What a phenomenal day at the Oldham Closed Championships.
We started off with the Over 40s, Over 50s and the Juniors in the morning, Alex Darlington winning his Junior group by beating Sophie Newton in the group stage but with Sophie finishing 2nd in the group, they avoided each other in the semi-final and met again, with Alex looking to win the Junior title for a 2nd consecutive year and Sophie looking to get her first Junior title, it was Sophie who prevailed in 4 sets, winning 3-1. A fantastic match watched by a hefty crowd. A true representation of how far these juniors have come in such a short time. Well done to all.
In the Over 40s, the man to beat was the mightily impressive Darren Lindley, each player hoping that the draw would be kind. It was Karen Hill who faced him first, and after a great game, Darren progressed to the Semi-Final. The man to face him would be Kim Lee, after he played brilliantly to beat the fantastic as always, Gary Newton in the quarters. On the other side of the draw, Simon Hardwick beat David Holmes to get to the semifinal alongside Brian Hallsworth, who had a great 5 setter with L Ali.
Darren faced Kim first, with Darren beating Kim in 4, Kim running him close in the first two sets, but class showed after that, with a big gap in the 4th. Who would join Darren in the final? Brian beat Simon to progress, after losing to Simon in the league, he got his revenge here. With Darren now playing at top note, he quickly dispatched Brian, who had many 5 setters in the Open single just prior to this, 3-0. Darren taking home the Over 40s title. Well done.
In the Over 50s quarter final, it was Ian McLean vs Miles Benjamin, Kyan Chin vs Steve Hatherway, Rob Carter vs Winston Duff & Andy Jackson vs David Buckley. In the first, it was a close fought game with Miles progressing. Kyan kept up his fantastic record in the Oldham Championships with a great win over Steve Hatherway who had been in great form all day. In the other half, Winston Duff took Rob Carter apart 3-0 to book his place in the semi final. Andy Jackson hasn’t played David Buckley in the league in many years and it was a win for Andy to face Winston in the semifinal.
An inter-club match next with Miles Benjamin vs Kyan Chin, last season, Miles beat Kyan, this year, Kyan got his revenge. It was a brilliant match. Winston Duff took Andy Jackson close next, with Andy winning, to face Kyan. Andy Jackson winning in a game, many expected to go to 5, it finished in the 4th.
In the Divisional Handicaps, Gareth Hey won the 5th Division Cup, Dave Greenwood winning the 4th. Josh Hudson beating Alex Darlington in the 3rd. P McKinstry winning the 2nd in a good match against Pete Buckley. Paul King beating Matty Evans, last years winner in the 1st Division. Well done.
It was a incredibly doubles tournament, Matty Evans’ unlikely pairing with Gary Crossley proving to be an entertainment throughout the tournament. They beat the Dunnings, Naz Ahmed and Miles Benjamin but then lost to Darryl Meredith and Simon Hardwick in the quarter finals who themselves beat the Junior pairing of Sophie and Alex in the last 16. Paul King and Nathan Buckley beating Adam and Lee Rowbotham and Brian Hallsworth & Dave Holmes before losing to Majid Tubasum and Khamal Hussain in the quarters. Khamal And Majid doing fantastically in that match.
On the other side of the draw, Darren Lindley and Ian McLean beating Ian Cockcroft and Smiler to reach the quarters where they beat Gabriel Wilding and Ped McKinstry to keep their ball rolling and they beat the brilliant pairing of last years final in Jackson and King.
Maj and Khamal beat Meredith and Hardwick to reach the final. In the final, Khamal and Maj prevailed in an incredibly close-fought game. A true paring, well done.
Now to the open, Jacob Sharp having a great day, reaching the last 16 after beating a player 3 divisions higher than him in Andy Hey. Sophie Newton unfortunate in her loss to Kyan Chin and Jacob Reilly-Cooper beating Winston Duff and running Maj close in 5 games, losing 11-8 in that 5th set. Miles Benjamin showing his class against Tommy Ryan to reach the quarters where he met Darren Lindley, who hadn’t lost all day and he kept that run up in his assault all the way to the final, beating Jacob, Miles and Maj in the process.
On the other side, Darryl Meredith was beaten in 3 by Kim Lee, who played Andy Jackson next but was beaten to take Andy to the semi’s where he faced the person he beat to win the Vet’s in Kyan Chin. It was a reverse result, with Kyan booking his place in the final. He’d beaten Khamal, Sophie and Andrew Tarpey to get that far.
A phenomenal day topped off with a great final where Darren Lindley prevailed over Kyan Chin in 3 sets. A truly brilliant game. A truly brilliant day.
Well done to all and here is to a great end to the season.