Payne bears down on Carrington in table tennis final
November 5, 2013
Payne bears down on Carrington in table tennis final

Fourteen-year-old Stephen Payne walked away last weekend with the men’s singles title of the 2013 Scotia Bank Independence Table Tennis Tournament.{{more}}

Payne, who was born in Barbados to a Vincentian mother and Barbadian father, outduelled Joseph Carrington in an epic final last Saturday night at the West St George Secondary School.

In a match befitting a final, Carrington won the first game, 11-8, but Payne rebounded to take the next three at 11-8, 11-6, and 11-8.

Preparing to go down with his boots on, Carrington recharged to level the match, when he secured the next two games, 11-8 and 12-10. Payne came back by winning the final set 11-3.

Carrington was the last of the grand masters whom Payne toppled on his way to the winner’s trophy and the $500 cash prize.

He stopped former singles champion Carlton Daniel in the quarter-finals, then disposed of Deighton King 11-5, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7 in straight sets in the semi-finals.

Before them, Payne dispensed of Bob Ballantyne 11-4, 11-5, 1-11, 7-11, 11-7.

A relieved, but elated Payne told SEARCHLIGHT, following his trumping of the title, that his service was his main weapon.

“…..My services generally gave all the people in the tournament trouble…This kind of service that I do is a reverse service and it is just a little contact that changes from top spin to back spin, so it really had them in trouble”, he noted.

Acknowledging that Carrington presented the toughest challenge, Payne, a left-hander, said: “He started to put on my service and that’s when it gave me trouble, because I didn’t know what to do after, so I had to compromise and played different shots… He had a really good mindset because not only did he play from the beginning tough, even when he was behind he would still play tough”.

Carrington on the other hand said he “overcooked” some of his shots and at times tried too many big shots, which could have accounted for his eventual loss.

Carrington, prior to his meeting with Payne, dismissed Ballantyne in the quarter- finals and Damion Dublin in the semis. While Carrington had to settle for two runners-up spots, Payne had pouched another title when he teamed up with Romano Spencer to take the doubles at the expense of Carrington and Dublin.

Payne, a fourth form student of Queen’s College in Barbados, played unbeaten in the tournament, despite an eight-month layoff from the sport. He plans to return to his “homeland” next year to defend his title. (RT)