Debut Grand Prix win for Emran

Russell Moore

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Debut Grand Prix Win For Emran:

There were less participants in the Grand Prix on the Sunday, than on the Saturday, so a non-ranking mainly junior competition was also staged on the Sunday, using spare tables. This went really well and about 30 players took part, despite the fact that the decision to run the Circuit was only made a week before!

Men’s Open:

This consisted of seven groups of four players. Six of the seven seeds won their groups. The only exception was Jojo Senorin (Mi), who lost two matches. He first lost to unranked former top 50 player Adrian Moore in 4 games and then in five games to Kevin Kan (Mi). Other mini-upsets in the groups included Mohammad Owadally (Mi) brushing Chris Morshead (JEY) aside 3-0, Tyla Anderson (Mi) getting the better of Eddie Liu (Sy) and Josh Bennett (Sx) taking out Alex Forshaw (Sx) 3-0. Seventh seed Anthony Corbin (He) had a topsy turvy match with Sri Lankan ace, Amila Thilakarathna (Sx), but won 11-8 in the fifth. In the knockout stages, Gabriel Achampong (Mi) continued where he’d left off the previous day, with good wins over Thilakarathna 3-0 and 4th seed Abdul Wuraola (Sy) in the fifth set in the quarter final. Owadally’s good form continued with a fantastic 12-10 in the fifth win over Moore, the no. 35 vet in England.

Jack Bennett (Sx), who had lost in five to Wuraola in the group, went one better in the first round by taking the good scalp of Corbin 11-9 in the fifth. However no-one could have predicted what happened next. Jack, who is ranked 208 in England had the win of his life (and probably the best win anyone in the UK has had all season) in the quarter final, as he beat no. 16 in England, Craig Bryant (Dv) 3-2 (8-11, 11-7 6-11, 14-12, 11-7). In Bryant’s defence, he coaches Jack and this scribe knows it can be hard to beat the players you coach, as they know most of your tricks & styles, as well as the fact that the coach may not be quite as up for it as the pupil. Having said that, nothing can be taken away from Jack, who still had to do the job on Bryant, who has almost 1200 points more than him.

The remaining quarter finals were a 3-0 win for Kazeem Adeleke (NIG), the no. 2 seed over Anderson and a four set win for Emran Hussain (E), the no. 3 seed over Owadally. Achampong then lost his first match of the weekend, having already won 13 matches in a row. However, it was no disgrace to lose to a player of the calibre of Adeleke. In the other semi, Hussain left nothing to chance with a straight sets win over Bennett (one of the few 3-0 victories Hussain had had all weekend). Hussain went on to win a well contested final 3-1, to win his first ever Grand Prix and the most money he’d ever won for a single competition (£250). Adeleke was consoled by his £100 runners-up prize.

Women’s Open:

The disappointingly poor entry for the women’s events continued, with only four players contesting the Women’s Open. However the quality made up for the lack of quantity, with Yolanda King, the England no. 10, winning and England no. 1 Vet and no. 16 senior, Sue Collier (Ch) in second place. In third place was 2000 Nigerian Olympian Atisi Owoh and in fourth Teresa Bennett (Sx).


The doubles was won by Bryant/Thilakarathna, who beat Martin Rozario (Sy)/Robin Honey (Dv) and then Shaquille Webb-Dixon (Sy)/Olamide Wuraola (Sy) on the way to the final. Runners-up Achampong/Omar Khassal (Mi) beat Morshead/Tyler Gosselin (JEY) and then Jack Bennett/Moore in the fifth set to reach the final. The score in the final was 3-1 (12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 15-13).


There were two groups of four in this event. Top seed Wuraola had few problems winning his group, disposing of Corbin, Andrew Maguire (Ca) and Teresa Bennett. However second seed Moore, lost to Senorin to come second in the group. Senorin had struggled to see off Dean Rose (K) in the fifth in his first match. In the semis Moore had a quality win over top seed Wuraola 11-9 in the fifth and Corbin came through in four ends Vs Senorin. Moore then had a relatively comfortable win in the final.


There were just five players in this event in a round robin. Top seed Thilakarathna defeated Rozario, Honey and second highest ranked player, Zayd Mauthoor (Mi), with ease. Referee Rory Scott, who has an excellent record vs Mauthoor got absolutely smashed by him on the day 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-2)!

Having swiftly changed bats, Scott went on to record a first competitive victory over Thilakarathna, ranked 137 places higher in England. This resulted in a three-way count back, but the result made little difference, as Thilakarathna still won the event & Mauthoor was second.


There was only one entrant in Women’s U21, so King was placed in with the men/boys. There were 18 players in five groups in the U21s. Karim Khassal (Mi) beat the top seed MIckel Miller (Sy) in Group 1 and in Group 2 cadet Olamide Wuraola (Sy) had a very good maximum win over Anderson to get second place in the group. Josh Bennett, the winner of Men’s Band 5 and 6 the day before, beat Morshead, the Band 4 winner in Group 5. Webb-Dixon had a quality win over Omar Khassal in the decider in the same group. There was a two-way count back between Bennett and Khassal for first place, which Khassal won, due to beating Bennett.

In Round 1 Wuraola continued his excellent form with another impressive win, this time over Liam Grant (Sy) and Josh Bennett defeated England no. 10 lady, King, who had lost in the group to Forshaw. Karim Khassal ended Wuraola’s run in the quarters, Omar Khassal put paid to Forshaw’s chances, Jack Bennett knocked out Miller 11-8 in the fifth and last but not least Achampong eliminated Josh Bennett. In the second battle of the Khassal brothers, it was again Omar, who came out victorious, except this time, he was extended to five. Achampong overcame Bennett in four.

In the final Achampong proved too strong for club mate Khassal, winning in four. That was Achampong’s 18th win of the weekend, with only one loss (that being to the no. 1 seed for the Men’s Open).

Summary Of Results:
Men’s Open:
Emran Hussain (E) beat Kazeem Adeleke (NIG) 3-1 (14-12, 4-11, 11-6, 11-9)

Women’s Open:
Yolanda King (Sx) beat Sue Collier (Ch) 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-6)

Craig Bryant (Sx) and Amila Thilakarathna (Sx) beat Gabriel Achampong (Mi) and Omar Khassal (Mi) 3-1 (12-10, 11-6, 7-11, 15-13)

Adrian Moore (Sx) beat Anthony Corbin (He) 3-0 (12-10, 11-6, 11-7)

Amila Thilakarathna (Sx) beat Zayd Mauthoor (Mi) 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-9)

Gabriel Achampong (Mi) beat Omar Khassal (Mi) 3-1 (11-3, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6)

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