2019 LEAGUE CLOSED CHAMPIONSHIPS (17 FEB) REPORT
Published 18/02/2019 at 16:05:34 by David Wackrill.MIGHTY MATT TAKES TOP TITLE AMIDST AN AVALANCHE OF SNOWDON TROPHIES
36 players entered the main competition, with the contestants initially placed in groups of 3 which, as usual, provided some surprises. The performance of the round was Minesh Pitamber’s win against Ian Johnston, though both players did qualify for the knock-out stage of the last 16. It was here that the only previous holder in the field, Craig Brown, was eliminated, thus ensuring a new champion would be crowned. Craig’s conquerer was Super-Vet Dave Tiplady who enjoyed a great run to the final, beating fellow defender Ian in the quarters and the aggressive Bogdan Boghi in the semis. But waiting for him there was the formidable presence of Matt Haynes, hot favourite for the event, and who duly triumphed in a one-sided final. Matt’s own run to the final saw wins over Gary Jones, Mark Purcell and Alan Cherry with Alan the only player able to take even a single game from him.
Womens Singles & Womens Veterans Singles
Julie Snowdon picked up the first of 4 trophies when beating Sue Lewis in the final of the Womens Singles from a disappointingly small entry of 3 that included Varsha Tijare. This was sweet revenge for Julie as, only last month, she had lost to Sue in the League. Julie later went on to repeat her victory in the counterpart Veterans event.
Mens Veterans Singles
Defending champion Alan Cherry stamped his authority on this event with a succession of huge wins which brought him to a successfully negotiated tough semi-final against Dave Tiplady. Michael Wilkins came through the other half with good wins over Mark Purcell, Jim Brogan and Gary Deakin. Alan was the winner for his 7th Veterans title.
Mixed over 60s Singles
Not content with breaking the League record for the oldest ever Championship finalist, Dave Tiplady stormed the field in this event, culminating in a final win over defending champion Michael Wilkins 11-9 in the 5th on a lucky net cord. The Cambridge man took out Andy Smith in the semis where Michael stopped the run of Mervyn Phillips.
Mixed under 18 Singles
Established Premier player Ollie Horswell beat bright young starlets Danny Sedgwick (semi-final) and Dylan Cox (final).
All Doubles Events
There were some good looking pairings in the Championship Doubles, where any of the last 8 couples would have graced the final in what must surely be the strongest quarter-final line-up in living memory. As it was Matt Haynes/Michael Wilkins came through to play Ian Johnston/Dave Tiplady in one semi and Alan Cherry/Craig Brown came through in the other section to face Bogdan Boghi/Dakshinamoorthy Thopay. The eventual winners were Bogdan/Dakshin who beat Matt/Michael in the final, which was Michael’s 3rd of the day.
The Mixed Doubles went Julie Snowdon/Craig Brown, reviving former glories for their 4th win. Runners-up were Sue Lewis/Mike Howard who took them all the way to 11-9 in the 5th game of the final.
The Restricted Doubles (for players in Division 3 and below) was won by Geoff Turner/Bernie Raffe with Jim Brogan/Alan Creed runners-up.
Consolation Singles (the ‘Plate’)
And so to the Consolation event for group losers in the Championship Singles. Compared to other League up and down the country this is a recently introduced event, only starting in 2014. Julie Snowdon won that inaugural competition then and came close again here, reaching the final from a field of 20. A win would have given her a fourth title on the day but she had to settle for a runner-up memento this time. Her victor was Jiten Pitamber, who also had a good semi-final win over Andy Smith where Julie had beaten Mike Howard.
Finally, a huge thank you to Neil Riddy and his band of helpers for running the Tournament. It always goes like clockwork, not least due to Neil's meticulous pre planning. Thanks Neil for a great day out for all the players involved.