Peterborough table tennis team hold their own in British League

Archway Peterborough veterans squad. From the left are Mirek Pazdzior, Ernest Mpundu, Dave Gannon and Diccon Gray.
Archway Peterborough veterans squad. From the left are Mirek Pazdzior, Ernest Mpundu, Dave Gannon and Diccon Gray.
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The Archway Peterborough veterans team held their own at a British Veterans League fixture at the Derby Arena to achieve a mid-table position at the halfway stage.

The squad of Diccon Gray, Dave Gannon, Mirek Pazdzior and Ernest Mpundu won two, lost two and drew one of their five Division 1A matches.

Chinese coach Chen Min receives a memento of her visit to Peterborough from Archway club  development officer Diccon Gray.

Chinese coach Chen Min receives a memento of her visit to Peterborough from Archway club development officer Diccon Gray.

Over 300 of the best Over 40 players in Britain, representing 72 teams on 40 tables battled it out over two days of competitive table tennis.

Meanwhile former Chinese national team player - Chen Min - spent a successful few days last week coaching at the Archway Peterborough club and at a local school.

Chen, a qualified physical education teacher, shared her experience and expertise in a variety of club activities involving schoolchildren and the club’s development squad and academy players.

Chen visited the city club with a view to joining their existing coaching team of Chris Doran, Gareth Herbert, Denis Neale and Michael Marsden.

Tournament winner Chris Doran (left) receives his prize.

Tournament winner Chris Doran (left) receives his prize.

China are renowned for their world domination of table tennis and club development officer Diccon Gray commented: “We are putting in place a first-class coaching structure and a range of opportunities at all levels and this includes learning from the best.”

The recent Archway Peterborough senior 1 table tennis championships held at the Top Table venue in Lincoln Road was won by World Championship semi-finalist Chris Doran of Northamptonshire.

The event attracted a strong entry featuring eight players in the top 200 in the England rankings and a former Welsh international.

It was not until the final that Doran was tested to any extent, and it was local favourite Adam Jepson (Cambridgeshire champion and England No. 41) who did just that.

Jepson (21), who had comfortably despatched all his opponents to reach the final, put in a feisty performance with a barrage of forehand loops and clever blocking to extend Doran and make him earn his £150 prize money.

Undeterred, Doran in his usual fashion soaked up the pressure and cunningly mixed the spin at key points to come out a worthy winner.