Wednesday 12 October 2011

No Major Surprises on Day One of NZ Open Teams

The first day of the NZ Senior Open Table Tennis Championships for 2011 got off to an early start this morning with North Harbour Mens 2 ascending into the Mens A Grade division after beating Wellington's 2nd Mens team with a winning margin of 4 matches to 1. 

Auckland's Feng Jie (near)
vs. Manawatu's Natalie Paterson (far)
Photo by Jason Poon
With the new seven match team format the Auckland women's team took off to a flyer by stinging the home side with a 7-0 victory in their first and only team match of the day. Natalie Paterson put up a good fight against Auckland's Feng Jie but couldn't manage to draw things to a close in the 5th set where Jie kept her cool and claimed the win. Wellington is also on top form with Cath, Sabine and Lisa stealing 6-1 and 7-0 wins against Manawatu and Otago respectively. Waikato started and ended their day slowly with a 4-3 victory over Otago, their first and only match of the day. So with a lot of ground to make up going into day two it's the home side of Manawatu and the visitors from way down south, Otago, while Auckland look to hold their spot at the top and Wellington continue their assault for the crown.

Auckland vs. Waikato
Photo by Jason Poon
In the Men's team draw the A grade had some great table tennis matches with Auckland dominating their half of the draw beating both Waikato and North Harbour 2. While Peter Craven accounted for Josh Alexandre and had a great match against Phillip Xiao which he narrowly lost, team mates James Harter and Mark Page couldn't really stand up to the combined skill of the top seeds. Canterbury also skillfully claimed wins over Wellington and North Harbour, Brad Chen's superior form not enough to carry the team to beat the determined Cantabrian's. Waikato 2 suffered two losses 5-2 and 4-3 to North Harbour and Wellington, they are joined on the opposite side by Manawatu who were beaten by the promoted North Harbour 2 Men's team.

   Jeffrey Chin taking a big swing
Photo by Jason Poon

In the Men's B Grade the two Wellington teams and the Manawatu 2 team are sitting at the top half of their draw posting 2 wins each so far against the bottom three teams Wellington 4, Waitemata and Manwatu 3. Waitemata posted some close results losing both of their two matches so far by 4-3 margins. It looks like it's going to be the clash of Wellington and Manawatu for the B Grade shield so far with tomorrow being the conclusion, that's a very familiar clash for the two associations who compete with each other regularly.

In the Men's C Grade it's Otago firmly at the top of the draw with three outright wins against Waitemata 2 and Manawatu 4 and 5. Hawkes Bay and Canterbury 2 posted two wins each and sit equally on the table in 2nd position. With three matches played there are still two matches remaining for tomorrow to change results but presently Otago is looking solid at the top.

Quite a safe day for the big seeds today apart from Canterbury's dismantling of North Harbour in the Men's A grade, North Harbour 2 cementing their right to play in the A Grade by defeating the hosts. Tomorrow will bring more great matches and more action and of course everyone will be watching for the crossover to see if Brad Chen will meet Tony Liu, a match everyone is talking about.

Video highlights of teams will be posted at the end of tomorrow. Rest well and be ready for tomorrow!

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