Egle Excels and Ryan Rules!

Author:
Russell Moore

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Egle Adomelyte and Ryan Jenkins ruled the roost on the final day of the Bribar Bristol Grand Prix on Sunday the 14th of November that was held at the Frenchay Campus of the Bristol UWE.

Ryan “The Welsh Dragon” Jenkins proved yet again he is the man to beat in every Grand Prix he enters and in a repeat of his early season Liverpool Grand Prix he ran out a fairly comfortable 3-0 games Champion against his long time rival, Scotland’s – Gavin “The Showman” Rumgay. Whilst in the Women’s Open event it was a repeat of their Peterborough GP final scoreline as Egle “The Terminator” Adomelyte took the title over her main rival this year, Lauren “The Bootiful” Spink.

Yet another Women’s Grand Prix Open event was dominated by Egle Adomelyte as she rose to every challenge put to her. As is often the case in table tennis it’s very much a game of styles and who can adapt to every situation. The God of Table Tennis Jan Ove Waldner once quoted “To become a Champion you have to consistently beat every player of all different playing styles” and without a doubt Egle has that capability. She can handle the best defenders, the most aggressive hard hitters and topspin players, the long pimpled player- you name it- she is up to the task- huge respect – Egle!

With such an array of top players in the line up the event was billed as wide open. Top seed Hannah Hicks won her group then had to work her socks off to deny Angharad Phillips in the first round. She went on to cruise past Yolanda King to reach the top half semi final. Meanwhile Egle was made to work overtime coming back from a 0-2 game deficit to eventually turn over the pen hold super player Sanja Clements. Following that scare Egle proved just too clever for Alice Loveridge (who had just accounted for Martha Travis) to meet Hannah in the first semi final. This was a match to enjoy with the sheer defensive determination of Hicks sometimes playing 20 returns to grind out the point, whereas Egle would change the pace with her punchy style of pimple play, bring Hannah in then out and then await the right opportunity to smash through Hannah’s defence. Egle took this match in four games to await her final opponent.

In the lower half of the draw 2nd seed Emma Vickers was playing her usual dynamic style of aggressive hitting and counter looping to account for Maria Tsaptsinos, and Natalie Slater to meet her last four opponent. That turned out to be 4th seed Lauren Spink who was also in top gear getting past Liz May. Lauren then was at her bootiful Norfolk best to come through a titanic struggle with Charlotte Carey after being 0-2 down in games to close that quarter final match out coming through 3-2 to meet Emma in the semi. Following an extremely close 10-12 first game loss, Lauren seized control of the semi final match with Emma taking the next three to reach her third final this year against Egle. A packed show court audience were treated to another top class final with both these young ladies giving their all. Egle seemed to be getting the upper hand going 2-0 up in games. Lauren hit back to secure the next game but then the Lithuanian “super cool” player took the next game 11-9 to take the title.

The Men’s Open panned out much as expected with the top two seeds Gavin Rumgay and Ryan Jenkins contesting the final. Gavin had the much tougher passageway to the last match being strongly tested by Dean Cundy and Richard Andrews both going to four sets. Rum then had a colossal last four encounter with Neil Charles and it looked very much that an unexpected loss was on the cards with Neil taking the first two games. In his usual gritty way the Scottish showman Rumgay closed out the next three to make the final. Also in that top half of the draw Phil Payne ( a classic defender that had been out of table tennis for 6 years and an ex England top 100 player) was playing out of his skin taking an epic heart stopping 5 game first round victory over 3rd seed Damien Nicholls. His great run petered out at the hands of Neil Charles. With the withdrawal of the 5th seed Paul McCreery due to an injury, scratch entry Mark Scutts assumed that role after winning his group but then fell at the hands of Dan O’Connell who then lost to Charles at the last eight stage. Richard Andrews enjoyed good wins over Jack Coleman and Gary Wilson but his run came to an end against Rumgay.

Meanwhile in the lower half of the draw the Welsh Master Jenkins was easing his way through the rounds disposing of Conor Edwards, Alim Hirji, Emran Hussein and semi finalist Tom Maynard all with relative ease to meet Rum in the final. Maynard had earlier played brilliantly to displace Lloyd Gregory, Nial Cameron and 4th seed Mike Marsden but could not match the vast experienced Ryan Jenkins.

A huge crowd had assembled round the show court final match between Rumgay and Jenkins. They were treated to many breathtaking and superb rallies but in the end it was Jenks yet again showing his superb skills and ultra calm play that mastered the Showman, Rumgay in straight sets, but played in a most competitive yet friendly atmosphere.
The Under 21 events were soon in full flow later in the afternoon with the Women’s competition reaching a climax. In the knockout stages top seed Emma Vickers eased past Jas Ould but then fell at the hands of Yolanda King at the last four stage with Yolanda gaining the upper hand in a superb five encounter to reach the final.

A huge surprise followed in the lower half of the draw with the diminutive yet explosive Megan Knowles taking a fantastic surprise win over 4th seed Charlotte Carey in four games. She then faced Megan Phillips (who had yet again this weekend had to play her twin sister Angharad) but this time with a different five game epic result. Megan at the last eight stage showed her class to put out the fire from young Megan Knowles 3-0. Alice Loveridge the 2nd seed was made to work very hard to get past Vicky Smith (for the 2nd time this weekend) and then had to raise her game against the combination bat and skills of Megan Phillips to reach the final against Yolanda King.

The Under 21 Women’s final turned out to be a brilliant spectacle with both Yolanda and Alice going all out for the title and a huge credit to both these tired young ladies. Yolanda took the first game, Alice levelled at 1-1, and then the Sussex player just found the extra at the vital points to claim her title in devastating fashion over the Guernsey star.

In typical true grit fighting style the four times Under 21 Men’s Points Champion Damien Nicholls fought his heart out to claim the Bristol title against brave finalist Alim Hirji in a five set rollercoaster spectacular. Alim reached the final by dislodging Luca Mariano, Tom Maynard and last four player Adam Nutland, whilst Damien’s glory trail saw him fender off Mark Scutts, Emran Hussien and semi finalist Jack Coleman (who had played awesomely well to remove Luke Walker, Matt Rogers and Dean Cundy all in very close matches) but was no match for Mr Under 21 Champion, Damien Nicholls.

Regular winners Tomasz Rzeszotko took the Veterans title against the gallant finalist Costas Papantoniou with Steve Hall and Phil Payne reaching the penultimate stage, whilst in the Restricted event once again Jonathan Crawford took another title by defeating finalist David Arrowsmith, with the semi final placings being reached by Tim Surrey and Joe Hurdley.

The Player of the Tournament award and a £50 Bribar voucher was presented to Jarred Knowles who definitely “stole the show” for his phenomenal efforts and results throughout the two days play.

With just under 1000 matches played over the two days all the officials, umpires and players deserve huge congratulations by keeping the matches flowing and ahead of schedule.

The next main Grand Prix will be held at the Doncaster Dome over the weekend of the 12th/13th of February 2011, however if you can’t wait that long – get your entries in now for the Travel City Cardiff Satellite Grand Prix to be played on the 18th/ 19th of December 2010.

Results from day two at Bristol as follows;
Men’s Singles. Ryan Jenkins (WAL) beat Gavin Rumgay (SCO) 11-9, 11-2, 11-7.
Women’s Singles. Egle Adomelyte (Mi) beat Lauren Spink (Nk) 11-5, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9
Under 21 Men. Damien Nicholls (Sp) beat Alim Hirji (Mi) 11-7, 7-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7.
Under 21 Women. Yolanda King (Sx) beat Alice Loveridge (GGY) 11-9, 3-11, 11-5, 11-9
Veteran Singles. Tomasz Rzestzotko (Ch) beat Costas Papantoniou (Mi) 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6.
Restricted Singles. Jonathan Crawford (Cu) beat David Arrowsmith (Dy) 11-5, 12- 14, 11-7, 11-6.

By Geoff Ware

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