were close then the final turned out to be even closer.
Vaughan and Cutts started to pull away but each time they did back came Hodgson and Kirkland to get back on level terms.
With the match evenly poised Hodgson delivered, at times, some un returnable spin serves to edge them in front at a vital point in the match and it was a lead that they didn’t let slip eventually winning by a fabulous contest 31-29.