In the first Group stages, the tone for the event was set as number 1 seed Colin Green played against young Louis Myatt - Louis playing off +7 held a 20-0 advantage in a race to 24 - no real surprise then as he comfortably won in straight sets with Colin immediately questioning the handicapping Committee of Tom and Brian!! He scrambled through the group, however, with a mammoth comeback win against Katie Mackay.
The main casualties of the first round were Iain Johnstone (-8) who lost to Hannah McDonell and Louis McLeod, whilst pre tournament favourite (well in his own mind if no-one else's) Phil Daly failed to get out of his group as Greig McDonell and Stewart Hennessey progressed.
The last 16 threw up some interesting ties - there were screams of horror from table 1’s match between Louis Myatt and Abby Wighton - but before anyone jumps to conclusions they didn’t come from Louis this time - Abby couldn’t believe it as she crashed out in straight sets - who made up these handicaps she was heard to mutter! Last year’s final was repeated at the last 16 stage as Greig took on John Bald - John Bald - did he really win it last year!!! The tables were turned this year however as Greig overcame a 0-15 deficit to win in four ends. Pre-tournament favourite Sean Lennon (another +7 shark) took care of Colin to progress to the quarter finals whilst Louis McLeod continued his good comeback from his ankle break disposing of Tony Brentnall in straight sets.
There was a pattern emerging as all of the Division 4 youngsters progressed at the expense of lower handicapped opponents. Also through to the quarter finals went Millie Bennett and Luke Hennessey with the oldies all struggling.
The 1st Quarter final saw Luke take on Sean - a three point start for Sean wasn’t quite enough although he will be ruing some missed opportunities as he fell to Luke’s more consistent style.
Quarter final number 2 saw Greig take on Louis Myatt and even Greig’s efforts to put the 12 year old off were in vain as Louis marched on in three straight sets. Also progressing to the semis were Millie and Louis McLeod.
So the four semi-finalists had a combined age of 52 - that’s not even half of Brian’s age!!
In the first semi Luke faced Louis McLeod and Louis looked like he might spring a surprise but just fell short losing out in 4 ends.
In the other semi-final Louis Myatt took on Millie who must have started favourite after the confidence of a straight sets victory in the league the previous week. In front of a large crowd, Millie’s nerves seemed to got the better of her - from 9-5 down in the first, Louis never looked back as he won in straight sets.
So the final that no one wanted to see - oops I mean the final everyone wanted to see!!! Louis v Luke - team mates from Division 4 - Luke giving a 3 point advantage to Louis and still simmering after a defeat to Louis earlier in the year in the Edinburgh Championships at RHS. He put that defeat behind him as his consistency again came to the fore in a somewhat anti-climatic final where neither player played their best. Whilst Louis had a chance in the 3rd end, Luke never really looked in trouble as he comfortably won in 3 ends - Well done Luke.
The losers in the first group stages played off in groups in the consolation Singles Event and a hard fought competition ensued. Phil’s tactics of not getting out of the initial group stages paid dividend as he reached the final where he faced Craig Johnson (yet another Division 4 shark on +7)!! In the final, Craig couldn’t quite get to grips with Phil’s left handed style as Phil ended the day as he had promised with a tournament win!!!
The Ballot Doubles threw up some interesting pairings - progressing through the groups and then the knockout stages to the final were Iain Johnstone (trying to make up for his dismal showing in the singles) paired with Stewart Hennessey and his hard bat against Colin Green and Mark Mackay (a newbie to the Club). The final was an entertaining and tight affair which went the distance - Iain and Stewart held their nerve for an 11-8 win in the deciding set - well done to yet another Hennessey!!
No player of the week award this week but our Player of the tournament award goes to a young lad who has done terrifically well in fighting his way back from a horrendous injury half way through the season - it was great to see Louis McLeod back and to make the semi finals was a fantastic achievement - Well done Louis!
A great day was had by all and to end we all pass on our thanks to Tom and Brian for the work done in the run up to the event (well apart from their handicapping decisions!!) and to Katharine and Tom for their excellent running of the top table on the day.