Ronan McDonnell Retains Top Ranking for Third Year Running
THE twelve top available seeds in the IOMTTA gathered recently at Foxdale School to establish their official 2013 rankings. Players were split into two groups with games played on a round-robin basis. The top two finishers in each group then competed to determine ranking positions 1-4. Similarly, the third and fourth placed players duelled to determine ranking positions 5-8 and the last two in each group played for positions 9-12.
Top seed Ronan McDonnell demonstrated his domination by retaining the title for the third year running.
McDonnell’s mentor Ewan Watterson commented after the event that, ‘back in 2011, at fourteen years of age, Ronan was the youngest player ever to win the Senior event, and the success he is enjoying is a tribute to his natural talent and the support he has received since joining the Copy Shop team at the end of the Manx Youth Games seven years ago.’
Tournament organiser, IOMTTA chairman Maggie Mulhern added, ‘Ronan doesn’t just raise his game for these events, he is unbeaten in the First Division this season and his team is currently top of the league.’
TOURNAMENT – HIGHLIGHTS
The defending champion, Ronan McDonnell (1), won all five of his group matches dropping just one set to the ninth seed Tim Baker. Paul Corran was seeded 5th and having lost to McDonnell in straight sets he won the next four matches including a thrilling four setter against Ewan Watterson (4) who finished third in the group having also lost to his protégé McDonnell.
Julian Briercliffe (8) lost to the players mentioned above but beat Baker (9) in five close sets and then Gary Shilling (12) for fourth place. Baker battled to avoid the group’s wooden spoon by smashing Shilling 11/8, 11/5, 11/4.
Second seed Malcolm Cummings topped the group despite an unexpected defeat 13/11, 6/11, 10/12, 10/12 at the hands of tenth seed Darren Smethurst. ‘Smasher’ Smethurst finished third in the group on countback having narrowly lost 9/11 to Mason McLarney (3) in their final set and also to Arbory’s Jason Quirk (6). McLarney, who succumbed to Cummings and Quirk, equalled Smethurst’s three wins but secured second spot having won their encounter.
Similarly, Mikhail Tamarov (7) was placed fourth ahead of Quirk as they both won two matches but Tamarov triumphed 12/10 in their fifth set tie breaker. Marc Townsend (11) did well to beat Quirk 12/10, 3/11, 11/6, 12/14, 11/8, but that was his only win.
Positions 5 - 8
5th Watterson who beat Tamarov 12/10, 8/11, 11/2, 5/11, 16/14
then outsmarted Smethurst 8/11, 11/6, 11/7, 13/11.
6th Smethurst beat Briercliffe 11/9, 11/7, 11/8.
7th/8th Briercliffe beat Tamarov 11/4, 12/10, 12/14, 11/8.
Positions 9 - 12
9th Quirk who beat Shilling 11/4, 11/4, 12/10 and then Townsend 12/10, 13/11, 8/11, 11/8.
10th Townsend who beat Baker 13/11, 13/11, 15/13
11th/12th Shilling beat Baker 14/12, 6/11, 11/9, 8/11, 11/9.
McLarney lost to McDonnell 7/11, 9/11, 0/11
Cummings lost to Corran 7/11, 7/11, 8/11
Cummings beat McLarney 11/4, 11/7, 9/11, 11/9 in the 3rd/4th play-off
McDonnell beat Corran in three swift sets of attacking play 11/5, 11/8, 11/3.
NEW SENIOR 2013 RANKINGS:
1) Ronan McDonnell 2) Paul Corran 3) Malcolm Cummings
4) Mason McLarney 5) Ewan Watterson 6) Darren Smethurst
7) Julian Briercliffe 8) Mikhail Tamarov 9) Jason Quirk
10) Marc Townsend 11) Gary Shilling 12) Tim Baker