York Table Tennis take Lancaster to the line

One of the most cliché things you can say during Roses is “The best part of the weekend is going to see the more obscure sports that you would never normally give a thought to.” This is incorrect. The best part of Roses is going to see a mate play an obscure sport, which for the rest of the year you mercilessly tease them for playing. This is how I found myself watching table tennis at 10am on a Sunday morning. There were two tables for the two competitions for the 1st and 2nd teams and a surprisingly large crowd for an event which was early in the day and difficult to find, hidden in the top of the Sports Centre. In table tennis it seems as if players have two opponents, the player standing across the table from them, and themselves. Despite being an individual sport there was a real sense of camaraderie between team members, offering advice in between sets if things weren’t going so well. There were many rituals involved as well, putting your bat down on the other side of the table that you would play on next set after your break, touching the wall before a point, and most bizzarely, shouting chui after winning a point. Throughout the morning I kept having to explain what these random outbursts in Mandarin meant to other bemused newcomers to the sport. The competition itself was fierce, rarely over the weekend did I see such focus and determination to win. While some fixtures had been poorly matched resulting in non-contests, but Lancaster’s imposing Kirstien was a fierce competitor, edging out York’s club president Agoston Hoffman. Isaac Beevor sought revenge when he went up against the Lancastrian giant, and beat him in straight sets. Beevor’s overall performance was outstanding, winning just all of his four matches whilst dropping only one set. York mixed 2nds lost their match early on but their 1sts match was taken to the wire. It was a first to 9 competition and after nearly 5 hours of back ping pong the score was tied at 7-7. Unfortunately they couldn’t hold on and lost the final two games to lose their fixture 9-7. Isaac Beevor had this to say afterwards: “After a fine season where York table tennis got promoted in their BUCs league it was disappointing to end with a loss at Roses. Some consolation will be taken in the fact that it was so closely fought and we will be looking forward to Roses 2016 to claim a victory for the White Rose.”