Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB), spearheaded by Manav Thakkar, defeated a spirited West Bengal 3-1 to retain the Youth Boys title at the 11Sports 80th Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships at the DPS Hall here on Thursday.
But West Bengal can be proud of their Youth Girls who beat Telangana 3-0 to lift the team trophy after their Junior Girls failed to defend the crown, bowing out in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
PSPB started nervously with Ronit Bhanja providing the lead for West Bengal as he beat Siddesh Pande 3-1 with Manav Thakkar to follow for PSPB.
Manav struggled against a pepped up Abhimanyu Mitra as the left-hander won the opening game of the second singles. But Manav, who levelled with a 12-10 win in the next, came back nicely to seize the initiative back.
After that Jeet Chandra, running a good form, accounted for Akash Pal, also a 3-1 verdict, to romp home.
The match had all the thrills of a final with long rallies and good counters from players of both sides, especially Ronit and Abhimanyu, Manav and Siddesh Pandey. In contrast, Jeet always had the upper hand against Akash Pal, despite slowing down a bit in the fourth game of the tie.
Telangana, after putting up a brave front and upsetting defending champions PSPB in the semi-finals, could not find the rhythm and energy to beat a determined West Bengal in the final.
Lacking sting in their attack and steam to fight back, they threw in the towel almost instantly, except for Sreeja who showed gumption to take on Kaushani Nath in the second singles.
But, the least the Telangana girl could do was to take two games of the West Bengal girl while Varuni managed one against Surbhi Patwari.
Meanwhile, Delhi defeated Gujarat 3-2 in a thrilling final to lift the Junior Boys title while Maharashtra A overcame a fighting Uttar Pradesh 3-1 to win the Junior Girls crown.
The title for Delhi was its first such effort and, for Maharashtra, a fine face-saving attempt - after having surrendered the team trophies in Youth Boys and Youth Girls and Junior Boys categories which they won last year.
With Manush Shah in their ranks, he was expected to take the two games for Gujarat. But their second player, Chitrax Bhatt, was a weak link which Delhi's Payas Jain and Yashansh Malik were to exploit. The story went according to the script as Manush and Payas won their first singles to make things even for the two teams.
But what brought twist in the tale was the doubles victory which Delhi scored against Manush and Chitrax. This gave Delhi a big advantage and cashing in on them, despite Payas' loss to Manush in reverse singles, Yashansh beat Chitrax in the decider to claim their maiden team gold.
As for Maharashtra A girls, with Diya Chitale and Manushree Patil proving to be a good combination, it was always going to be difficult for Uttar Pradesh, whose dependence is too much on Radhapriya Goel, their No. 1 player. But she was unable to give a kind of opening that UP would have wanted against Diya, who was sharp and quick in first singles.
Manushree did struggle a bit before striking pace and form against Suhana Narjinary to consolidate their position. However, the Maharashtra duo lost to the UP pair 2-3 after putting up a good fight.
That was all the UP girls could do as Radhapriya resisted Manushree a bit in her reverse singles before caving in under pressure.