Outsider Kenyon wins table tennis league's Yuletide Cup
A new champion was crowned when the Mansfield Table Tennis League continued the festivities after Christmas with the staging of the Yuletide Cup.
Always a fun event, the competition is played with randomly-drawn bats that have all sorts of covers and turn the action into a real leveller.
So it was pleasing to see an outsider and a relative newcomer to the league, Second Division player Alan Kenyon, lift the trophy after a 2-0 (11-7, 11-6) victory over Mark Sansom in the final.
The players were split into three qualifying groups, with last year’s winner, Andy King, looking in ominous form by winning all his games in group one and scoring a maximum 126 points, followed by Jonathan Heath with a creditable 116. Kenyon topped group two with 115 points and Sansom was second in a tight group three, just behind last year’s runner-up, Jim Westwood.
As the competition reached its knockout stage, Kenyon edged out Erlands Skels in the quarter-finals before swiftly disposing of Angela Brettell 11-1 11-6 in the semis, while Sansom bagged the notable scalps of both Heath and King with terrific 2-1 victories. He lost the first game of his semi against King 11-6 but battled back to take the next two, 11-9, 11-6.