Young Southland Table Tennis Players Celebrate Wins

Jun 12, 2018
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It may have looked like a weird Irish jig but for Southland table tennis it was a special moment.

It was a victory dance performed by the Southland under-18 boys’ team of Andrew Fleming, Caleb Duffy and Carl Rodmell.

Their quick little shuffle was performed after they completed one of Southland’s finest days at the South Island Teams Table Tennis Championships in Timaru.

They beat Otago four matches to three in the under-18 final to win the South Island title.

Triumphant Southland under-18 and under-15 table tennis players, who won South Island team titles are, back, from left, Andrew Fleming, Finn Holden and Caleb Duffy, and front, Tyler Hewton, Andrei Casareo and Carl Rodmell. Photo: supplied.

That result, combined with the win by the under-15 boys’ team of Finn Holden, Andrei Casareo and Tyler Hewton, meant Southland won two South Island boys’ titles for the first time.

“And it really doesn’t get much better than that,” Table Tennis Southland spokesman, Daryl Holden, said of the history-making feat.

“The under-18 boys have gone close to winning for a number of years but this time they managed to sneak home in dramatic fashion.”

It was dramatic because Southland trailed 3-1 in matches, meaning Otago had to win only one of the remaining three singles to take the title.

They couldn’t do it, with Andrew Fleming at his unflappable best to win the final match in a stirring come-from-behind Southland victory.

That title win followed the under-15 boys’ fine effort where they also beat Otago 4-3 in the final.

Finn Holden led the way, winning both singles and combining with Casareo to win the doubles.

Casareo also kept his focus to beat the Otago number three for the fourth rubber.

Southland was unlucky not to win an unprecedented third title when the under-18 girls’ team of Holly Wu and Maia Cavanagh lost to Canterbury 4-3.

The final went down to the last match, in which Canterbury won the doubles 12-10 in the fifth and final game.

Southland’s under-13 girls’ team of Lauryn Fleming, Zoe Gray and Ruby Bath also performed well, finishing second to underline their potential.

Southland players also shone in the South Canterbury open on the same weekend, with Finn Holden winning the under-15 boys’ singles, Shelley Smith the women’s open doubles and Ingamar Siegruhn making the under-13 boys’ singles final.

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