Bury St Edmunds Table Tennis League clinches Suffolk Men's Singles title
A Bury St Edmunds Table Tennis League player has won the coveted Suffolk Men’s Singles title at the annual Suffolk Championships, for the first time in more than 15 years.
Ben Avery, 28, from the league’s table-topping club Sugar Puffs, surprised many of the usual suspects by making a mockery of his unseeded status to emerge victorious at the tournament at Stowupland on Sunday, February 9.
The big upset came about as Avery progressed out of a difficult group including number one seed Kian Burgess, and progressed through to the knock-out stages as runner-up, despite losing in the group to Burgess in five sets, after failing to capitalise on two match points.
But the former Welsh junior international – who works at the local Sugar factory – did not lose again as he defied his ranking to see off all the competition on his way to a maiden county championship crown.
Avery beat seasoned veteran Andy Warner in a titanic five set battle in the quarter final.
He then overcame a 2-0 sets deficit against former top Suffolk junior James Davies-Stokes to triumph in the semi-final by a 3-2 scoreline.
In the other half of the draw, top seed Burgess lost to the younger Davies-Stokes brother Luke, the current Bury St Edmunds League champion, in the quarter-final.
The result ensured Avery would not have to face the player who beat him in the group stages again.
Teenager Luke then succumbed to Richard Hutchinson in the semi-final to end his impressive run in the county championships.
The final saw Avery take a 2-0 lead, with Hutchinson looking to get back into the game at 7-1 up in the third.
However, Avery dug deep and turned the deficit around to secure a straight sets victory and with it a memorable result in his first foray into the Suffolk Championships.
Avery said: “(I’m) pleased to see a really good turnout, particularly with younger players playing the sport, and it’s especially nice to be a winner from Bury.”