SEAN DREWRY AND COPY SHOP ADD GRAND PRIX SERIES TO THEIR TALLY
Last weekend in the DLP Adapted Bathrooms sponsored Isle of Man Table Tennis League the six Division One teams competed in the final of three Grand Prix event rounds. Points from 25 for the event winner down to 1 for finishing 18th were on offer. Cumulative points over the three rounds would determine the team results.
Unlike the team competition, the individual champion would be the player with the most points from their best two rounds. This opened up the opportunity for Adam Teare, Sam Bailey and Andy Patterson who each could have won the series if they had topped this final round.
Ramsey’s golf pro Patterson was the first to be discounted as work commitments prevented him from taking part. He therefore ended up 6th overall on 35 points (12+23). Bailey, who was runner-up to Sean Drewry in the first round also fell by the wayside. He discarded his 5th placed 17 points for 19 points after coming 4th this time out. 42 points (23+19) placed him 3rd overall in the series.
Adam Teare had won the second event but had to settle for 2nd place overall on 46 points (25+21) after finishing 3rd this time out. Liam Chan, the island closed championship holder, made it through to the position 1-2 play-off against the divisional champion and senior top twelve title holder Sean Drewry who had won the first round but was surprisingly placed third last time out.
Copy Shop’s Drewry won in four sets to win the grand prix series with a maximum 50 points. Chan’s efforts were rewarded with 23 point which he added to the 17 he had earned in the first event. 40 cumulative points placed him 5th overall. A more detailed account of the matches is reported below.
With six league title wins in a row it was perhaps not surprising that Copy Shop added the inaugural grand prix series to their tally. Interestingly, all teams finished in the same order as they did in the league. Positive feedback from the players to the event organiser Tim Baker indicates that there may be another grand prix series next season.
Grand Prix Rules
Each club 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, several clubs failed to field a third player which meant they received no points and consequently five of the first phase groups only had two competitors. This influenced the overall outcome because the players in these smaller groups automatically avoided having to play in the 13-18 section.
Phase One Match Summaries
There were no real surprises as the top ranked players in each group - Julian Briercliffe, Sean Drewry, Sam Bailey, Adam Teare, Liam Chan and Paul Kozlowski - all won their group matches to reach the positions 1-6 phase two section. Their losing opponents were respectively Malcolm Cummings, Mike Tamarov, Andy Horne, Mike Dunning, Adam Davies and John Magnall who therefore found their way through to compete in the 7-12 ranked section. Unluckily, Rhys Yardley was in the only group with three players and he was automatically placed 13th having lost 9/11, 6/11, 7/11 to Kozlowski and 11/3, 8/11, 6/11, 10/12 to Magnall. However, he gained six valuable team points for Surestrike Ramsey.
Phase Two Matches – For Positions 1-6
The pen-holder gripping Chan beat former club-mate Bailey 11/7, 11/8, 7/11, 11/7 and went on to qualify for the 1-2 play-off by also beating Julian Briercliffe in straight sets. Bailey then beat Briercliffe 11/7, 11/8, 9/11, 11/7 to reach the positions 3-4 play-off. Briercliffe had to be content with contending for 5th or 6th place.
Drewry topped the other group, first by beating Kozlowski 11/8, 5/11, 12/10, 11/5 and then Teare 11/4, 11/7, 4/11, 11/7. Teare made it to the 3-4 play-off with a straight sets win over Kozlowski 11/7, 12/10, 11/1.
Copy Shop’s Drewry had lost to Chan when they met in the league at the beginning of the season but had won the return match in October. This grand prix final was therefore, in a way, also a decider. Chan won a tense opening set on a tie-break and then Drewry began to exploit Chan’s slightly weaker backhand wing with both players running round to favour their furious forehands. Drewry’s great mobility eventually paid off and he went on to win a very close final 10/12, 11/7, 12/10, 11/9.
Position 3-4 playoff
Surestrike Ramsey’s Teare had lost twice in the league to Arbory’s Bailey but he overcame the form book by taking advantage of a slightly demoralised Bailey to secure third spot 11/2, 12/10, 8/11, 11/7.
Position 5-6 playoff
Strathy’s captain Briercliffe justified his higher position in the league averages by beating Tower’s Kozlowski in straight set to take fifth place 11/4, 11/5, 12/10.
Phase Two Matches – Positions 7 -12
In an extremely close match Copy Shop’s Davies beat Arbory’s Tamarov 12/10 in the final set and then Dunning in three swift sets. That put Davies in the positions 7-8 play-off against Travellers’ Cummings who only dropped one set in his group matches with Arbory’s Magnall and Strathy’s Horne who also lost in four sets to Magnall.
Davies rebounded from 2-1 down in sets to pip Cummings 12/10, 5/11, 6/11, 11/9, 11/9 to take 7th place and in another close five setter Magnall pushed his club-mate Tamarov into 10th place by winning their play-off 11/6, 3/11, 11/7, 9/11, 11/7. Dunning, who plays for Division Two side Travellers D, lost two-breakers against Horne who took 11th place.
Final Individual Standings from Best Two Rounds
(Points in brackets discarded)
R1 R2 R3 Total
1st Sean Drewry Copy Shop A 25 (19) 25 50
2nd Adam Teare Surestrike Ramsey A (13) 25 21 46
3rd Sam Bailey Arbory 23 (17) 19 42
4th Paul Corran Copy Shop A 21 21 42
5th Liam Chan Travellers A 17 23 40
6th Andy Patterson Strathallan 12 23 35
7th Mike Tamarov Arbory 19 11 (11) 30
8th Paul Kozlowski Tower A ( 6) 13 15 28
9th Julian Briercliffe Strathallan 11 17 28
10th Andy Horne Strathallan 9 15 ( 9) 24
11th Adam Davies Copy Shop A ( 3) 10 13 23
12th Graham McFarlane Tower A 15 5 20
13th Rhys Yardley Surestrike Ramsey A ( 4) 12 6 18
Club’s Cumulative Grand Prix Points
1st Copy Shop A 137 points
2nd Arbory 126 points
3rd Strathallan 102 points
4th Surestrike Ramsey A 87 points
5th Travellers 75 points
6th Tower A 63 points