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Stiga City of Liverpool 4 Star Junior
8th/9th January 2005

England player Paul Drinkhall
Paul Drinkhall receives his prize money
from Lancashire Chairman Stan Clarke

It was another successful weekend for the team of officials at the European Capital of Culture where the rain never falls and the sun always shines.
With Ken Armson MBE, Steve and Margaret Welch and Stan Clarke at the helm and a committed team of officials the 6th Stiga City of Liverpool Junior 4 Star Open table tennis championships held at the Greenbank Sports Academy was always onto a winner.

There were many talented youngsters from all over the country present including Junior No.1 Paul Drinkhall and Junior No.2 Kelly Sibley who both represent England at senior level.

Paul Drinkhall from Cleveland headed the boys list and not surprisingly reached both the junior and cadet boys finals but it was an interesting journey in the junior event to see him get there, disposing of Craig Howieson and team mate Damien Nicholls to get to the semi finals he had to play David Meads who without a doubt rose to the challenge, David Meads went 2 games down and pulled back to 2-all and was leading 8-10 in the 5th. Paul Drinkhall winning the point to level it at 10-all by lobbing back from the back of the court a number of forehand drives and this culminated in David finally hitting one off. Paul then took the next two points to clinch the match.
In the other half of the draw Scotland’s Kenny Lindsay was on a mission and disposed of Tom Bray and Andrew Leighton to get to the semi final to face no. 2 seed Darius Knight, it would seem Kenny had a double dose of weetabix that morning and a shock result was about to surface.
Kenny was 8/4 up in the final game and then went 10/6 up only for Darius to pull back to 10 all. But at 10/9 with Darius serving Kenny won the point but conceded a net that the umpire may have missed, Kenny then took the next two points to win 12/10.
In the final Kenny Lindsay held a comfortable lead in the first game against Paul Drinkhall and then the ball was changed for some reason and from that point on Paul Drinkhall never looked back and took all 3 games to win 9, 8, 6.

England player Kelly Sibley
Kelly Sibley receives her prize money
from Lancashire Chairman Stan Clarke

Kelly Sibley seeded no.1 had an easier journey than the boys to gain the title of Junior Girls winner with the absence of the no.2 seed. Kelly disposed of Stephanie Donnelly and no.3 seed Sarah Perks to get to the final where no.9 seed Rebecca Russell just couldn’t cope with Kelly’s experience and lost 7, -9, 3, 5.
Local girl Rachel Baker from St. Helens Junior Table Tennis Club triumphed showing true determination and took the under 13 title by beating Martha Travis in the final 10, 6,7. A good result from Rachel who has regularly started to attend open tournaments.

A big thank you goes to Stiga for sponsoring this event with the support of Thornton’s Sport & Leisure and the City of Liverpool Leisure Services Directorate.

Finals Results are as follows:

Under 13 Boys
David McBeath beat Kim Daybell 4, 9, 4
Cadet Boys Band 1
Stewart Mudie beat Damien Piper 8, 5, 10
Cadet Boys Open
Paul Drinkhall beat Craig Howieson 4, 10, 10
Junior Boys Band 1
Wing-Yung Chan beat Stewart Mudie 8, 6, 6
Junior Boys Open
Paul Drinkhall beat Kenny Lindsay 9, 8, 6

Under 13 Girls
Rachel Baker beat Martha Travis 10, 6, 7
Cadet Girls Band 1
Rachel Pilgrim beat Reena Ardeshana -7, 9, 6, 6
Cadet Girls Singles
Emma Vickers beat Caroline Hallows 5, -10, 7, 5
Junior Girls Band 1
Caroline Hallows beat Corinna Whittaker 14, 7, 8

Back to the Big Time !!!!!!!!!
Yes it’s true !!!! Katy Parker of Preston has returned after a well earned 2˝ year break from competition play. Katy now 20 years old who is the daughter of Jill and Donald Parker was the youngest player ever to represent England in the senior team at the 1997 Manchester World Championships at the age of 12.

Many people out there wondered whether Katy would return to competition play after taking a break but she’s missed it and is up for the challenge. Katy’s last major competition was the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games but has proved to Steen Hansen that she’s still got the goods on the table. Katy will represent England with Kelly Sibley at the Slovenian Open from 12th – 15th January 2005.

By Dave Cochrane