Brothers do battle in Basingstoke Open table tennis final

Singles finalists Liam, right, and Daniel McTiernan.

Singles finalists Liam, right, and Daniel McTiernan.

First published in Sport

READING’S Liam McTiernan became the new Basingstoke Open singles champion after the top seed dominated the event, and eventually defeated younger brother Daniel in the final.

The winner – ranked 27 in England – was rarely troubled, as he dropped just one set on his way to the gold medal and the £70 first prize.

His brother, Daniel, seeded number six, caused the upset of the tournament as he took out second seed Hari Gehlot in the quarter-finals.

However, despite a valiant effort, he was ultimately no match for his older brother in the final, going down 3-0. But he had the consolation of the £40 runners-up prize.

In total, 55 players from across Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Dorset took part in the annual event, hosted by Aldworth Table Tennis club and the Basingstoke Table Tennis Association.

The total prize fund on offer was £200 in the singles and doubles events thanks to sponsorship from A-Plan insurance.

Although the top eight seeds made it through to the quarter-finals of the singles, there were surprises in the final eight as three of the top four seeds bowed out.

Number three seed Andrew Mudie of Aldershot was defeated 12-10 in the fifth by fellow Aldershot player Ross Saxby. The eighth seed then fell to Liam McTiernan in last four.

The number seven seed, Aldworth’s Winchester-based player Ed Slot, beat fourth seed, Portsmouth’s Martin Matuzevicius, but then went down in a four-game semi-final to the in-form Daniel McTiernan.

The consolation event, for players who did not make it through the group stage, was won by Winchester’s Morgan Smith as he defeated Basingstoke’s Eric Wong 3-0 in the final.

There were plenty of upsets in the open doubles as Aldershot’s fourth seeds, Andrew Mudie and Shaun Robertson, put on a fantastic display in the latter stages of the tournament to take the title.

In what was ultimately a one-sided final, they beat seventh seeds Zac Dowling and Norman Swift from Bournemouth.

Mudie and Robertson had a shaky start, having to come through a close five-game match in the first round but improving as the afternoon went on.

They produced a stunning display as they beat top pair Liam McTiernan and Tony Reynolds in a thrilling semi-final, which went the distance, eventually won in the fifth set 12-10.

Second seeds Hari Gehlot and Mark Banks bowed out in the quarter-finals with a shock 3-0 loss to Portsmouth’s Billy Ho and Danny Lucking.

The Pompey pair played their part in another marathon semi-final, which went the way of Dowling and Swift 11-8 in the fifth game.

The third seeds also missed out on the semi-finals as Daniel McTiernan and Slot lost to the unseeded Julian Walton and Nick Webb.

Fallon Thompson beat Sarah Whithorn in an all-Basingstoke final of the ladies’ Hampshire Table Tennis Championships at Testwood Sports Centre.

Thompson took the title in straight sets, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7.

There was some consolation for Whithorn in another all-Basingstoke final, as she took the Ladies Vets crown thanks to another straight sets victory, 11-6, 11-3 11-2.

Jimmy Cheung from Portsmouth was the star of the show as the 15-year-old won the junior singles, doubles and also the men’s title.

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