The final event of the first of the 2017 Super Wednesday fixtures in the 2017 Notts Varsity saw the University of Nottingham’s (UoN) Table Tennis team take on their rivals from Nottingham Trent University (NTU). In the build up to the game, the form guides were all predicting a victory for the green and gold and they matched those predictions in some style, performing a clean sweep with a 9-0 victory over Trent.

In fact, across all nine of the table tennis matches held yesterday in the David Ross Sports Village, the University of Nottingham dropped only one set, a clear indication of the dominant display shown yesterday.

The clean sweep in table tennis concluded an overall grand slam victory for the green and gold, as they won all ten sports overall on Wednesday, comfortably winning then the point on offer from the event and extending their lead in the series at that stage to 5-3.

Prior to the games getting underway, we asked Liam McTiernan, the president of the University of Nottingham Table Tennis club, for his final thoughts about the fixture.

“We’re more ready than ever. The team are feeling extremely confident and we’re just raring to go and win this for the UoN.”

McTiernan in a comfortable win on the last sport of UoN Super Wednesday

As if the odds were not stacked against Trent enough, their lead player, Ismaila Akindiya, had to be withdrawn from the team due to events outside of table tennis. This late loss certainly put the green and gold players in added confidence, with Liam remarking:

‘He was the main player we were thinking would be a challenge, but with him no longer playing, this is going to be our point.’

In the opening games, both Liam and Jenny Liu secured key early wins. Jenny looked the more in control, defeating Evie Collier with ease 11-4 and 11-2 and seeing first blood go to the green and gold. Liam however faced a slower start, being 3-1 down at first to Joel Webb, before finding his rhythm and eventually emerging the winner in two set with 11-6 and 11-8 score lines.

“Both Reed and Harrison knew one more point would secure the University of Nottingham the win and make it a clean sweep for Super Wednesday, with both players raring to win that glory in their games.”

Maria Tsaptsinos quickly dispatched her opposition, Lauren Evans, in two sets, winning 11-4 and 11-6 and ensuring that both the women’s singles games went the University of Nottingham’s way with little trouble. The clash of the event however was between Gabriel Acheampong for the University of Nottingham and Michael Bree for Trent.

Bree started the stronger of the two, leading the first set 7-2 at one point, before a tremendous fightback from Gabriel won the Green and Gold the set 11-8. The second set was just as close though, with both players leading at various stages before a late surge from Gabriel won him the set and the point in a thrilling 12-10 game.

Next up were Danny Reed and Adam Harrison for the University of Nottingham, against Mark Firth and Joe Kiloran respectively. Both Reed and Harrison knew one more point would secure the University of Nottingham the win and make it a clean sweep for Super Wednesday, with both players raring to win that glory in their games.

“The women’s doubles was a relatively clear cut affair as well. Maria Tsaptsinos and Yolanda King faced off against Evie Collier and Lauren Evans yet seemed in full control of the game.”

Danny Reed looking for varsity victory to cap off a fantastic season for the UoN Sport scholar

It was Danny Reed in the end who ended this as a contest, seeing off Mark Firth 11-6 and 11-7 in methodical and measured performance from the 7th best player in England. Adam soon followed suit with another straight set win, 11-4 and 11-5, over Joe Kiloran that meant the Green and Gold were undefeated in all singles matches, leaving only the doubles.

The women’s doubles was a relatively clear cut affair as well. Maria Tsaptsinos and Yolanda King faced off against Evie Collier and Lauren Evans yet seemed in full control of the game, leading from start to finish and eventually coming away straight set winners once again with a score of 11-3 and 11-9.

McTiernan featured in a closer contest in the doubles match with Danny Reed

The men’s doubles however was a closer affair in terms of score, but less so in reality. Liam McTiernan and Danny Reed were up against Joel Webb and Joe Kiloran and although the men in pink were able to win Trent’s first set of the day in the second set, they were ultimately outclassed by Liam and Danny who were clearly enjoying the Varsity atmosphere and pinned Webb and Kiloran at the back of the court for much of the first and third set, resulting in them occasionally crashing into the hoardings. The final score was 2-1, with the set scores 11-8, 7-11 and 11-6.

The last match of the first Super Wednesday as a whole came in the Mixed doubles table tennis as Adam Harrison and Maria Tsaptsinos sort to overcome Owen Lui and Lauren Evans to make it nine wins out of nine for the University of Nottingham. Although the first set was a close affair, with the green and gold emerging 12-10 winners, the second set finished 11-6 and triggered scenes of jubilation from the University of Nottingham and utter dejection from the Trent players.

Following the triumph, Liam quickly commented to us, saying that,

‘I know many of the players feel happy about the win but for me personally it feels right. It feels right to have won this 9-0 as the setup we have here at the club and amount of work we put in during the build-up I feel fully deserve this win alone and I’m so proud of everyone for all their hard work and commitment.’

Jeremy Dunn

Images courtesy of Impact Images

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