Player Profile by Malcolm Wong

Adrian was born in 1948 in Wellington and started table tennis age 16 at the Kilbirnie RSA. As a right handed counter attacking player Adrian was very determined and very colourful, talking a lot during his games which often attracted a large crowd at tournaments, sometimes even breaking his bat after losing a match.

Adrian had a number of pet sayings that he would often shout out during his table tennis/tennis matches. These shouts often amused his opponents and spectators but they were often mystified as to their relevance to the match they were playing. One of his most regular shouts was “The Luck of the Irish!”, often shouted if his opponent had pulled off a lucky shot such as the ball clipping the table edge or hitting the net cord and dropping dead. However Adrian often also shouted the same if he won a point with a lucky shot.

Another was “Tuck it away Barrie”. His contemporaries think he heard well known Hutt Valley Tennis player Barrie Shute say that when he was not happy with his smash of a lob ball. Adrian adopted it and would often shout it if he missed a ball he thought he was going to hit for a winner or when he had it a winner and was showing self approval of the shout. Players on adjacent courts would sometimes mimic him so occasionally there might be players on different courts all bellowing “Tuck it away Barrie” for no obvious reason. It certainly made interclub entertaining.

Adrian and Brian Kennedy used to train several times a week as well as playing A Grade interclub on Tuesday nights. Adrian and Brian adopted the regular practice of arriving at 6:30pm for 7pm interclub start. So they would hit up for 20 minutes or so, then change their shirts and put on their tracksuits so they would not cool down.  When their opposition arrived they would get them to the table promptly for the allowed 2 minute hit up and then start the match. They often raced away to a big first set lead because their opponents were still cold. Surprisingly it was rare for other players to arrive early and have a decent hit up before starting interclub. In 1974 Adrian lost only 1 singles in interclub.

1971 Wellington Table Tennis A Grade Team Champions with Gerald Bell Memorial Cup. Kilbirnie RSA (Brian Kennedy, John Woodcock and Adrian Lust).

In 1965 Adrian (Kilbirnie RSA) was selected in the Wellington Under 18 Boy’s Team (with Paul Milson, Dennis Dellow and Robert Livington) in the match against Hutt Valley Under 18 Boy which was lost 4-8. He was ranked number 6 in the Wellington Junior Boys Rankings that year.

In 1966 Adrian won the Wellington A Reserve Grade Singles and was in the Wellington A Reserve Grade Team (with Helmut Hecht, Joe Rastorfer and Rhinehart Montag) in the annual match against Hutt Valley which they won 10-2.

In 1967 Adrian won his first open provincial title. The Wairarapa Men’s Singles.

Adrian played Wellington A Grade (1967-1984) in 4 winning A Grade teams: 1971 Kilbirnie RSA (with Brian Kennedy and John Woodcock); 1973 Kilbirnie RSA (with Richard Lee and Brian Kennedy); 1974 Kilbirnie United Eagles (with Brian Kennedy, Lindsay Ward and Warren Mak); 1980 Titan (with Lindsay Ward, Warren Mak and Nha Nguyen).

In 1971 Adrian reached the last eight at the North Island Men’s Singles including a good win over George Wilkinson (Auckland) who was ranked in the NZ Men’s top ten (1960-68, 1970).

In 1973 Kilbirnie RSA (Richard Lee, Adrian Lust, Brian Kennedy) won the Rothmans National Club Team Tournament. In the final played in Wellington they beat Canterbury University 8-3 with Richard Lee and Adrian Lust both winning 3 singles. In 1978 Titan (Lindsay Ward, Adrian Lust, Warren Mak) finished runner up to Manurewa in the same competition. In a round robin (3) Titan beat Takaro 7-4 and lost to Manurewa 4-7.

In 1968 Adrian was first selected for the Wellington Team (With Ivan Houghton, Denis Leong and Duncan McGregor) against Manawatu which they won 7-5. He also played for the Wellington A-Grade Team (with Ivan Houghton, Peter Hall and Brian Kennedy) in the grades match against Hutt Valley which they won 12-0.

Adrian was ranked 12 times on the Wellington Men’s List (1968-76, 1978,1980 and 1982), number 1 in 1971 and 1972 and number 2 in 1973 and 1974. Adrian was in the 1973 NZ Senior Training Squad.

In 1969 Adrian was selected for Wellington Men’s Team (with Ron Foster, Ray Foster and Dick Moffat) in the Clapshaw Trophy match winning 15-13 against Canterbury. Adrian also played in this match (1970,1972-73, 1975) with only the 1975 team winning 18-10.

Adrian also played in the 1969 Croudis Shield match against Hutt Valley, lost 9-19.  He also played in the match (1970,1972-74) with the 1972 team winning 24-4 and the 1973 team winning 25-3.

He was selected for the  Wellington Team to the NZ inter-association teams tournament in the following years (below). In 1974 against Hamilton he beat Bain Attwood 21-5 22-20  resulting in a 6-4 win for Wellington and avoiding last place.

1969 A Grade 2nd (with Ron Foster, Ray Foster, Harrison Waterhouse) played 5 won 4
1970 A Grade 6th (with Ron Foster, Ray Foster, Brian Kennedy) played 5 lost 5 and lost promotion/relegation match to Northland 2-6
1972 B Grade 1st (with Brian Kennedy, Ron Foster, Gary Saunders) played 5 won 5 and won promotion/relegation match against Otago 6-0 (Adrian was unbeaten)
1973 A Grade 3rd (with Richard Lee, Brian Kennedy, Ray Foster) played 5 won 3
1974 A Grade 5th (with Gary Saunders , Brian Kennedy, Frank Beasley) played 5 won 1

Adrian had success at the following provincial Open Tournaments:

1967 Wairarapa Men’s Singles
1968 Kapiti Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles with Pam Deans (W)
1968 North Taranaki Men’s Singles
1969 South Taranaki Men’s Doubles with Warren Evans (HV)
1970 South Taranaki Men’s Singles and Doubles with Warren Evans (HV)
1970 Hutt Valley Men’s Doubles with Warren Evans (HV)
1971 Hutt Valley Men’s Doubles with Warren Evans (HV)
1972 Wellington Men’s Singles
1972 Manawatu Men’s Doubles with Brian Kennedy (W)
1973 Wellington Men’s Doubles with Brian Kennedy (W)
1974 Wanganui Men’s Singles
1982 Manawatu Men’s Doubles with Lindsay Ward (W)

In the 1972 Wellington Open Men’s Singles final Adrian’s hand hit the side of the table. In spite of a bleeding plastered hand Adrian beat NZ Representative Murray Borlase 21-23 21-19 21-16 12-21 21-18.

Wellington Regional Tournament Titles:

Men’s Singles (4x): 1970-73 – the highlight was winning the 1973 Men’s Singles final against Richard Lee (W) 21-13 21-17 21-15.
Men’s Doubles (4x): 1971 with John Woodcock (W) Kilbirnie RSA; 1972-73 with Brian Kennedy (W) Kilbirnie RSA; 1978 with Lindsay Ward (W) Titan.
Mixed Doubles (3x): 1971 with Miss Sue Sweeney (W) Hospital; 1972 with Mrs Ruth Futter (W) Onslow; 1975 with Mrs Ann Gyongyos (W) Te Rama.

Adrian’s younger brother Rex Lust also played table tennis: winning the 1970 Wellington Under 16 Boys Doubles with Richard Lee (Hamilton) and was ranked number 10 on the Wellington Junior Boys ranking that year.

Adrian was also a good tennis player, playing a tight defensive baseline game. He started at age 12 at the Lyall Bay Club (1960-61). He also played at Crawford Hill (1962-68), Miramar (1967-82) and Wellington (1983-95). He won the Club singles at Crawford Hill (5) and Miramar (6). Miramar won the inaugural combined Wellington/Hutt Valley Senior A Grade title in the 1971-72 season. In the 1975-76 season Adrian beat the NZ Davis Cup player Kevin Woolcott, and was ranked number 5  in the Wellington Men rankings.. In the 1970s Adrian, at the Martinborough Open, won the Men’s Doubles (2) and the Mixed Doubles (3). He also won the 1971 Taranaki hardcourt Singles.

Adrian later played outdoor bowls at the Mount Victoria Bowling Club and the Lyall Bay Bowling Club.

At the Mount Victoria Bowling Club he won the following club titles:
Champion Pairs (3x): 1994 A Lust (Skip), K Dawson; 2001 A Lust (S), J Kydd; 2003 A Lust (S), L Guy.
Champion Triples (3x): 1993 A Lust (S), C Stuart, R Jacobs; 1994 A Lust (S), J Willis, C Stewart; 1999 A Lust (S), B Weakley, S Robinson
Champion Fours: 1999 A Lust (S), B Cately, J Kydd, G Walters.

At the Lyall Bay Club he won the following club titles:
Champion Pairs (4x): 2009-10, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2015-16 with C D Edginton (Skip)
Champion Triples (4x): 2008-09 with G S J Bridges, C Lowe (S); 2011-12 with J L Thorpe, C Lowe (S); 2012-13 with J L Thorpe, C Lowe (S); 2018-19 with C D Edginton, D Ferrier (S).
Champion Fours (3x): 2009-10 with W G Frizzell, M F Ward, C Lowe (S); 2013-13 with W F Frizzell, M F Ward, C Lowe (S); 2016-17 with K Smyth, M Andrews, D Ferrier (S).

Thanks to information from Adrian Lust, Brian Kennedy, Wellington Table Tennis Association Annual Reports, TTNZ Annual Reports,  photos from the TTNZ Photo Archives and the Lyall Bay Bowling Club Honours Board.

– Malcolm Wong