CATHERINE SPICER returned to competitive table tennis with a bang on Sunday at Preysal Secondary School.
After missing the last two major tournaments – Trinbago Open and Super Singles – of last season, the PowerGen Club player returned to lead San Fernando Zone to victory in their clash with Caroni Zone.
The southerners won the competition by 12 matches to nine, with Spicer stunning A1 player Isa Mohammed 11-6, 3-11, 11-6, 11-6 in the spotlight match.
It was the first match that the 24-year-old had played since she followed up her victory in the Silver Bowl Championships in May by retaining her women’s singles crown in the National Championships in August.
The other top females in the tournament were Linda Partap-Boodhan, who won four titles in the Caroni Zone Tournament last month, and three-time Caribbean under-13 champ Priyanka Khellawan.
Partap-Boodhan, the country’s top-ranked player of 2015 and ’16, earned one of “Caroni’s” nine points in spectacular fashion when she came from two games to love down to edge Miguel Nixon 8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9.
Caroni collected another hard-earned point when Rafael Mohammed nosed out national under-15 champ Khellawan 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 11-13, 12-10.
Each team consisted of seven under-18, seven open (men and women) and seven over-50 players, and no one was allowed to play more than one match.
In the absence of Spicer, 2018 “Caroni” champ Isa Mohammed was favoured to lift the open singles trophy and he brushed aside last year’s “Caroni” champ Riad Abasali 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 in a battle of players from Survivors Club in the final.
PowerGen players went down in both semifinals as Rod Singh was denied 11-7, 13-15, 12-10, 11-8 by the eventual champ and Anthony Laquis lost 14-12, 11-7, 12-14, 11-7 to Abasali, winner of four titles in the Caroni Zone Tournament three weeks ago.
Like Spicer, Partap-Boodhan and Khellawan were not in the draw.