Men's & Women's Championship
Managing the Men's & Women's for the first time, I was given the most awkward entry numbers possible. 17 Men, 9 Women & 9 pairs for the mixed doubles. A big vote of thanks goes to Samir Patel for helping sort out a format that gave people sufficient play and a fair chance of finishing the tournament.
The doubles started as a 3 round strict Swiss, top 4 and ties going through to a knockout. Two wins being enough to qualify. A shock leader at the end of day 1 with John Davis and Lorna Dewar being the only unbeaten pair and 5 pairs qualified for the knockout.
The singles started, Draw and Process for the Women and a straight Best of 3 knockout for the Men. As always the one first round match went to three games, leaving Christian Carter waiting most of the day. He did get to play the first game of round two before close of play. The 7th and 8th seeds falling at the first opportunity, the rest of the seeds safely through to the quarters.
In the Women's there was a big first match between the top two rankedplayers, Gabrielle Higgins and Jenny Clarke. Gabrielle had a lot of the early play but Jenny hit in against 4back and peg, went round and pegged Gabrielle out. Gabrielle had some chances but Jenny managed to creep round with plenty of leaves and wiring, eventually winning by 4. By the end of the day, the draw was down to Jenny and Annabel McDiarmid.
The one quarter final in the mixed doubles was available to be played before Christian started his singles campaign
The process started for the women and Jenny and Annabel were drawn in the one first round game in this side, Jenny winning fairly comfortably. She then ran into Louise Bradforth who played solidly and knocked Jenny out, cheering the manager up as Jenny was looking like a major blocker. Gabrielle was through to the Process final by the end of the day and Louise was left to play Rachel Gee in the other semi final.
The other blocker, Christian, who had waited for a large part of Thursday, finished off his second round match and then played Omied in the quarters. Omied took the first, Christian equalised and the third went down to the wire, Christian edging through +3. Mark Suter beat Ian Burridge in a 5th seed v 4th seed match. Samir Patel scraped past Alain Giraud +1 in the first but more comfortably in the second. James Death overcame some resistance from Callum Johnson.
The first doubles semi final went on after tea and went all the way to time with Ian Burridge & Rachel Gee overcoming John & Lorna.
The remaining doubles semi final went on first with the manager hoping for a quick game between Mark & Jenny against Christian & Gabrielle. They had other ideas and Mark & Jenny won +3t.
While the doubles went the distance James Death dispatched Samir 2-0 on the next lawn and Rachel beat Louise in the Process semi final.
After lunch Mark and Christian played their semi final and Mark won 2-0 quite quickly, cheering the manager up. Finally, the tournament might finish!
In the Women's, the two finals went on after lunch and Jenny & Gabrielle came through comfortably.
The doubles finalists were given the choice of a single game final after tea or a Best of 3 with the threat of playing till dusk. They unanimously chose a single game. Rachel got round early and Ian completed the victory with a triple peel.
The singles had reached a final in each event. The Women were offered Best of 5 but declined and settled for 3. Mark and James played a Best of 5 in the Men's. Barring 10 minutes round lunch, it was a high quality final with few errors. James won in 4 finishing with a flourish by completing a sextuple peel.
The Du Pre had a 4 player knockout on the last day with Alain and Phil Eardley winning the semi finals comfortably before Alain won the final +26tp.
The Women's nearly finished quickly but Jenny missed a return roquet on a finishing turn for 2-0 and Gabrielle equalised. She then went round 3rd turn in the decider to applause from the appreciative gallery but Jenny got in and Gabrielle failed to hit another shot. Jenny winning +17.
All events finished by 3.30pm, an early tea and prize giving where all the volunteers were thanked for giving their time and putting in all the hard work in the background so the players can turn up and enjoy themselves.