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Lancaster men’s table tennis first team withstood a late York fight back to secure victory and claim four points in the overall Roses standings. The four man team of Steve Arliss, Lok Wong, Leo Ho and Alasdair Fuller stood up to the York side and played brilliantly throughout the day. The players faced a physical challenge as the format of the competition involved four best of five set matches against each of the opposition squad.
1st seed – Steve Arliss
Steve had a mixed competition for a player of his undoubted talent, winning and losing two games. In his face off against fellow top ranked competitor Frank Cheung he was downed 3-1, struggling with an apparent tweak to his knee and the solid all round game of his opponent. A similar performance in the 3-0 whitewash by Tim Ang did nothing to improve Arliss’ mood and briefly brought York close with the score at 8-6 overall in Lancaster’s favour. When fully fit Arliss was able to show his true class. First he hammered Xiassffi Zhang 3-0 with a ruthlessly attacking display and dispatching Reza Mafi 3-1 showing a patient side and clean returning game.
Lok performed admirably to win three of his games in the contest. The highlight of this was his dramatic 3-2 victory over York’s first seed Frank Cheung; a match which featured some of the most spectacular rallies of the day and allowed Lancaster to reach the ten game mark. Lok also defeated the lower ranked players from York with relative ease and looked assured and confident with his own game. The only blot on his record was a surprise 3-0 reverse against York’s second seed Tim Ang. A series of unforced errors combined with his opponents well oiled all round game contributed to the result
2nd seed – Lok Wong
3rd seed – Leo Ho
The key player for Lancaster was undoubtedly Leo Ho, with victories in all four of his games proving crucial in the final result. He put his results down to “Regular practice and good technique”. The most impressive of Leo’s wins came against Frank Cheung after the game went to the final set. It was a real exhibition of top quality table tennis and put Lancaster 4-2 ahead overall. The standard that Leo maintained throughout his 20 set marathon of a day was another testament to the quality of his play.
4th seed – Alasdair Fuller
Alasdair’s results may not have been particularly impressive, he won just one game; but the manner of his performances deserved much better. He pushed York’s first seed close in a tight encounter and was only well beaten by Tim Ang. Despite this, Fuller won the game that secured victory overall for the Lancaster squad, outclassing Xiassffi Zhang 3-0.
The weary Lancaster side then conceded the doubles game with the overall result already secured, in favour of some well deserved refreshment. The achievement also represented sweet revenge for Lancaster who were defeated 10-7 by York in the final of the BUCS A league.
By Matthew Todd