What a fine weekend of competitive rivalry the herts closed 2011 proved to be.
With 85 entrants to 9 categories it was a busy three days at Nuffield St Albans.
Lesley and Jo put on a fine show for us all, co-ordinating everyone effortlessly and efficiently whilst still having time time for a glass of wine or two!
It has been a great year for the Juniors with the photogenic Brogan Lane defending the ladies title whilst Bradley “Beanie” Whitbread defeated some experienced opposition to win the Mens C. See photos in separate article.
Congratulations at the other end of the age scale go to Tony Clifford, whom with a convincing win in the final ensured he retained his title again. An inspiration, and motivation to us all.
Peter Leary has his name in lights again this year with victory in the O55 category. A decisive win by Eammon Price means the retained his O45 title once again in an increasingly competitive age category.
Alistair Coker had a short journey to the final of the O35’s, his presence was well justified with a fine performance.
Jack Fowler is certainly a rising star collecting the Mens B title this year, surely his sights must be set on Men’s A for next year?
A big thank you to our referees and markers whom ensured that the games flowed and on court discrepancies were minimised.
Many thanks to Isobel for taking these shots, not to be left out here she is as Ladies Runner up with Brogan.
Mens A Final Review
The Herts Closed Mens A final lived up to the anticipation of the gathered crowd at Nuffield Health in St Albans . Chris Ryder World Number 35 has beaten Keith Timms in the semi final, and World Number 52 Adrian Waller has won through by beating Marc Woolhead in his semi final. Chris was undoubtedly the favourite going into the tournament, not just because of his higher world ranking (Ranked 10 in England) and his 12 of experience as a professional, but also because he wanted to defend the title he’d won last year. Adrian had a very different view of what he wanted the outcome to be.
The first game went to form with Chris winning 13/11. Adrian gave the crowd a glimpse of what was to come with some impressive shot making, but in the end Chris’s steady unruffled play was what made the difference. The second game was characterised by several tasty exchanges between Adrian and the referee who made a couple of judgement calls that he did not agree with. Not happy with the calls and another series of unforced errors, Adrian lost momentum and the game proved to be one sided going to Chris 11/3. The next game was the turning point in the match. Both players fought hard for every point, with some long and entertaining rallies. But again a “no let” call by the referee changed the dynamic of the game and ultimately the match. This time it was Chris who had a big difference of opinion with Gill the match ref. Despite getting the game to match point Chris was rattled. Sensing the opportunity Adrian dug deep and eventually won 13/ 11. The game had swung in Adrian’s favour. The fourth game was quick and clinical with Adrian winning 11/2.
In the final game both players dug in, but now Adrian had the momentum. His focus was evident and he triumphed 11/6. In the end it was a comfortable win.
Full list of winners 2011:
Men’s A (Div 1 Players) Adrian Waller – previously Chris Ryder
Men’s B (Div 2&3 Players) Jack Fowler – previously Peter Newman
Men’s C (Div 4&5 Players) Bradley Whitbread – previously Ian Gould
Ladies (All Standards) Brogan Lane defended title
Mens O35 Alistair Coker – previously Scott Rickard
Mens O45 Eamonn Price defended title
Mens O55 Peter Leary – previously Phil Collins
Mens O65 Tony Clifford defended title
Mens B Plate Winner Mark Dunne Winner and Richard Gouriet Runner Up
Mens Age group Plate – Paul Vukovic Winner and Robert St Ledger Runner up