The weather outside was snow, sleet & heavy rain but that didn't deter any of the competitors from making the journey to this year's Gloucestershire Senior County Closed event at Deer Park, Cirencester today (Sunday 21st January 2018).
The first event of the day was the men's singles. This followed a different format to previous years trialling a banded system. The top 12 ranked players battled for the title of Men's County Champion, then the next 12 ranked played in Band 1, the next 12 in Band 2 and the remaining players in Band 3.
In the last 30 years, there's only been 4 different winners of the Men's title and 3 of the 4 were competing today. Top seed Darren Griffin breezed through his group without dropping a game, whilst second seed Olly Tyndall & third seed Dave Harvey also progressed but both were taken to 5 by Abu Salehebhai & Liwu Wei respectively. 4th Seed Dave Hadley was beaten in his group by 8th seed Gordon Shaw but the latter wasn't able to get past 5th seed Liwu Wei to reach the semis. Darren continued his fine form beating Dave Harvey 3-0, whilst Olly needed 4 games to beat Liwu Wei. The final was an exhibition of top quality table tennis, Darren took the first 2 games before Olly was able to claw 1 back. Darren proved too strong and took the title in 4 (11-8,11-7,8-11,11-6).
Band 1 proved difficult for 2 out 3 top seeds as Andy Lerry & Lee Bruton were beaten in their groups. Andy Lerry made amends by beating both winners of group 1 & 3 to reach the final. Tom Cutler lost to Peter Kirkham in the group but made the final with fine wins over Mark Damsell & Sam McIvor. It was Tom who triumphed in the end by beating Andy (11-7,11-7,13-11).
Band 2 was a little more straight forward although both Jon Ramsbotham and William Snell took 5 to win their semi finals against George Thomas and Simon Harper respectively. The final was another 5 game epic, with Jon the eventual winner (14-12, 7-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-2).
Band 3 was played as a round robin, with Matt Kitchen winning all 4 of his matches, whilst Jon Cutler won 3. The deciding match between Matt & Jon went all the way 3-2 (8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5).
The Ladies Singles was won by Kim Selfe for the 3rd successive year. This time she got the better of youngster Charlotte Sparrow in a straight final winning 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-6).
Charlotte got her revenge over Kim in the Mixed Doubles final teaming up with Olly Tyndall to beat Kim Selfe and Steve Greening 3-2 (10-12, 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6).
The Men's doubles produced some great contests as both semi finals went to 5. Dave Harvey & Dave Adamson battled back from 2-7 down in the final game to beat Olly Tyndall and Lee Bruton in 5 (11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9). In the other semi, Dave Hadley & Liwu Wei knocked out the top seeds Darren Griffin and Gordon Shaw in another 5 game thriller (11-6, 8-11, 15-13, 15-17, 11-7). Harvey & Adamson were able to hold off the inform pair of Hadley & Wei to take the title 3-1 (11-9, 12-14, 11-7, 11-7).
With 6 entries, the Masters (over 55s) was played in 2 groups of 3, with a semi final and final. Both finalists game from the same group as runner up Jon Cutler beat Andy Hammond to reach the final. Robert Amphlett won his group and beat Garath Lewis to set up the final against Jon who he'd beaten earlier in the group stage. The final was no different to the earlier match as Robert took it in straight sets once again.
The Men’s Veteran produced some great matches, with Dave Hadley taking 5 to beat both Abu Salehebhai and Dave Adamson, with Dave Harvey also coming back from 2-1 down to beat Gordon Shaw in 5, but then winning 3-0 against Liwu Wei in the semis. The Final between Dave Harvey v Dave Hadley could not be completed on the day due to time restrictions but was played at Forest Green on Monday 5th February. It was an excellent game, Dave Harvey coming out the winner 3 straight (11-7, 11-5, 11-9), the match was much closer than the scores suggest.
Winners and Runners Up List
|MENS BAND 1||TOM CUTLER||ANDY LERRY|
|MENS BAND 2||JON RAMSBOTHAM||WILLIAM SNELL|
|MENS BAND 3||MATT KITCHEN||JON CUTLER|
DAVE HARVEY & DAVE ADAMSON
LIWU WEI & DAVE HADLEY
|MENS VETERANS||DAVE HARVEY||DAVE HADLEY|
OLLY TYNDALL & CHARLOTTE SPARROW
STEVE GREENING & KIM SELFE