Ballantyne dethrones Stanley
August 10, 2007
Ballantyne dethrones Stanley

Sean Stanley, seven time title holder of the annual Jim Maloney Table Tennis Classic was dethroned last Saturday by his arch rival Robert Ballantyne.

But it was more than just table tennis, as the politics of the sport were also on show at the ninth edition of the competition played at the Old Government Printery Building in Kingstown.{{more}}

With a clear division among members of the table tennis fraternity, Stanley, President of the local association easily won the first games 11-6, 11-3. Ballantyne rebounded to win the other games 14-12 and 11-8 to set up a fifth game.

Stanley with support from the young charges and Ballantyne with the old stagers in his corner, created an atmosphere fitting for a final.

Stanley though, comfortably won at 11-7 in the fifth. He however blew his chances as Ballantyne used gamesmanship to unsettle him. Stanley became erratic and chose to confront his detractors verbally, playing into Ballantyne’s hands.

The 47-year-old Ballantyne took game six 11-9 and the decisive seventh 14-12 final.

The left handed Ballantyne on gaining his second hold of the competition, having won the inaugural one shouted “ Yeah , yeah” , clinched his fist unloosed his rasta hairstyle, then embraced long standing friend Kendall Charles before doing the same to one of his most ardent supporters of the night , Public Relations Officer of the association, Glenford Prescott.

Ballantyne reached the final beating David “Skies” Llewelyn 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6 in the semi final.

Incidentally, only Ballantyne, Llewelyn and Stanley have reached the final in its nine year history, with Stanley playing in all finals.

Stanley took out his side kick Joseph Carrington 11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 12-14, 11-6, 11-6, to set up his meeting with Ballantyne.

Ballantyne pocketed $500 and a challenge shield, Stanley $300, while third placed Llewelyn left the hall $200 richer. Fourth placed Carrington collected $100. Carlton Daniel fifth, Elliot Charles sixth, Kamal Hunte seventh and Alonzo Primus eighth, all received $50.

And for the first time that juniors were allowed to compete, Dominic Evans triumphed over the much touted Kavir Gaymes 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5 to receive a well crafted trophy made from Belizean wood.

But the night did not end there as Dennis Joshua, a leading light in the Jim Maloney Cultural Awareness Foundation and contributor to the event expressed his dissatisfaction with some of the goings on of the night and advised that these needed corrective measures.

Lawyer and newspaper columnist Jomo Thomas gave a brief overview of Maloney’s life and activism. (RT)