Division 2 - Top Eight Report

Published 05/05/2022 at 19:18:08 by Martin Johnson; edited 2 times, last on 16/05/2022 at 22:01:08 by Martin Johnson.

The end of season "Top Eight" event for Divsion 2 took place alongside those for the Premier Division and Division 1 on Monday 25th April (sorry for the delay)!

Unlike the Premier Division event that night, there were several from the top of the division's season end averages unable to attend, for various reasons, so well done to Mike Howard for working his way down the list to get an event arranged.  Despite this, there were, initially, only seven entrants there on the night, but Abhay Tijare (who was there to support his son, Tanmay, in the Divison 1 event) was persuaded to compete and to make up the numbers - thanks.

The two Groups were as follows :-
  Group 1  -  Derick Rodrigues, Graham Silversides, Glenn Barcham & Abhay Tijare.
  Group 2  -  Rupert Greyling, Martin Johnson, Andy King & David Bartlett.

Group 1 opened up in round 1 with Derick winning in straight games against Glenn, however the second set almost produced an upset, as reserve Abhay pushed Graham to five games, and was indeed well ahead in leg five, only for Graham to claw it back from 10-4, to finally win 14-12 (a win that ultimately took Graham through to the semi-finals).  Round 2 saw Abhay get a virtually identical result against top seed, Derick, again going to five legs, but this time losing out 11-9 in the decider, to give Derick his 2nd win, whilst Graham beat Glenn over four close legs, to ensure that Derick and Graham would progress to the semi-finals.  The third and final round saw Derick comfortably top the group with a four game win over Graham, whilst Abhay yet again lost out in five legs, this time to Glenn, after being 2-1 up, so finishing last in the group, but so near to three wins!!

Group 2 opened up with a comfortable three games win for Rupert against Andy, whilst Martin beat team mate David over four games.  Round 2 saw Rupert take the first leg against Martin, but in the first win against the seeding, Martin won the next three games to take his second win in the group, whilst Andy carved out a good straight games win over David, to keep himself in the running.  The third round saw Rupert in a tough battle with David, before coming through in four games, to collect his second win. The final set saw Andy take the opening game, but when Martin hit back to win leg two comfortably, it looked like bad news for Andy, but he battled back to take legs three and four, for his second win (and the second win against the seeding), to leave the group with three players having all won twice - Rupert, Martin and Andy.  Rules were consulted, and it eventually meant that Rupert topped the group by virtue of a +3 games difference, whilst Andy & Martin both had a +2 games difference, and Andy also went through as he'd beaten Martin in the group!

This meant semi-finals as follows :-
  Derick v Andy  /  Graham v Rupert

Derick duly won his place in the final, in straight games against Andy, however the second semi-final was much closer.  Rupert took the opener, but Graham took control of legs two and three to move 2-1 ahead and opened up a lead in game 4, only for Rupert to battle back and even things up.  The decider saw Rupert take a lead early on, but Graham again showed his fighting spirits and came back to ensure a very tight finish, and it was eventually Graham who triumphed 12-10 in the fifth, so preventing an all MK Sharks final !!

The final was a repeat of the group encounter between Derick and Graham, but Graham put up stronger resistance this time, twice coming from a leg down to even it up, to take it to a fifth and deciding game, however, Derick was not to be denied, as he took the final leg 11-5, and so took the title, also remaining undefeated over the evening.

Well done to the winner, Derick Rodrigues, runner-up, Graham Silversides, to all who attended, and to Mike Howard for his organisation.  See you all next season!