March 21, 2018, by mzydh4
BUCS Big Wednesday: Gold for UoN Table Tennis in the Men’s Trophy
University of Nottingham Men’s 2s topped University of Derby 1s, in an East Midlands crunch match, but not without a fight!
Mateusz Mikosz, the Green and Gold captain, opened proceedings for the team against Derby’s Number 4, Sam Cox. Cheered on by a lively home crowd, Mikosz produced a golden performance, storming to a 3-0 win. His passion and desire proved infectious, pumping up Martynas Matuzevicius on the adjacent court.
Matuzevicius extended the host’s lead to 2-0, before Petr Biza pulled a match back for Derby. Jack Bennett, the Derby captain, and Jack Josephs (UoN Number 4) contested a heated battle to conclude the first round of matches. Josephs played some highly effective table tennis, but squandered match points, eventually succumbing to a 3-2 defeat. This meant that despite the Green and Gold showing highly promising signs in the opening round of matches, the score was locked at 2-2.
Nottingham made the breakthrough in the second round of matches, with only Tommy Gritton failing to win his match, as an inspired Jack Bennett kept Derby’s hopes alive. Mikosz continued to lead his team from the front, ousting Ronnie Woollaston 11-5 11-3 13-1. UoN’s Number 4, Jack Josephs, provided the upset of the round, defeating Derby’s Number 2, Petr Biza, in an extremely closely fought contest 11-9 8-11 11-7 11-9.
As the third round of singles matches commenced, the hosts boasted a 5-3 lead over Derby. Nottingham doubled their advantage after wins from Mikosz, Gritton and Josephs. The match was still live thanks, once again, to Derby’s Jack Bennett, as he toppled Matuzevicius. This meant that the title was still all to play for, with the overall score standings at 8-4 to UoN entering the final round of singles.
Once again, Bennett proved a thorn in Nottingham’s side, this time against Mikosz. Chances cam and went for both players, with tempers running high on both sides of the table. Nottingham drew first blood in the battle of the captains (11-8), but that was where Mikosz’s luck ended. Bennett recovered strongly and, despite some late resistance, ended victorious, thus maintaining his unbeaten performance at this year’s BUCS Big Wednesday.
A late Derby revival was boosted by Petr Biza, who got the better of Matuzevicius, drawing them within touching distance of Nottingham as the score stood at 8-6. All eyes were on Tommy Gritton, who held his nerve against his opposite number, Woollaston, to ensure it was the Green and Gold lifting the Men’s Table Tennis Trophy with a 9-6 final result.
Captain Mikosz suggested that the “incredible atmosphere” at David Ross Sports Village contributed to inspiring his players’ convincing performances.
Jack Bennett, the Derby captain, was named as the Man of the Match, as his unbeaten status ensured that the final went down the wire.
With the Ladies and Men’s Championship finals still underway, this victory is hopefully just a taster of later success for the University of Nottingham’s Table Tennis club.