Eight players from all three Leagues in Oxfordshire competed in the Top Players competition at Forum TT Club on Sunday 25 November. The competition was played on an initial group basis, with subsequent knock-out matches to determine the final placings.
Playing in Group A were:
Charlie Lane (Didcot)
Jack Shardlow (Banbury)
Pawel Zukowski (Oxford)
Kiarash Shaddel (Oxford)
Whilst in Group B were:
Pierre-Olivier Colard (Didcot & Oxford)
Todd Stanmore (Didcot)
Peter Harris (Banbury & Oxford)
Lewis Waddup (Didcot & Oxford)
Charlie Lane emerged as the clear winner of Group A, winning all his three matches. But there was nothing to separate the other three players in the Group - they all beat each other, and did so 3-0. So they couldn't be separated on games difference and it went to points difference to decide who went through to the Top 4 play-offs. After quite a delay while the points totals were totted up, it worked out in favour of Jack Shardlow, with Kiarash and Pawel losing out.
Group B was more straightforward. Todd and Pierre-Olivier had both beaten Peter and Lewis, and so faced each other to decide Group Winner and Runner-up. Not surprisingly, it went to 5 games with Todd emerging as the winner.
In Bottom Four play off, Lewis beat Pawel and Kiarash beat Peter in the two semi-finals. Lewis then beat Kiarash in the final to secure 5th place.
In the Top 4 play-off, Charlie faced Pierre-Olivier and Todd faced Jack. Pierre-Olivier got off to a good start winning the first two games but Charlie won the the third. But Pierre-Olivier nudged ahead in the fourth game and held his lead to win the match. In the second semi-final, Todd powered his way into a 2-0 lead. But Jack dug in with some exceptional retrieving to take the third game. But Todd again proved too strong in the fourth game to win the match.
So the final was between Todd and Pierre-Olivier. Having lost in the Group game, Pierre-Olivier was determined on making amends and ran out the winner, albeit in three close games - 12-10, 15-13, 11-8.
Final positions were as follows:
1. Pierre-Olivier Colard
2. Todd Stanmore
3= Charlie Lane
3= Jack Shardlow
5. Lewis Waddup
6. Kiarash Shaddel
7= Peter Harris
7= Pawel Zukowski
This competition has proved popular with the players, and once again we saw some exceptional table tennis played in an excellent spirit. Always good to have competitions that bring together players from across the county.