Matt Haynes shines at Salisbury Grand Prix

Bournemouth Sports Table Tennis Club

The first ever Salisbury Open, a Butterfly Grand Prix event got under way on Saturday 14th February at the 18 table venue of the Five Rivers Leisure Centre in the city centre, with the many Men’s and Women’s banded events.

Hannah Hicks, the Butterfly Grand Prix point’s leader continued her winning ways in the Women’s band 1 event, by narrowly getting the better of Guernsey’s 14 year old hotshot Alice Loveridge in a spectacular display of defence versus attacking play. The five set final was a joy to witness with both these young ladies going for broke on every rally, treating the audience to some superb rallies. Hicks once again demonstrated sheer guts and determination to thwart the continued and aggressive challenge from Loveridge coming back from a 1-2 games deficit, then going right to the wire in an entertaining and enthralling match, coming through 11-9 in the fifth end. Hicks had her work cut out in the earlier rounds against Stephanie Donnelly and then Melissa Wright, whilst Loveridge had to work hard for her four set wins over Michelle Cohen and Sanja Clements to take her place in the final with Hicks.

The Men’s band 1 last semi-final and final matches had to be carried over to Sunday as time ran out to complete these contests by 9pm on Saturday. With Nikki Shaerrer already through to the final after a topsy turvy five set match semi-final win against Matt Ware, he had to wait overnight to meet his final opponent which would be the winner of the Chris Doran and Abdul Wuraola top half of the draw confrontation.

Following the Men’s Open groups on Sunday morning the semi-final between Chris Doran and Abdul Wuraola took place, and what a cracker it turned out to be! After losing the first two sets of a fantastic bout of play it was Doran Doran, with a view to a kill, that came back to top the charts and take the wind out of Abdul’s sails and register a remarkable 3-2 comeback victory.

With Chris now in full flow he maintained his excellent winning streak by simply outplaying his final opponent Nikki Schaerrer in a one sided 3-0 win to pick up his well earned cheque for £60.

Scottish born Euan Liddle, now resident in Essex, survived a tough match in the group stage fighting back from 0-2 down against Jojo Senorin to win his group, and then continue his excellent form to power through the first round past Will Bayley (who had earlier gained fantastic maximum wins against Matt Spero and Zoltan Hosszu in the groups) and then getting the better of Scott Crawford at the penultimate stage. Liddle once again had to be at his very best to take top honours and the Men’s band 2 title over a determined challenge from Koji Hirota, the Japanese penhold player.

Unseeded Ikue Humphrey from Surrey played extremely well to be crowned Women’s Band 2 Champion following a terrific five set win after being two sets to love down, to come through in the final over Sue West from Dorset. Ikue did it the hard way by ousting top seed Gosia Muda at the quarter-final stage after enduring a four set victory against Steph Francis from the Grantham Academy. Sue’s path to the final was at the expense of secondseed Catherine Chen, and then she went on to dispose of Sally Hughes in a straight sets semi-final.

Following her splendid performances in Women’s band 2, Ikue Humphrey made it a brace of title wins later in the day by progressing again to take more glassware in the band 3 tournament, with a 3-0 victory over Sue West in the final. Sue gained a 3-0 victory over Steph Francis in the penultimate round to take her place in the final, with yet another meeting with Humphrey.

Scott Crawford was the main man in Men’s band 3, taking the podium top spot over Ceri James 3-0 in the final match. Crawford was made to work for his title win having to pull out all the stops against the aggressive Beijing Paralympian Will Bayley in the semi-final (after Bayley had worked his socks off against Billy Pegg in five gruelling sets the round before). James enjoyed a remarkable day reaching this final after his earlier great run in band 4.

Ceri James from Wales took top honours in the 40 strong field of competitors in Men’s band 4, winning seven matches on the bounce culminating in a straight sets final win over Myles Collins from the Bristol Academy. James was on top form throughout this event brushing aside the likes of Tristan Gretton, Ashley Hayes, and Freddie Cutler on his route to the final. Collins earned his last match spot after enjoying solid performances over Toby Mattacott, Steve Murgatroyd and Paul Hooper, but had no answers for the inform Welshman, James.

Dorset’s own “Rambo” Matt Haynes took no prisoners through the jungle of competitors, to a ruthless demolition of all his adversaries in the Men’s band 5 event, and in fact did not drop a set in the knockout rounds. His final opponent and number one seeded Chris Edwards, the defensive player from the Bristol Academy, was simply taken out of the equation in a one sided straight sets final.

The Men’s band 6 competition had a strange twist to proceedings in that the eventual winner Tony Palaczky had lost in the group stage to Brian Burn, both of whom progressed as group winner and runner-up to fight their way right through to the final to lock horns again. Burn had won that group match 3-1, and in a similar reversed scoreline Palaczky gained his revenge to take the top spot and a nice piece of glassware for his magnificent efforts in the final.

Full results from day one at Salisbury:

Men’s Band 1
Chris Doran (Np) beat Nikki Schaerrer (Wa)
11-8, 11-7, 11-8.

Women’s Band 1
Hannah Hicks (Ha) beat Alice Loveridge (GGY)
11-2, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-9.

Men’s Band 2
Euan Liddle (E) beat Koji Hirota (Mi)
11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-4.

Women’s Band 2
Ikue Humphrey (Sy) beat Sue West (Do)
6-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 13-11.

Men’s Band 3
Scott Crawford (Cu) beat Ceri James (WAL)
11-3, 11-7, 11-4.

Women’s Band 3
Ikue Humphrey (Sy) beat Sue West (Do)
11-7, 11-8, 11-5.

Men’s Band 4
Ceri James (WAL) beat Myles Collins (Av)
11-9, 11-8, 11-9.

Men’s Band 5
Matt Haynes (Do) beat Chris Edwards (Av)
12-10, 11-2, 11-7.

Men’s Band 6
Tony Palaczky (Ha) beat Brian Burn (Do)
8-11, 15-13, 11-7, 11-9.
16th February

By Geoff Ware-ETTA Butterfly Grand Prix Press Officer

Scotland’s Gavin Rumgay confirmed his top seeding in the Salisbury Men’s Open, a Butterfly Grand Prix event, by simply outplaying all his rivals including his last opponent, Wang Zheng in a daylight robbery 999 score line!

Accompanied and supported by the new Asian love in his life, Jane, he demonstrated his consistent superiority throughout the event to pick up the winner’s cheque for £300.

Gavin was only slightly threatened by Matt Ware in the quarter-final stage, dropping his only set towards the title, but that was as good as it got for any of his rivals.

Likewise, Zheng, after beating Chris Doran in the quarter-final, dropped just the one set to Damien Nicholls at the penultimate stage on route to his final with Rumgay, but was made to look second class by the flying Scotsman.

The Women’s Open was also won by the top seed, Egle Adomelyte from the Greenhouse Progress club in London. She was in unstoppable form throughout this event, and simply outplayed her final opposer, Hannah Hicks in a 3-0 score line.

Egle was just too strong for Kirsty Wilson and Klaudia Szadkowska in the knockout rounds to come through virtually unscathed to meet Hicks in the final.

Hannah to that point had played extremely well to oust second seed Alice Loveridge in a straight sets semi final, but found Adomelyte too hot to handle in the last match.

Once again it was the Men’s under 21 Champion Damien Nicholls who was in phenomenal form to prove victorious in this event. Along his path to the title he disposed of Tom Maynard and Matt Ware, both in 3-0 scorelines, and then went on to drop the only set to his final opponent Vytas Rybakas 3-1.

Vytas had played magnificently to get to the final, beating the likes of Daniel Ives and Chris Doran, but met his match in Nicholls.

Alice Loveridge gained her revenge on Hannah Hicks at the third time of asking this weekend by taking the Women’s under 21 title in a three sets to one.
Alice disposed of Kirsty Wilson and Leine Agata to reach the final, whilst Hicks was made to go the full distance by both Natasha Rees and then Melissa Wright in her semi-final. The Loveridge-Hicks final was once again a great match as we have been accustomed too, but this time Alice found wonderland and her best form to take a well deserved title victory.

The final two events on a busy weekend’s schedule were the Mixed Veteran’s and Mixed Restricted singles.

Abdul Wuraola, the very talented England top veteran took no prisoners on his way to the Veterans title. He was in cruise mode as he beat Dave Randall and Julian Gittens, and finally Tony Palaczky to take yet another MV title.
Palaczky had his work cut out against a spirited Sanja Clements and Dave Langham both in close encounters, but was a gallant loser to Wuraola.

Last but by no means least, the Mixed restricted event threw up a surprise winner in Chris Martin. He came through the rounds by beating Stuart Williams, Simon Dilkes, Lukasz Janisiewicz, and finally a very spirited Dan Kolesnik (who himself had enjoyed great wins against Jojo Senorin, Maciej Nakielski, and top seeded Zoltan Hosszu). Kolesnik took Martin the full distance in a final gallant performance, but could not maintain his earlier great momentum losing in a five close sets final.

The Tees Sport player of the tournament award for £50 and a framed certificate was presented to Matt Haynes from Dorset for his fantastic efforts in winning the Men’s Band 5 event, taking many maximum wins along his way to the title.

Huge events such as the Grand Prix tournaments cannot run smoothly without the hard working team of Organisers and Officials throughout the two days. Many thanks to Referee Eileen Allison and her team which included Mick Strode, Graham Rogerson, Dave Evans, Dianne Kirkwood, and Umpires, Roger Vardon, Fred Ingram and Alan Thomas, who did their usual magnificent job.

Our hosts at the Five Rivers Leisure Centre looked after us very well and we look forward to returning there next year.

Sundays Results as Follows;

Men’s Open.
Gavin Rumgay (SCO) bt. Wang Zheng (E)
11-9, 11-9, 11-9.

Women’s Open.
Egle Adomelyte bt. Hannah Hicks (Ha)
13-11, 11-6, 11-2.

Under 21 Men’s.
Damien Nicholls (Sp) bt. Vytas Rybakas (E)
11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9.

Under 21 Women’s.
Alice Loveridge (GGY) bt. Hannah Hicks (Ha)
12-10, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4.

Mixed Veteran’s.
Abdul Wuraola (Sy) bt. Tony Palaczky (Ha)
11-7, 14-12, 9-11, 11-5.

Mixed Restricted.
Chris Martin (K) bt. Dan Kolesnik (He)
11-5, 10-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7.