This year the Closed Tournament had a very small entry, at 20 entries probably a record low, and to ensure that players had enough games we started off most of the events with a group stage. With the exception of our top players most competitors ended up playing many more games than they expected. Some of these games, particularly those involving the youngsters, were very entertaining.

Unfortunately one of the mens seeds had to withdraw at the last moment. This provided an opportunity for an unheralded player to reach the semi-final.

It was re-assuring when forty players and spectators turned up at Upton Cricket Club to watch a series of entertaining finals.

A year ago I said that I couldn't see 9 times mens singles winner Jonathan Taylor losing his crown any time soon. What do I know! Twenty five year old Mitch Barker, returning to the Wirral after 12 years in New Zealand, beat Jonathan in three straight. Jonathan had a commanding lead in the third end so a comeback looked possible but lefty Mitch outmanoeuvred and overpowered Jonathan who slipped twice while uncharacteristically driven back from the table. Is this the beginning of a new era? In the semi finals Mitch had a comfortable win against a battling debutant Peter Miller while Jonathan was given a scare by Rob Wylie before winning in four games. 

In the Junior final thirteen year old William Burkhill had a straightforward victory over Jake Norton who is a year older. For William this was the third win at this years Closed. Another trophy coming his way will be the League  trophy won as a result of winning Division 2. The future looks bright certainly for William who should be playing Division 1 table tennis next season.

Rob Wylie reached both the Veteran and Over 55 Veteran finals. A straightforward win over Terry Marshall in the Veteran Final was followed by a victory over David Harse in the Over 55's where he was defending his title. David won the first game and was in with a chance in the second but faded against Rob's aggressive play. 

Mitch completed the first of a double with a very entertaining and nail biting victory in the Open Doubles in partnership with Gemma Grant. The luckless Jonathan, and partner Rob Wylie, losing 11-8 in the fifth after initially looking to have the edge.

The Restricted Open Final for players outside the top band with a handicap of -9 or less was won by newcomer Arash Khozoee beating Alex Railton in four. I will be surprised if Arash qualifies for this event next season.

Finals played on the day of the Tournament resulted in a replay of last seasons Ladies Singles where Gemma Grant had a three straight victory over Faye Taylor. Young William Burkhill won both the Cadet Singles and the Division 2 Singles, the latter being a win over his team Captain Alex Railton 11-8 in the fifth.

Full Results:

Under 13 SinglesTo be played at a later date.

Cadet Singles: Winner: William Burkhill (NFGR) Runner Up: Jake Norton (NFGR)

Junior Singles: Semi-Finals: William Burkhill (NFGR) beat Tom Peake (NFGR) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6

Jake Norton (NFGR) beat Matt Webster (Pathfinders) 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 6-11, 11-7

Final: William Burkhill beat Jake Norton 11-6, 11-7, 11-2

Division 2: Semi-Finals: William Burkhill (NFGR) beat Dave Morris (Spinners)

Alex Railton (NFGR) beat Dan Peake (NFGR)

Final: William Burkhill beat Alex Railton 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 6-11, 11-8

Over 55 Veteran Singles: Semi-Finals: David Harse (NBCC) beat Terry Marshall (NBCC) 11-4, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9

Rob Wylie (NFGR) beat Frank Sorrentino (NFGR) 11-4, 11-2, 11-5

Final Rob Wylie beat David Harse 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-1

Veteran Singles: Semi-Finals: Terry Marshall (NBCC) beat Thomas Eckl (NFGR) 11-8, 11-8, 11-9

Rob Wylie (NFGR) beat David Harse (NBCC) 11-3, 11-8, 11-9

Final: Rob Wylie  beat Terry Marshall 11-4, 11-8, 11-7

Open Doubles: Semi-Finals: Mitch Barker/Gemma Grant beat Terry Marshall/Arah Khozoee

Jonathan Taylor/Rob Wylie beat Alex Railton/Faye Taylor

Final: Mitch Barker/Gemma Grant beat Jonathan Taylor/Rob Wylie 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 11-8

Restricted Singles: Semi-Finals: Alex Railton (NFGR) beat Dave Morris (Spinners0 9-11, 11-3, 11-6, 6-11, 11-2

Arash Khozoee (Spinners) beat Dan Peake (NFGR) 11-5, 11-3, 11-8

Final: Arash Khozoee beat Alex Railton 11-5, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8

Ladies Singles: Final: Gemma Grant (NFGR) beat Faye Taylor (NFGR) 11-5, 11-4, 11-7

Mens Singles: Semi-Finals: Jonathan Taylor (NFGR) beat Rob Wylie (NFGR) 11-5, 11-5, 11-13, 11-8

Mitch Barker (NFGR) beat Peter Millar (NFGR) 11-2, 11-4, 11-4

Final: Mitch Barker beat Jonathan Taylor 11-9, 11-7, 11-9


Junior Final:

Restricted Singles Final:

Over 55's Singles Final:

Veteran Singles Final:

Open Doubles Final:

Mens Final:

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