Teenager Kirkland takes table tennis championships by storm

Star of the show Jack Kirkland (right), pictured with Mark Sansom, whom he beat in the Division Two singles final.
Star of the show Jack Kirkland (right), pictured with Mark Sansom, whom he beat in the Division Two singles final.

Seventeen-year-old debutant Jack Kirkland took Mansfield’s annual table tennis championships by storm, walking away with three titles.

Kirkland was crowned the Division Two singles champion and took the doubles title with his dad, Andy. He also won the handicap singles and made the semi-finals of the open singles, which is unheard of for a player in the second tier.

The teenager first beat Mark Sansom 3-1 in a competitive divisional singles final and then followed up with a 31-28 victory over Erlands Skels in the handicap final. The hat-trick was completed in the doubles when the Kirklands defeated Rob Vaughan and Steve Elkin 3-0.

The gold ribbon event of the tournament, the open singles, was won by Gareth Godber, who repeated his success of 2015 after a fantastic final against eight-times champion, Dean Brookes, that ended 3-1.

Godber won the draw doubles too with Dave Kelly, while the open doubles had new champions in Mick Pestka, who also won the veterans’ singles, and Ray Rider, ending the long reign of Brookes and Bob Hume. The ladies’ singles title went to Angela Brettell, fully 29 years after her first.