TABLE TENNIS: Grantham’s Leete dominates Grand Prix

Cleveland Grand Prix Band One winner Matt Leete (left) and his final opponent Sam Kwan receive their trophies.
Cleveland Grand Prix Band One winner Matt Leete (left) and his final opponent Sam Kwan receive their trophies.
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Grantham College and Cliffedale Chandlers player Matthew Leete continued his recent fine run of form at the recent Cleveland Grand Prix.

Making up for a quiet Band Two performance in the morning, in which Matt failed to progress from a tough group on countback, he started the afternoon session in Band One with a much improved demonstration of his abilities, to claim the top prize by Saturday evening.

He powered past Joe Killoran 3-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-6) before showing his renewed grit by coming through a 3-2 (11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10) match against Grantham College TT Academy new boy Joe Clarke. A 3-0 win over a below par Shayan Siraj sealed top spot in the group.

That secured him the second seed berth in the knockouts where he met, and cruised past, Simon Noutch 3-1 (11-7, 11-5, 12-14, 11-3) to make the final.

There he met Sam Kwan, who had looked dangerous earlier in the day and, although he had played six less sets, it was the Grantham lad who proved stronger throughout the final. When he won the important third game 11-9 to take a 2-1 lead, there was no looking back and Matt raced to the title in the very next end, sealing the Band One prize with an 11-3 end.

On the Sunday, Matt wasted no time at all to dominate the men’s under-21s and powered to the title at the Cleveland Grand Prix, muscling his way through five successive opponents in double quick time.

He beat Jordan Wykes (another Grantham College TT Academy player), Sam Kwan and Lee Tinkler in his group and then advanced quickly to the title by sweeping aside Joe Clark 3-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-8) in his semi-final, and then disposing of Kwan for a third time in the final 3-0 (11-9, 11-2, 15-13).

Matt also reached the semi-final of the men’s competition, taking two sets off the eventual winner Ryan Jenkins who up to that point had not dropped any. Matt gave his opponent a real fright before ultimately falling 11-4 in the fifth and deciding set.

Matt heads into the next Grand Prix in great form and will be the one beat.

l Cliffedale Chandlers hold three sessions throughout the week at The Meres leisure centre, Tuesdays and Fridays, 7-9pm, and a double session on Saturday, 12-2pm and 2-4pm. All ages and abilities welcome.