A great event . . . no spin required!
UK star Chris Doran retained his Jersey Open men’s singles title on Sunday, beating Surrey’s Darius Knight 3-1 in the expected – and high-quality – final at the Geoff Reed Centre.
Knight was, once again, forced to settle for the runners-up spot, despite taking the first game 11-9. Northamptionshire’s Doran fought back hard, winning the next three 11-9, 11-6, 11-9.
The men’s singles had started with five groups and Gregorz Frankowski was last local player standing after a hard-fought victory over Paralympian David Wetherill put him into the quarter-finals alongside Doran; Knight; Adam Laws from Surrey; Josh Stacey from Guernsey; Niall Cameron, the Scotland No 4; Jody Bevington from Warwickshire; and Jamal Dennison of Essex.
Doran eased past Bevington 3-0, with Cameron and Knight recording the same shut-out against Dennison and Laws, respectively. Frankowski, having defeated Stacey twice over the tournament, could not get a clean sweep, despite recovering twice from a game down.
Stacey faced Doran in the last four, with the latter storming through to the final 3-0. The second semi was less tight than expected, with Knight’s imperious form taking him past Cameron 3-0.
The women’s singles was played as a round-robin and dominated by top seed and eventual champion Hannah Hicks from Hampshire. She did struggle though, against Swetha Khatri from Middlesex, for one game, but soon took control to get the win. The three Jersey players, Irene Bree, Hannah Silcock and Liliana Andrade were all highly commended for their efforts against quality opposition. Khatri was runner-up, with countbacks used to separate the three local girls, with Bree edging home third, Andrade fourth and Silcock fifth.
The U21 final was an all-Jersey affair, with Tyler Gosselin taking the title 3-0, with a barrage of smashed winners against the tournament’s leading junior Leon Pierre, following 11-9 and 11-8 successes in the first two games.
Gosselin had come from two down to edge out his brother Jacob in a thrilling semi-final, while Pierre had knocked out top seed Luke Greenfield in the last four, despite going two down.
The veteran’s singles was won by Ireland’s Rory Scott after a five-way round-robin. Northampton’s VIdal Graham was runner up.
The restricted singles title, for those aged between 21 and 40, went to Jersey’s Frankowski, who claimed his second title of the three-day event by beating Guernsey’s Josh Stacey 3-0 in the final.
On Saturday, Men’s Band 1 was won by Commonwealth Games player Niall Cameron, who beat Laws 3-0 in the final.
Dennison won Band 2, which was played as a round robin. Laws squeezed out Frankowski and Josh Stacey for the runners-up slot.
Men’s Band 3 produced a high-class final between Dennison and Frankowski after both emerged from strong groups.Top seed Dennison looked to be on a bit of a mission, topping a group, which included Scott, Tony Stead and Luke Greenfield, at a canter before beating Jersey’s Tyler Gosselin and Guernsey’s Lawrence Stacey to reach the final.
In the bottom-half of the draw Frankowski also showed great form and resilience to take his group then defeat fellow Islander Greenfield and Sarnian Josh Stacey (both 3–1).
In the final Frankowski took the first two games, but Dennison struck back in the third. A thrilling fourth ensued, with both players forcing time-outs and Frankowski losing two match points to reach deuce. The two all-out attacking players then slugged it out with booming forehands until Frankowski forced the all important error to take the game 20-18 and the match 3-1.
Three-time Paralympian David Wetherill from Cornwall triumphed in the Men’s Band 4, despite only being runner-up to Greenfield in his group. Wetherill went on to beat Jersey’s tricky defender Jack Mills and then unseated top seed Scott 3-0 to reach the final. Wetherill raced to a two-love lead but Bevington roared back to level. Wetherill’s experience, however, was to prove the decisive factor as he eked out errors from his opponent to finally win 11-7, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, 11-5.
Jersey junior Pierre won the Men’s Band 5, which had a big entry of 21 players in six groups. All six were hotly contested but the top two seeds, Jacob Gosselin and Kent’s Darius Xavier won through.
Gosselin then fell to the wily veteran Steve Dickinson in the quarters, while in-form Jersey junior Alfie Sutherland despatched James Lennard from Middlesex and then the tricky Jon Allen from Wales. Sutherland, however, was no match for the canny Dickinson in the semi-final.
Pierre enjoyed success against John Partington from Cambridgeshire and Ben Allen from Wales before facing Xavier in the semi final, where he played a patient game, choosing his shots well, to force errors from his opponent to clinch his place in the final 3-1
In the final Pierre took the lead only for Dickinson to level. It was cat-and-mouse thereafter, but the Island junior showed immense focus and determination in forcing a 3-1 win.
Jon Allen triumphed in Men’s Band 6, beating Hungary’s Mihaly Pinter 3-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6 and 11-7 in a real nail-biter of a final.
Sutherland continued his good form by beating Northampton’s Shay Graham and then Ben Allen to reach the semi final where he had to face Jon Allen. Top seed Xavier went down 3-1 to Pinter in the semis.
Women’s Band 1 and Women’s Band 2 were both played as round-robins. Band 1 was dominated by Khatri. The runner up was Jersey’s Andrade who played some inspired shots in her matches.
Khatri also won Band 2, with Bree playing to form and Jersey ranking to take the runners-up slot.
The Junior Team event on Friday featured success for local players, with Pierre and Sutherland both playing superbly to see off all the opposition. Luc Miller and Jacob Gosselin, also from from Jersey, were runners-up.
In the veterans team event, top seeds Scott and Graham were too strong for the rest, with the Northumberland pairing of Rob Dodds and Steve Dickinson finishing second.
In the men’s team event a large field culminated in an all-Jersey final.
The first semi had been a Guernsey v Jersey affair, with the the Sarnians’ popular Stacey twins, Josh and Lawrence, going out all guns blazing. Nevertheless, Tyler Gosselin took first blood. Josh Stacey levelled against Chris Morshead, but the Jersey duo took the doubles and then Morshead sealed a win over Lawrence for a 3-1 overall victory.
The other Jersey pair, Miller and Greenfield, beat the experienced pairing of Scott and Joe Britnell. Greenfield lost to Scott in the fifth, but Miller gained parity with his first singles. A measured doubles win followed by Miller’s close win over Scott set up the all-Jersey final.
Miller and Greenfield went on an all-out attack in the final, taking the first two singles 3-1 and 3-0, respectively. The all important doubles followed and Gosselin and Morshead could not stem the tide of their Jersey colleagues who took men’s team title 3-0.
There was a minutes’s silence held on the final day in memory of UK international referee and umpire Steve Welch who passed away on Saturday, with JTTA officials passing on their condolences to his family.