Sam Mabey (left) and Jiawang Song

Mabey calls tune to end Song’s record

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Please note - this news article was published more than one year ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Sam Mabey ended Jiawang Song’s 100% record in the Men’s Singles this season to win the Wolverhampton Grand Prix, while Jenny Liu was the Women’s Singles champion.

Ben Piggott won two bands, as did Mollie Patterson on a busy weekend at the fourth Grand Prix event of the season.

Player of the weekend was Art McLaughlin.

Art McLaughline receives the Player of the Weekend certificate from Carol Miles, Competitions and Events Manager at Table Tennis England

Men’s Singles

Sam Mabey’s 3-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-9) victory ended the proud record of Jiawang Song in this season’s Grand Prix series, inflicting a first defeat of the season on his opponent.

Song had won the previous events in Crawley, Preston and Bath and, as top seed, was favourite to add a fourth title.

But he ran into an opponent in top form, adding the Men’s Singles to the Band 1 title he secured on Saturday.

Mabey’s path to the final had been mostly by way of 3-0 victories – the exception his 3-1 (11-8, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7) win over Tianyuan Liu in the quarter-finals. His semi-final victim was Israel Awolaja.

One of the matches of the tournament saw Art McLaughlin defeat second seed Chris Doran – who got in as a scratch entry after the withdrawal of Grigory Vlasov – in the last 16. The score was 3-2 (11-8, 8-11, 11-4, 14-16, 11-5) in favour of the young Irishman.

Song came through his semi-final against third seed Mike O’Driscoll in five (11-5, 13-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-6). O’Driscoll had earlier fought back to see off Sam Wilson 3-2 (9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9) in a close last-16 tie.

Women’s Singles

Haoyu (Jenny) Liu and child, with runner-up Anna Hursey and Table Tennis England Board member Simon Griew

Haoyu (Jenny) Liu was a four-game victor over Anna Hursey to win her first title of the season. The scoreline was 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 in her favour as she became the de facto top seed due to the withdrawal of Hannah Hicks.

She had to dig deep to see off a comeback by Mollie Patterson in the semi-finals, finally prevailing 3-2 (11-5, 12-10, 7-11, 12-14, 14-12). Hursey overcame Raquel Sao Pedro in three (10, 7, 6).

Men’s Band 1

Sam Mabey (left) and David Gofton

Sam Mabey defeated David Gofton, recovering from losing the first game to record a 3-1 (6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 13-11) victory.

Gofton had a couple of eye-catching victories on his way to the final, overcoming Sam Wilson in four games in the quarter-finals and Israel Awolaja in three in the semis. Mabey got through against Dean Cundy and then, in the semis, Louis Price – who himself had pulled off a great comeback to defeat Adam Nutland 3-2 (9-11, 7-11, 15-13, 12-10, 11-6) in the last eight.

Women’s Band 1

Anna Hursey (left) and Elena Todirca

Anna Hursey defeated Elena Todirca 3-0 (11-9, 13-11, 11-7) in the final. Both players needed four games in the semi-finals, Hursey getting past Haiyan Wen 11-4, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8) and Todirca eliminating Mollie Patterson, the top seed, 5-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7).

Men’s Band 2

Adam Nutland (centre) and Adam Jepson (right) with Simon Griew

Nutland beat Jepson in the battle of two Adams in the final, and it was 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-5) in the winner’s favour.

Nutland had come through a close four-set semi-final against Josh Weatherby (14-12, 4-11, 11-8, 15-13), while Jepson was taken the distance before  outgunning Sam Wilson 3-2 (7-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 15-13).

Women’s Band 2

Mollie Patterson (centre) and Sarah Menghistab with Simon Griew

Mollie Patterson made up for missing out in the Band 1 semi-finals as she defeated Sarah Menghistab in the final.

It was 3-1 (11-3, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5) to Patterson, who had earlier beaten Elena Todirca, her conqueror in Band 1, 3-1 (11-3, 7-11, 11-4, 11-6) in the semi-finals.

In fact, Patterson stiffest test was in the quarters, where she went the distance with Lara Whitton before edging through 3-2 (11-6, 5-11, 11-8, 17-19, 11-8).

Menghistab beat Darcie Proud 3-0 (6, 7, 8) in the semi-finals and she also had a prolonged quarter-final in which she beat Haiyan Wen 3-2 (11-8, 11-3, 11-13, 12-14, 11-5).

Men’s Band 3

Ben Piggott (right) and Kai Moosmann

Ben Piggott edged Kai Moosmann 12-10 in the decider to take the title, having seen his opponent twice level the score. The final account read 3-2 (11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 12-10) for Piggott.

Moosmann eliminated Art McLaughlin in three in the semis (8, 9, 7), while Piggott got past Louie Evans 3-1 (11-5, 7-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Women’s Band 3

Anaya Patel (right) and Mya Sultan

Anaya Patel finally got the better of Mya Sultan in five to win the top prize, prevailing 12-10, 9-11, 11-3, 11-13, 11-5) in the final.

It completed something of a theme for Patel, who also needed five in the quarter-finals against Grace Clement (11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-13, 11-5) and in the semis against Lisa Rinnhofer (11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-13, 11-5).

It was a theme echoed by Sultan, who beat Amillia Baker 3-2 (5-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7)) in the semi-finals.

Men’s Band 4

Ben Piggott (left) and Marc Castro

Ben Piggott doubled up on the day as he came from 2-0 down to defeat Marc Castro 3-2 (11-13, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-9) in the final.

The beaten semi-finalists were Simon Griew, who lost to Piggott in three, and Tony Zeqiri who went down in three to Castro.

Griew got through to the last four thanks to victories in two five-set matches, against Cade Short and then Phil Snelson.

Women’s Band 4

Olivia Fletcher (centre) and Amillia Baker with Simon Griew

Only three competitors started the competition, and it was Olivia Fletcher who won it, defeating Rebecca Savage 3-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10) and Amillia Baker 3-2 (11-7, 3-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8).

Baker was the runner-up as she overcame Savage 3-1 (11-13, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7).

Men’s Band 5

Shaun Murray (left) and Martin Heckmann

Shaun Murray beat Martin Heckmann 3-1 (11-6, 6-11, 13-11, 11-6), having earlier overcome Michael Stephens in three (7, 5, 8) in the semi-finals. Heckmann’s semi-final victim was Richard Hazell, who he beat 3-0 (5, 12, 6).

Men’s Band 6

Ben Law (centre) and Shaun Murray with Simon Griew

Ben Law ensured there would be no double for Shaun Murray as he triumphed 3-0 (12-10, 11-7, 11-5) to take the Band 6 title.

Both men got through their semi-finals in four, Law defeating Garvin Yim 12-14, 11-8, 13-11, 11-5 and Murray seeing off Abdur Rahman 11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7).

Men’s Under-21

Israel Awolaja (centre) and Sam Wilson with Simon Griew

Israel Awolaja was the winner by walkover as injured Sam Wilson could not take his place in the final.

Awolaja had got through after a great battle with David Gofton, finally prevailing in a strangely one-sided decider which completed a 3-2 (14-12, 9-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-1) victory.

Wilson overcame Louis Price 3-1 (11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6) in the other semi-final.

Women’s Under-21

Mollie Patterson (centre) and Beth Richards with Simon Griew

Mollie Patterson came from 2-0 down to triumph against Beth Richards, winning 3-2 (9-11, 6-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-7) to add to her Band 2 title.

Patterson got through the semi-finals 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 11-4) against Lydia John, while Richards was a 3-0 winner over Lara Whitton in the other semi.

Veterans’ Singles

Phil Snelson (left) and Simon Griew

Phil Snelson came through two five-setters and then defeated Simon Griew in three in the final to take the title.

Snelson beat Rajinder Singh 11-9 in the decider in the quarter-finals and then came through 11-4 in the fifth against Rory Scott in the semis – on both occasions having seen his opponent bounce back from 2-0 down to level.

Griew had a more serene path to the final, defeating Chris Brewer and Thamal Udamulla in four and then Dave Randall in three. But in the final, it was 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-7) to Snelson.

Open Doubles

Winners Haoyu & Tianyuan Liu (centre) and runners-up Anna Hursey (left) & Jiawang Song (right)

It went the distance in the final, as Haoyu & Tianyuan Liu twice came from behind to defeat Jiawang Song & Anna Hursey 3-2 (7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7).

The winners had knocked out Adam Nutland & Luke Walsh in three straight (11, 9, 8) in the semi-finals, while Song & Hursey defeated Kai Moosmann & Dominic Weston in four (9-11, 12-10, 11-7, 12-10).

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