2020 LEAGUE INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS REPORT
Published 02/03/2020 at 16:18:15 by David Wackrill; edited 1 times, last on 02/03/2020 at 18:06:15 by David Wackrill.MIGHTY MATT RETAINS HIS CROWN
Sadly the downward trend of entries continues with only 32 this year, including just 5 women but no juniors. We did however enjoy a fleeting visit form local MP Iain Stewart, at the instigation of League chairman Michael Howard, in connection to MK being named European City of Sport for 2020 by ACES Europe (the European Cities and Capitols of Sport Federation). Hopefully the League will benefit from association with this sporting initiative.
The 29 entries for the blue ribbon event were split into 8 groups of 3 or 4 with the top pairs qualifying for the k.o. stage of the last 16. The big shock here was the elimination of seeded player Jordan Wood, first beaten by Iain Lindsay, the group winner, and then pipped to the runner-ups up spot in her group on games countback by Ade Odetayo. A rampant Iain went on to topple another seed in Mark Purcell before falling to defending champion Matt Haynes in the quarters. Mighty Matt was joined in the semi-finals by the other top seeds Alan Cherry, Dave Tiplady and Nick Howard and took little time in disposing of Nick. In the other semi Alan was taken to a decider by Dave with Matt winning an excellent final over 4 games.
Womens Singles & Womens Veterans Singles
With so few ladies, the all play all ‘round robin’ system was adopted for both events. Big hitting Jordan Wood emerged as the winner of the Womens Singles with ‘queen of the blockers’ Sue Lewis a close runner-up. In the Womens Veterans it was Sue’s turn to win from a field of 3 entrants with Chitra Balakrishna 2nd and Liz Dreyer 3rd.
Mens Veterans Singles
7 times winner Alan Cherry did not enter this time, saving his energy for the other Singles events. This left Dave Tiplady as the red hot favourite, and so it proved with a 4 game final win over Ricky Taiwo. Dave had a close semi-final though, just edging out Mervyn Phillips 11-9 in the 5th while Ricky was eliminating Mark Purcell over 4 games. In the earlier rounds Ricky had a big scare from Derick Rodrigues, the Div 3 man only capitulating at 16-14 in the decider in a most intriguing encounter.
Mixed over 60s Singles
Div 1’s Iain Lindsay collected his third Premier scalp of the day when he beat me (he really is playing in the wrong division, you know) before going down in the semi-final to Dave Tiplady, who lost his title to Alan Cherry in a repeat of their Championship Singles semi. Mervyn Phillips was Alan’s semi-final victim here.
All Doubles Events
Matt Haynes/Nick Howard were the outstanding team in the Championship Doubles and were never troubled in winning the event, beating Dave Tiplady/Jordan Moss in the semi and Alan Cherry/Dylan Cox in the final. Dylan became the first Div 2 player ever to reach a Championship Doubles final and they had a good win in their semi against Iain Lindsay/Darren Ward.
With 4 times champions Craig Brown/Julie Snowdon not defending their Mixed Doubles title, this year’s final came down to a battle between the only previous holders in the draw and a repeat of the 2018 final. Unfortunately, for me that is, the same result ensued, Nick Howard & Jordan Moss (nee Wood) beating myself and Sue Lewis. While Nick/Jordan enjoyed a comfortable semi-final win over Derick Rodrigues/Liz Dreyer, Sue and I struggled to see off the challenge of Mervyn Phillips/Muriel Hooker, saving 3 match points in the process.
It was good to see the Womens Doubles back on the agenda as the 4 ladies from the Womens Singles formed 2 scratch pairings. The winners were Sue Lewis/Liz Dreyer over Jordan Moss/Chitra Balakrishna in straight games.
Ade Odetayo was left distraught when his partner withdrew from the Restricted Doubles (for players in Division 3 and below) following a personal disappointing Singles result, but Ade's frowns soon turned to smiles when he was allocated the only ‘floater’ available in the shape of Muriel Hooker. This proved to be the perfect combination of attack and defence and the scratch pairing were easy winners of the competition with Derick Rodrigues/Pedro Anastacio their final victims in a field of 7.
Consolation Singles (the ‘Plate’)
As usual, the group losers went into the draw for the always popular ‘plate’ event. Jordan Moss was rarely troubled as she coasted to victory and her 3rd title of the day. Her final opponent was Div 2’s Martin Johnson who played well to reach that stage. Jordan is only the second woman to win this event, emulating Julie Snowdon’s feat from 2014.
Finally, a huge thank you to Neil Riddy and Michael Howard 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 and to all the players for taking part.