Annual Tournament – Divisional Singles

This year saw the reintroduction of the Divisional Singles for Divisions 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Division 2

There were 7 entries and in the first round Andy Challenger saw off his Wetherby team mate, Robin Maxfield in straight sets, Phil Kenny still fresh as a daisy after competing in the over 70’s, beat Rob Crichton in 4 sets and Colin Bateman, making a welcome return to the tournament accounted for Sarah Jackson in straights sets, an impressive victory considering how well Sarah is playing in the league.

The Semi Finals saw Andy beat Phil, who must have been tiring at that stage, in 3 straight, 7, 2 & 6.  In the other Nick Morton, given a bye in round 1, beat his team mate Colin in 4 sets – a tough battle but Nick knows Colin’ s game backwards which gave him the edge.

The final then was a battle between Andy and Nick, both players riding high in the divisional averages, with Andy at 84% compared to Nick on 71%. As it turned out the averages tell only half a story as Nick came through in straight sets: 12-10, 11-7, 11-5. It’s all down to styles of play with Nick able to work through Andy’s chop defence.

So Division 2 singles champion of 2016/17 is Knaresborough Cricket Club’s, Nick Morton.

Link to division 2 results  -  Div 2 Results.xlsx

Division 3

There were 12 entries and in the first round Tanya Waller saw off her Racquets team mate, George Chan in straight sets, Ryan Jowsey with a lower divisional average, overcame Richard Blunden also in straight sets.  Tony Lupton with an impressive 92% divisional average beat Nathan Crocker in 4 sets and finally Lewis Bush, from Racquets F, defeated Nidge O’Brien in straight sets.

The quarter finals saw the introduction of 4 players receiving byes from the first round, Jim Shannon edged Sabrina Wild in 4 sets, Lewis overcame Ian Boardman also in 4 sets, and Tony had an epic struggle with James Lofthouse, the game going to 5 sets and Tony winning through 11-8 in the 5th. Tanya, with a divisional average of 95%, eased through in 3 straight against Ryan, which was no disgrace to Ryan given the tournament Tanya had – even reaching the ladies final.

Both Semi Finals went the full distance. Tanya had drawn Tony, so a battle between the very best of the division in the semi final. In a superb match that saw Tony take a 2 sets to 1 lead, Tanya eventually came through 11-5 in the deciding set, Tony possibly running out of steam given the number of events he was in.  In the other match, Lewis finally overcame Jim and again coming from 2 sets to 1 down and Jim seeming to have the momentum having taken the second and third sets, 11-1 & 11-8. The fourth and fifth sets saw Lewis come through taking them 11-9 and 11-6. A great come back by an up and coming player.

The final then was a battle between Tanya and Lewis. Tanya started out as favourite and yet Lewis took the first set 11-9. Unfortunately for Lewis this was as good as it got,  Tanya started to dominate the match and with her stronger shot selection and consistency took the match by winning the next three sets, 11-5, 11-2, 11-9. For Lewis no disgrace in losing to Tanya, who is clearly a very good player, and no doubt we will see her  in Division 1 or 2 next year.

So Division 3 singles champion of 2016/17 is Racquets F’s, Tanya Waller.

Link to division 3 results  - Div 3 Results.xlsx

Division 4

Sadly there were only 4 entries for the Division 4 event and three players, Fuad Foric, Jim Walker and Eric Mitchell were from the Burnbridge B team with Mellis Allan from Wetherby Methodists B making up the fourth player.

A straight knock out and so two semi finals:

In the first, Fuad beat Mellis in straight sets, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4. The other was a much closer affair with the two Burnbridge players battling it out for a place in the final. In a match going right to the fifth set, Jim finally overcame his team mate Eric 12-10 in the 5th. It was a real see saw game, Jim taking the first game 11-8 only to see Eric fight back to take the second 12-10. Jim again held the ascendancy winning the third 11-5 and yet only to see Eric come back again to win the fourth 11-6. With momentum seemingly now in Eric’s favour it was actually Jim that saw the game out with that 12-10 final set win.

So to the final, Burnbridge B team mates, Fuad and Jim, two players who wouldn’t give an inch and who fought for every point. The first game was a close affair, Fuad taking it 11-9. Buoyed by this Fuad took the second set 11-2, but jus t as it seemed as if Fuad would take the match in straight sets Jim came back to take the third game 11-9.  Sadly for Jim the fight back ended there and Fuad ran away with the fourth set 11-5 to take the match by 3 sets to 1.

So Division 4 singles champion of 2016/17 is Burnbridge B’s, Fuad Foric.

 Link to division 4 results  - Div 4 Results.xlsx

Division 5

 There were 11 entries and so the first round had only three games. In the first, it was father, Nick Kelly, against son Theo. Youth prevailed and Theo came through in three straight sets, 11-9, 11-9 and running out the winner 11-4 in the third.  In the second game, Kate Reid, fresh from the ladies singles and a good win in the handicap singles, took on the legendary Charles Usher, again youth prevailed and Kate came through 11-9, 11-7, 11-5. In the final round 1 game, it was a battle of the 70+% averages, Howard Innocent overcoming John Halbert in a very close match which Howard took in 4 sets overcoming a loss in the first set 11-13 to win the final three sets, 11-7, 11-9 and then a tough 13-11 fourth set.

The quarter finals saw the introduction of those 5 players handed a bye from the first round. Theo overcame a spirited performance from Kate and came through in 4 sets, but not one set was easy, Theo taking it 11-9, 10-12, 11-8 and a tight 12-10 in the fourth. Howard still fresh from his round 1 win took on the young and improving Tom Barlow, a player with a good future ahead of him. Howard started well and took a tight first set 13-11 and then ran away with the second 11-3. Fair play to Tom his head didn’t drop and he took the third set 11-8 and it looked as if the game could go all the way, Howard had different ideas and took the fourth set 11-7 to win the match 3-1. Luke Furlong another promising junior from St John Fisher was drawn against Burnbridge’s Neil Pell. The divisional averages had them pretty well matched although they hadn’t played each other this season. It ended in a victory for Luke in three straight sets, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9. The final quarter final pitched Dennis Oram against David O’Brien. Dennis proved a little too strong and experienced for David and came through in three straight sets, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6.

The Semi Finals kept the Saint John Fisher juniors apart. In the first Theo took on Howard and the speed and power of Theo proved to be too strong for Howard.  Theo powered into a two set lead, 11-7, 11-5 but fair play to Howard he came back strongly to take the third set 11-7 but Theo regrouped and came through 11-4 to reach the final. In the second match, it was a real battle of youth against experience, Luke against Dennis – with over 65 years plus between the two of them!  Luke, who played well all day, proved to be too strong on this occasion for Dennis. The juniors are all well coached and drilled in good serves and attacking shots, both forehand and backhand.  Luke came through in three straight, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7. A pat on the back to Dennis who improved with every game played and didn’t give up at any stage.

The final then was a battle between the St John Fisher juniors, Theo and Luke. Theo started out as favourite and quickly established a two set lead, 11-5, 11-4. Luke was a little overawed but began to settle and came back to take the third set 11-8. So were we set for a Luke fight back? Theo’s answer was a definite no! He stormed to victory with an 11-4 win in the fourth set. It was good to see the juniors doing so well and no doubt they are destined for higher leagues next year and beyond.

So Division 5 singles champion of 2016/17 is St John Fisher C’s, Theo Kelly.

Link to division 5 results  - Div 5 Results.xlsx

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