JENKINS and SIBLEY take top spot in Nottingham
Ryan JENKINS claimed his first Grand Prix crown of the season after a truly outstanding display against Chris DORAN. The Welsh Wizard was utterly dominant throughout, not relinquishing a single end until he faced DORAN in the final. JENKINS waltzed past J
Ryan JENKINS claimed his first Grand Prix crown of the season after a truly outstanding display against Chris DORAN. The Welsh Wizard was utterly dominant throughout, not relinquishing a single end until he faced DORAN in the final.
JENKINS waltzed past Joshua HARLAND, Martin RUTTER and Josh BENNETT before defeating Craig HOWIESON 3-0 in the last four. Meanwhile, DORAN found the going tougher, dropping ends to Liam MCTIERNAN and then Matt WARE in the last four, whilst he was also worked hard by Tom MAYNARD in the quarter-finals.
The final was a superb affair that had the whole hall at a standstill. It was DORAN who took the first end 11-6 to give himself the upper hand. However, JENKINS raced through the gears from there on, continuously finding joy with his unique forehand flick before hitting colossal backhand bombs from the other flank.
For all of DORAN’S efforts, he at times looked helpless in his quest to nullify JENKINS, eventually being taken out 11-9 in the fourth.
Following his victory, JENKINS said: “I’m pleased to have got my first one of the season in the bag. Chris is a tricky customer but I had the edge over him on the day. It’s been a good season for me so far and this adds to it.”
Shocks came in abundance throughout the event, with notable victories for James GARROD and Josh BENNETT over Tom MAYNARD and Chris WHEELER respectively of particular note.
Kelly SIBLEY triumphed in yet another Grand Prix after battling through a number of formidable opponents. SIBLEY was commanding throughout the competition as she showcased why she was the number 1 seed in the event. Yet whilst her results might suggest otherwise, Sibley was forced to play at her best to overcome those who she frequently trains with at the University of Nottingham.
Her fist real threat was against Tressa ARMITAGE, who played outstandingly to take the second end off her opponent. However, SIBLEY responded with two strong games to fend off the brave ARMITAGE.
A comfortable victory over Diana RUSINOVA followed before another strong test, Yolanda King in the semi-final. A spectacle pursued as the players engaged in a number of astonishing rallies. Sibley eventually took the match in three ends, a somewhat disappointment for spectators who were keen to see more.
That opened the gateway for her game with Vickers, who had defeated Paulina ORZECHOWSKA in the quarter-finals before defeating Abbie MILWAIN in a tight 3-1 victory.
And VICKERS was fast out of the blocks. A blistering start saw her race into a 9-2 lead with her hard counter hitting at its destructive best. However SIBLEY recovered, looping intensely to bring the game level before taking the end 13-11. From then on SIBLEY dominated, taking the next two games 11-3 to wrap up the title.
Kelly said: “I knew I would have to play well today because the girls have been playing well. I’ve been coaching and training with the girls a lot which has allowed me to do a bit of scouting, but they all made me work hard to get the victory. Ultimately I’m happy to come through it and win the event.”
Jack BENNETT took the last match and therefore the last title of the weekend in Nottingham as he was crowned Under 21 champion after a 3-0 victory over Callum EVANS. Bennett managed to win his previous three rounds all by a scoreline of 3-1. First overcoming Grantham Academy player Joe Pilkington, Men’s Band 3 champion Josh Harland in the quarter final and then Matthew Leete, overturning a one end deficit in the process.
Callum EVANS put up a good fight in the final being supported by his vocal college team mates. However, their support wasn’t enough as he seemed to run out of steam. Earlier in the competition he impressively claimed victory against James HOBSON and Matt OUTHWAITE.
A special mention goes to Tim DENBY, who registered one of his greatest wins to date against Liam MCTIERNAN, despite losing the first end 11-0. Defeat meant MCTIERNAN suffered a shock exit in the group stages.
Yolanda KING secured her second title on home soil after battling it out to clinch the Under 21 crown. The second seed was once again impressive as she raced to the title, defeating top seed Abbie MILWAIN in the final. King had defeated Amy BLAGBROUGH in the semi-final to set up her contest with MILWAIN, who had defeated Diana RUSINOVA.
But it was KING who took the final, claiming all three ends. Decisively, she took the opening two games in deuce, a fact MILWAIN was left to rue after squandering a number of chances. King took the third 11-6 to wrap up what had been a strong weekend at the office for King.
Tom MAYNARD and Matt WARE claimed the doubles title in style after putting in a convincing display. Outrageous shots were aplenty as the pair blitzed their opponents, eventually claiming the title against the unlikely duo of Graeme BARELLA and CHUN Yin Yu in the final.
WARE and MAYNARD had beating BARELLA and YIN Yu, who play doubles for the University of Newcastle, in the groups, whilst also beating fellow Newcastle students Matthew STEPHENS and George FALCUS. Their semi-final opponents were Matthew MAN and Bryan KWAN, who pushed them before they eventually prevailed 3-1.
In the final they had their rematch against Barella and Yin Yu, who had impressively beaten Ryan JENKINS and Cherith GRAHAM in five.
They tested the winning pair, taking the second end to leave a shock on the cards. However, WARE and MAYNARD’s class eventually showed as they took the next two ends, largely down to a few expansive shots
Martin LOWE put in a convincing performance to claim the Veteran trophy.