Guyana’s men’s table tennis team on Tuesday night crashed out of contention for title honours at the 51st annual Caribbean Table Tennis Championships here in St Lucia but the women’s team continued their smooth sailing with a 3-0 blanking of Guadeloupe.
Needing to win to place second in the three-team group and advance to yesterday’s quarter finals, the Guyanese men’s team suffered a gut-wrenching 2-3 defeat in a match that lasted over four hours and went the full distance of five matches.
The defeat, a rare one to teams from St Lucia, a country which has often played second fiddle to Guyanese teams, left the men’s team in the cellar position and the players must now look to the men’s and mixed doubles and singles event for opportunities to medal.
National men’s singles champion Nigel Bryan started things off on the right note for the Guyanese when he stopped the ambitions of Adrian Glace, the former St Lucia and OECS champion in straight games 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 but Alleyne went under to St Lucia’s number one player and three-time OECS champion Adrian Albert 11-4, 7-11, 7-11, 8-11.
Edinho Lewis regained the lead for Guyana with a hard-fought 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-4 win over Omarie Ferdinand but Albert defeated Bryan in straight games 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 to set up the tantalizing final match which lived up to expectations in everything but the quality of play.
Guyana’s Alleyne won the first two games thanks in large measure to a plethora of unforced errors from Glace only to lose the next two as a determined Glace fought with tenacity.
Alleyne had won the first two games 11-9, 12-10 but seemed to suffer some sort of meltdown thereafter and allowed Glace to even the match by winning the next two games 7-11, 9-11.
In the deciding games the players were neck and neck until 9-9 all when Alleyne with a chance to serve out the match surprisingly lost the two points on his serve and handed the match to St Lucia.
Earlier Tuesday night though, the Guyanese women’s team eased past Guadeloupe 3-0 with wins from Lowe, Edghill and Cummings.
Cummings started the ball rolling by defeating Corinne Vaillant 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7 while Edghill defeated Manoelle Gamon 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9 and Lowe wrapped up the tie with a 11-9, 11-8, 13-11 win over Angole Djeneulle.