INAUGURAL GRAND PRIX FINALISTS ARE COUNTBACK CASUALTIES THIS TIME
Last weekend in the DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League the six Division One teams competed in the second of three Grand Prix events. Copy Shop’s Sean Drewry had won the first event but he, and his runner-up, Sam Bailey from Arbory, both lost out this time on countback to Ramsey’s golf pro Andy Patterson playing for Strathy. This played into the hands of Adam ‘Trigger’ Teare who took full advantage by beating Patty in this round's final.
Points from 25 for the event winner down to 1 for finishing 18th were on offer. Cumulative points will determine the team championship winner. The individual champion will be the player with the most points from their best two events.
Each team selected three players ranked on their league averages and in the first phase of round-robin matches six groups consisting of a ranked 1, 2 and 3 player from different clubs were drawn. The winners, runner-ups and bottom placed players from phase one then competed in the appropriate next round-robin section to establish their event finishing position from 1-6, 7-12 and 13-18 respectively.
Unfortunately, Travellers A failed to field a team which meant they received no points and consequently three of the first phase groups only had two competitors. This influenced the overall outcome because the players in the smaller groups automatically avoided having to play in the 13-18 section.
Phase One Matches
There were no real surprises as the top ranked players in each group (Paul Corran, Sam Bailey, Andy Patterson, Andy Horne, Sean Drewry and Adam Teare) won all their round-robin group matches to reach the positions 1-6 phase two section. Similarly, the second ranked players in each group (Mike Tamarov, Rhys Yardley, Adam Davies, Keeran Chan, Paul Kozlowski and Mike Bayley) all fought their way through to compete in the 7-12 ranked section. This left Ian Kelly, Graham McFarlane and Keeran Chan to play-off for the last three places.
Phase Two Matches – Positions 1-6
At the end of an extremely tight tussle Teare beat Corran 11/2, 11/3, 7/11, 10/12, 17/15 and went on to qualify for the 1-2 play-off by also beating Andy Horne in straight sets.
Corran was still steaming from his earlier defeat and Horne took full advantage in their first set. However, Corran regained his equilibrium to reach the positions 3-4 play-off 3/11, 11/8, 11/7, 9/11, 11/9.
Horne had to be content with contending for 5th or 6th place.
The other group ended up with each player winning one match so a complicated countback was needed.
Patterson who had lost to Drewry in five close sets was eventually placed top as he had surprisingly beaten Bailey over four furious sets 5/11, 11/9, 11/9, 12/10. While Bailey had brilliantly subdued Drewry 11/2, 1/11, 8/11, 11/7, 11/8 the winning margin was not enough to take second spot in the group away from a somewhat demoralised Drewry.
Surestrike’s Teare is two places above Patterson in the league rankings so the 11/3, 11/4, 11/9 margin of victory in the grand prix final was no real surprise but Patterson was delighted with his overall performance and the 23 points he accumulated for Strathy.
Similarly, in the position 3-4 play-off Corran justified his slightly higher league ranking by overcoming Copy Shop club-mate Drewry 11/5, 11/7, 6/11, 11/8.
Arbory’s Bailey dominated his 5-6 play-off with Strathy’s Horne to win 11/7, 11/4, 5/11, 11/3.
Phase Two Matches – Positions 7 -12
Tower’s Kozlowski beat Arbory’s Tamarov 11/3 at the end of their fourth set and then Arbory’s Chan in three swift sets. That put Kozlowski in the positions 7-8 play-off against Surestrike’s Yardley who only dropped one set in his group matches with Copy Shop’s third seed Davies and Tower’s Bayley who also lost in four sets to Davies.
Left-hander Kozlowski blasted past Yardley 11/2, 11/8, 11/8 to take 7th place and pen-holder Tamarov pushed Davies into 10th place by winning their play-off 11/7, 11/9, 11/9. Chan pulled back from two sets down but was just edged-out 6/11, 8/11, 11/7, 11/9, 9/11 by Bayley who took 11th place.
Phase Two Matches – Positions 13 -15
This should have been simple round-robin but the three contenders conspired to win one match each so another countback was required. Ian Kelly, Strathy’s recent signing, took 13th spot by virtue of his four set victory 11/7, 11/6, 5/11, 11/6 over Tower’s McFarlane (14th) who, in turn, had skittled out Surestrike’s Kassim 8/11, 11/9, 11/9, 11/8 who had earlier scraped past Kelly 11/8, 11/9, 5/11, 7/11, 11/9.
Top Six Players After Two Rounds
R1 R2 Total Points
1st Sean Drewry (Copy Shop A) 25 + 19 = 44
2nd Paul Corran (Copy Shop A) 21 + 21 = 42
3rd Sam Bailey (Arbory) 23 + 17 = 40
4th Adam Teare (Surestrike Ramsey A) 13 + 25 = 38
5th Andy Patterson (Strathallan) 12 + 23 = 35
6th Mike Tamarov (Arbory) 19 + 11 = 30
Club Standings After Two Rounds
1st Copy Shop A 99 points
2nd Arbory 86 points
3rd Strathallan 76 points
4th Surestrike Ramsey A 60 points
5th Tower A 48 points
6th Travellers 32 points