By Allan Clarke
The recent Queensland Veteran Table Tennis Championships at Brisbane’s Downey Park Table Tennis Stadium attracted record entries and the three Rockhampton representatives performed quite well.
Ann-Louise Stewart, Monica Deeth and Pam Clarke made up the city’s team in the over-50 women’s inter-club team section and looked a solid chance to medal when they beat the top seeded Bundaberg half way through the fixture draw. However, the side suffered two losses in the very-even competition. As it turned out Rocky was the only side to beat Bundy and that team went on to win the gold medal due to suffering the single loss. The other sides in medal contention all dropped two matches and on count-back comparing win-loss ratios Rocky was relegated to fourth spot by a skinny margin.
At the conclusion of this four-day carnival the Queensland teams to contest the Australian Veteran Championships that are scheduled to take place in Darwin early in October were announced. Stewart was selected in the Queensland squad in the over-50 women’s division while Clarke made the over-65 women’s team. Deeth was not available for selection but had she chosen to travel to Darwin she would easily have made a team.
Stewart enjoyed a very successful campaign in the individual events section of the tournament. She made the semi-finals in both the over-40 and over-50 women’s singles only to be denied advancement by Bundaberg’s Bernadette Mitchell, who always features in the closing stages of both singles and doubles, on both occasions. She partnered Mackay’s Emma Widdup to reach the final of the over-40 women’s doubles where they lost narrowly in a five-set marathon. Stewart and Clarke joined forces in the over-50 doubles but bowed out to the quality of the top-seeded pairing of Brisbane’s Gayle D’Arcy and Clare Owen who went on to win the event.
Clarke picked up a bronze medal in the over-60 women’s doubles when she and her partner bowed out in the semi-finals of a quality event.
With the tournament season slowing down over the next few weeks leading local players have their weekly fixture commitments and practice sessions to rely on to keep their games at a competitive level. There are always plenty of entertaining matches in the open grade fixture and with the current season only three weeks old the stage is set for another close contest.
The combination of Matthew Pettett, Dave Hockings, Geoff Geddes and Emily Steffen hold a slender one-point lead over Rayden Smith, Ann-Louise Stewart, Chris Leitner and Dave Milverton while James O’Sullivan’s outfit is only another few points off the pace.
Club Nights continue on Mondays from 7.30pm and people of all abilities and ages, including social players, are welcome to attend and youngsters wishing to start playing the sport can attend the regular junior coaching sessions on Thursdays between 4.30pm and 6.00pm. Equipment is available for beginners and qualified coaching personnel is always on hand to teach the basics of the sport.