CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017
Many thanks to Gordon for excellent reports.
Handicap Doubles on Monday 24th April.
Entries were disappointingly down on last year (16 from 24) for this tournament opener.
Fortunately genuine enthusiasm went a long way to making up for the lack of numbers, and a competitive edge was clear to see for most of the evening.
Two groups of four pairs needed to provide a winning pair each to contest the final on the 9th of May, and in due course Simon Aldis and Steve Bessant won through to meet Martin Pember and Chris Parmar-Saville. A start of one point at 21- up for the latter pair isn’t really significant considering the experience all four players possess.
Club Singles on Tuesday 25th April.
Again entries were down on last year (15 from 19) but not quite as much as in the doubles.
Four semi-finalists were required from the three groups, the winner from each group plus the best runner-up.
It was very pleasing to see how much effort and challenge were put into so many matches. The higher graded players didn’t have things all their own way although some of the scores might suggest they did, but they had to work very hard on several occasions for their predictable victories.
Karen Smith, Reza Kiani and Les Baker finished quite comfortably as group leaders, but Reza’s group provided the greater drama of the evening. A first match win for Brajesh Patel against Rayan Kotecha 12 – 10 in the fifth was against the grading and opened up possibilities for the best runner-up slot.
As the evening progressed, Jack cemented himself as the r/u in Karen’s group, and Oscar as the r/u in Les’s group.
The situation then produced the undoubted set of the night, Rayan v John Bowness.
If Rayan were to win, then the play off for best r/u would be between Jack and Oscar, each having won three matches. However if John were to win, then a three way play-off would be necessary.
Battle commenced. John took early opportunities and established a two game advantage. (We were now aware that Oscar had absented himself immediately after losing to Les. and
Jack waited patiently not knowing whether he would have to contest a play-off or not).
Rayan took the third game 11- 7 and the fourth 12-10. With John well down his second oxygen hip flask, and fighter that he is, the fifth game started. Rayan continued to attack with some force and John continued to defend with the help of adrenalin dredged from somewhere. Rayan eventually triumphed 11-7 but a classic encounter to complete the evening.
So with Oscar’s default, Jack went through to the semi-finals without lifting his bat again.
Ladies & Junior Girls Singles on Thursday 27th April
6 Ladies/Girls contested these events, Karen Smith, Shirley Pickering, Maya Dehnen, Sufyaana Dhanji, Paige Uppal, and Roma Morjaria, on an all-play-all basis, so lots of matches for everybody.
Eventually Karen finished as the Ladies Champion and Shirley as the Runner-up. Sufyaana won the Junior Girls event with Maya in the Runner-up spot.
I am compiling this mini-report from the score sheet as I didn’t attend to keep the evening all female. However I understand that a male did turn up but on the wrong night for another event. Shirley has not revealed his name!
Handicap Singles on Monday 01st May
There were originally 24 entries for perhaps the most popular of all our events, the opportunity to thwart the gradings! This level of entries has been consistent over recent years but unfortunately 4 entries had to withdraw over the weekend due to illness and injury, so 20 players were in action in four groups of five.
Four group winners were required initially for two semi-finals to provide the two finalists for Finals Night next Tuesday. Matches were played on a first- to –two games of 21 up, utilising six tables. Inevitably there were some cracking individual matches, before the group top places were decided.
In Group One, Karan Saigal went through, despite he and Dean Jordan finishing with the same number of matches won, the decisive factor being that Karan had beaten Dean in their “head –to-head” clash.
Group Two produced a clear winner in Chris Parmar-Saville, but perhaps Malik should be mentioned (with a little sympathy from me, not from Chris) having received an end-of-season grading of 163, richly deserved for his league achievements, now found him giving starts, and only getting one point from John Underwood. Tough, Malik!
This group also included 12 years old Oscar Bentley who acquitted himself very well.
In Group Three, 11 years old Edward Brown finished at the top and his performance was roundly praised by other competitors in his group.
Along with Oscar Bentley, Edward has a great future in front of him.
Group Four saw Brajesh Patel go through at the expense of John Bowness due to victory in their head-to-head.
In the first semi-final Karan faced Edward which the latter won in 2-straight games (points start 3).
In the second, Chris and Brajesh met up. Chris received 3 points start but Brajesh also won in 2-straight games despite the second going to 25-23 which Chris perhaps felt he had the opportunity to have won.
So on to the final when Edward will receive 7 points start from Brajesh