FUN DOUBLES TOURNAMENT REPORT - 31 OCTOBER 2012
COPYSHOP’S McDONNELL & DRURY WIN THE FUN DOUBLES
Ronan McDonnell and Kevin Drury emerged triumphant at the end of a tournament that really lived up to its name, the Fun Doubles. Players from all three divisions were ceded on their league rankings, with the highest ceded player partnering the lowest and each subsequent pairing being the next highest and lowest ranked player. Two groups were drawn and matches were played on a round robin basis with the top two teams from each group going on to compete in the semi-finals.
McDonnell from Copyshop ‘A’ was paired with his ‘D’ team colleague Drury to win three of their four matches to top Group One losing only to fourth placed Ruth Bailey and Andy McLarney who pushed Liam Chan and Heather Kennett into bottom place. The closest match featured Bailey and McLarney who narrowly lost 11/9, 9/11, 7/11, 12/10, 10/12 to the group runners-up Neil Quane and David Parsons. Jason Quirk and Colin Barron were placed third with wins over Bailey and McLarney plus Chan and Kennett.
In Group Two Jane Kneale and Steve Ellis-Pearson claimed the runners-up spot with three wins having been defeated by the wily Graham McFarlane and recent returnee Chris Reynolds who won all their matches to top the group. Paul Nelson and tournament organiser Maggie Mulhern took third spot with wins over John Magnall and Pat Halliwell and also Marc Townsend and Margaret Forsyth. The latter two pairs battled to avoid the wooden spoon with Townsend and Forsyth edging through 11/4, 8/11, 11/5, 9/11, 12/10.
The first semi-final was settled in four close sets with Quane and Parsons changing tactics in order to overpower the steady play of McFarlane and Reynolds 13/15, 14/12, 15/13, 11/5. The second semi was an even closer match with both teams taking every opportunity to kill the rally with a well angled smash. Kneale and Ellis-Pearson looked set to steal the match after going two sets to one up but eventually capitulated 7/11, 11/4, 13/11, 7/11, 9/11 to McDonnell and Drury.
Island number one McDonnell dominated the final, his heavy top-spin attack proving to be decisive. Backed up by Drury, who had grown in confidence as the evening went on, they came through to win in three swift sets 11/6, 11/7, 11/7 against Quane and Parsons.
It was an enjoyable evening, well organised by IOMTTA Chairman Maggie Mulhern, and hopefully next year the event will be even better supported as it will not clash with Hop–tu-Naa.