INVERLOCH’S evergreen table tennis stalwart and a founding member of the Leongatha Table Tennis Association, Case de Bondt, returned from Mandurah, Western Australia last week having competed in the annual Australian Veterans Championships.
The event attracted 416 players from Australia and around the world.
Case managed to win his eighth Australian singles title winning the Over 80s event, as well as the O80s doubles title, for the fourth time, with his regular partner Jim Furness from Mornington.
Also Case was a member of the O75s Victorian team with Dr Barclay (Buddy) Reid, the current holder of the World singles title, to win the gold team medal.
Finishing high in the Order of Merit ranking, Case will once again represent Australia in the annual Test match against New Zealand at Taupo on the North Island next Easter.
Life member Case de Bondt has done Leongatha proud in winning five medals at these championships.
His globetrotting ventures have taken him all over the world since 1994 when he retired from farming. In fact it has become a major part of his lifestyle. He recommends other retirees to follow in his footsteps.
Case claims he owes the Leongatha Table Tennis Association much gratitude for forming the essential basis of his table tennis prowess.
He is currently once again competing on the local scene and enjoys coaching some of the juniors.
Leongatha table tennis
IN THE last home and away round, on October 24, fourth placed DON had to defeat top placed Triple Trouble to keep their spot in the finals. Both sides won one double rubber and the singles went as expected until Neil Smith lined up against Trish Denier in a do or die rubber for DON. This match was a beauty, with Neil taking the first game 11/9, then Trish fired up to take the next two 11/3 and 11/8. It was now or never for Neil and he lifted himself to fight out a very tough game, finally taking it 14/12 to level at two games all. At this stage the younger Neil was feeling less pain than Trish, and he took the fifth 11/5 to secure the win and a place in the finals for the DON team. The other three matches had no effect on the final four. Top players for the season were Allan Robic, undefeated on 42 wins, followed by Michael Chang, Case Debondt and Michael Grist, on 36 wins each, Bryce Holwerda, on 32, and Jason Comrie, on 30.
In the first semi final, played on Tuesday, October 31, DON had no such luck as the previous week against the MKM side. Neil Smith failed to produce the form of the previous week and went down to Martin Stone in the first rubber, 11/13, in the fourth game. When MKM took the first double they were then three rubbers to one up, with Michael Chang then defeating Neil to increase the lead to 4/1. Unfortunately the writing was on the wall for DON, who could only win one more rubber before losing the second doubles to go down 6/2.
In the second semifinal, between Triple Trouble and Wacko’s, there were no five gamers, however 12 year old Jack Duff displayed fantastic talent to defeat John McCarthy in four games and to push Trish Denier to four games, before going down 1/3. He then partnered the cagey Michael Grist in the first doubles and they were able to level at one game all before losing a very tight third game, 12/14, and the fourth, 9/11, against Allan Robic and Trish Denier. Triple Trouble ran out the winners by six rubbers to five. Wacko’s now play MKM in the preliminary final next week.
The A Reserve Grade championships were played on Wednesday, November 1, with Jack Duff defeating Jeff Saviane in the final to become one of the youngest players to win the title, if not the youngest. In the doubles Jack partnered with Keith Straw to win in a countback from Trevor Wilson and Shane Derrick. The women’s singles was a mother/daughter affair, with Leanne defeating Poppy.
The presentation dinner will be held at the Leongatha RSL Clubrooms on Tuesday, November 21. Please book with President Kevin Dowling as soon as possible if you wish to attend.
The KeenAgers Social Group continue playing each Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9.00am to noon right up to Thursday, December 21. New players are always welcome.
Wonthaggi table tennis
WONTHAGGI table tennis veteran player Michael Ede won both his over 70 singles and doubles finals at Werribee Veteran Open Championships last weekend.
Dirk Holwerda also reached the finals of the Over 60 and Over 65 Doubles events, with close results and well earned runner up prize money.
A group of seven Wonthagg Table Tennis junior and senior players will compete in the Croydon Senior/Junior Championships next Saturday. They are Zach Anstey, Daniel Park, Jake Bennett, Jack Duff, Jake and Mitchell Stivic and Ashley Hewlett. With a strong entry of 130 players from around Victoria it will be a very competitive and challenging day.
Wonthaggi Secondary College table tennis teams have won at the Traralgon Regional Championships. Years 7 and 9 boys, and Year 7 girls have reached the finals of the Secondary State School Table Tennis Championships, to be played at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
In local matches, Monday night round-robin winners are:
Group 1:Dirk Holwerda.
Group 2: Wilton Rodriguez.
Group 3: Leanne Costello, Siobhan Paxton and Andrew Paxton (sharing the honours, each with two wins and one loss).
Group 4: Mitch Stivic.
New players are invited to come along to social table tennis on Tuesdays, 5.00pm to 7.00pm, and on Thursdays, from 11.00am to 1.00pm at the Wonthaggi Table Tennis Centre. Round robins are open to all, on Mondays, from 7.00pm to 9.00pm. The table tennis centre opens at 6.30pm. Telephone 5674 4628 for any enquiries.