This is the latest in a series of articles from Malcolm Wong with flashback looks at an interclub season from the past.

1986 Wellington C Grade Remembered

There were 14 teams in the grade. The first round was section play with 2 sections of 7 teams each. 5 Teams from Section 1 and 3 from Section 2 qualified for Division 1 in the Championship Round. Usually 4 would qualify from each section. The 5th team in Section 1 had more points than the 3rd team from Section 2. The other teams played in Division 2. Two teams were promoted for the D Grade to play in Division 2. Team results and singles averages are attached.

Te Rama went undefeated winning all their matches in Section Play and in Division 1 in the Chanpionship Round. They won 146 out of a possible 168 matches (87%) and their
average winning score was 10.4 out of 12. Brian Hearfield, Malcolm Wong and Jeff Larsen had all been in the Te Rama Team that had finished second in the grade the previous year behind Karori A. They were joined in the team by Olaf Leijon. All four Te Rama players were in the top 10 of the interclub averages.

Brian Hearfield had played since for the club since 1950. He played until 2006 when he was in the winning Apollon A Reserve Team (with Reg Feuz, Dave Pyle, Peter Varuhus). Jeff Larsen had played for Te Rama since 1981. He played C Grade (1981-87) and B Grade (1988-90). He was in the Wellington C Grade Team (1987) in the match against Hutt Valley (Lost 2-10). Malcolm Wong played for Te Rama (1982-98). He also played for Titan (2001 & 2004), Onslow (2006) and Empire (2008 & 2009). Malcolm, with Martin Young, played for the Wellington Men’s Team in the 2004 North Island Teams. Malcolm represented Nelson in the 2005 NZ Champships in the Men’s Teams, and also the Nelson 1 Over 45 Men’s Team (with Mark Nalder) which won the B Grade. New club member Olaf Leijon is from Stockholm, Sweden. He also played B Grade for Te Rama B (1987) with Malcolm Wong and Brian Hearfield, when the team finished runner up in the grade behind Wellington Working Men’s Club. He then returned home to Sweden. Contact has been lost with Jeff Larsen and Olaf Leijon. Please contact Malcolm Wong at if you know where they are.

Runner up Public Service Association (PSA) improved from 6th the previous year. The team had remained the same except that Jim Delahunty had replaced G Murphy. Allan Rasmussen was 3rd in the singles averages. Jim and Bunty Rego had been in the PSA team that won D Grade (1981).

Jim Delahunty had won the D Grade Doubles (1980 & 1981) with Dave Pyle. He also played for the Empire Club and was in their team that won the Hutt Valley B Grade (1996). Jim won the Titan Club Over 60 Singles (1997) and Over 70 Singles (1998 & 1999). He won 6 gold medals at the 1999 Wellington Masters Games Table Tennis. In the Over 55 and 65 Men’s Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles. He won the NZ Veterans Over 65 Mixed Doubles (1992) with Isabel Cleland and Over 70 Men’s Doubles (1998 & 1999) with John Lelliott. He died in September 2010.

Third placed Royals and fourth place Johnsonville retained their same team from 1985.
Ling Tse A, which won Section 2 in the first round, would have been disappointed to finish fifth. Andy Yuan finished 10th in the singles averages.

Division 2 winners, Wellington Working Men’s Club A, included regular Ian Strawbridge, who had previously played for Karori West. Haris Decuapunja was one of two players unbeaten in the grade.

Divison 2 Runner up Johnsonville B were all junior boys. Michael Blackmore would be in the Onslow Team that won A Reserve (1988). He was in the Wellington Under 15 Boys Team (1987-89) and Hutt Valley Under 15 Boys Team (1990). His Wellington Boys team won the 1987 NZ Boys B Grade Teams and he was in the Hutt Valley Boys Team that won the NZ Under 15 Boys A Grade Team (1990). He was in the NZ under 15 Boys team to Australia (1988 & 1990). He won the NZ Boys under 13 Boys Doubles (1987), Under 13 Boys Singles (1988) and Under 15 Boys Doubles (1989).

Michael Blackmore was also a good cricket right handed batsman and was in the NZ Under 19 Cricket Team that toured Pakistan (1994). He played in the 3rd test (31 Jan – 3 Feb) at the Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad and scored 47 in the first innings in the drawn test. All 3 tests were drawn. He also played in the 3rd ODI (12 Feb) at the National Stadium, Karachi against Pakistan and scored 9 runs. The match was won by New Zealand by 56 runs. Pakistan won the ODI series 2-1. He also played for the Wellington Under 20 Team (1992-95), Wellington 2nd X1 (1996) and Hutt Valley (1996-97) and Wellington (2000).

Another junior was Martin Da Costa (Karori). He would be in the Karori Team (with Glen Kirker, Justin Turver, Martin McGraith) that won C1 Grade (1987), and the Onslow B Team (with Simon Fenwick, Jason Granville, Ian Mills) that won Premier 2 (1991). He won the C Grade Doubles (1987) with Glen Kirker, Wellington Secondary Schools Boys Doubles (1989) with Glen Kirker, A Grade Doubles (1990) with Daryl Lew, and the Wellington Regional Men’s Doubles (1992) with Chris Hickling. He was the Onslow Club Singles Champion (1994) and Karori Club Singles Champion (1995). He was in the Wellington Under 15 Boys Team (1987), Under 19 Boys Team (1988-1991) and Men’s Team (1991, 1993-95). His Wellington Men’s Team won the NZ Men’s B Grade Teams (1991 & 1993). He won all his 11 team singles matches (1991).

Martin Young (Ling Tse B) was in his first year playing interclub. He was also to play for Te Rama, Johnsonville Men’s Club and the Empire Club. In the Wellington Masters Games Martin won the Bronze Medal in the1999 Over 35 Men’s Singles and Doubles (with Boyce Wong). He won the Silver Medal in the Over 35 Singles (2000). He won the Hutt Valley Easter Over 35 Doubles (2000) with Malcolm Wong and they were runner up in 2001. In 2004 he was in the Wellington Team with Malcolm Wong that won the NZ Veterans Over 40 Men’s B Grade Teams and they were runner up in the North Island Over 45 Teams.

In the 2005 NZ Masters Games Martin Young, Malcolm Wong and Jim Jarmin, won the Over 35 teams Bronze Medal. Martin and Malcolm with Tony Rutledge won the Over 45 Teams Silver Medal. Martin and Malcolm won the Men’s Over 35 and Over 45 Doubles Bronze Medals. Martin was in the Wellington Over 45 Number 2 Team with John Nguyen and Paul Solt that finished 3rd at the NZ Championships. At the Wellington New Chinese Friendship Association Table Tennis Tournament Martin in the singles finished 3rd (2011) 4th (2012) 2nd (2013) and 3rd (2014). In the Teams, Red Dragon (Martin Young, Harry Chen, Malcolm Wong) won in 2012 & 2013. No team competition was played in 2014. Martin won the 2013 Wellington Autumn Open Singles and Doubles (with Malcolm Wong).

Rob Veale (Police) was the other unbeaten player. At the Grade Championship (Monday 18 August) he won the Singles defeating Alan Ramussen 21-8 21-11. The Doubles was won by Alan Ramussen and Olaf Leijon who defeated Mike and Rob Veale 21-15 21-19.
Rob Veale was to win the A Reserve Singles (1988) defeating Daryl Lew 21-18 21-17 and had the top singles average with 23 wins in 24 games (95.8%).

In the grades match against Hutt Valley (Sunday 10 August) held in Wellington the C Grade Team (Rob Veale, Alan Ramussen, Andy Yuen) won 9-3.

Te Rama (1986 C Grade Champions) Brian Hearfield and Malcolm Wong at the Onslow Club (26 September 2013). Absent – Jeff Larsen and Olaf Leijon.
Te Rama (1986 C Grade Champions) Brian Hearfield and Malcolm Wong at the Onslow Club (26 September 2013). Absent – Jeff Larsen and Olaf Leijon.

– Malcolm Wong
Attachment: 1986 WTTA C Grade Interclub