Oxford Invitation Tournament 2013

Russell Moore

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Oxford Invitation Tournament 2013

The Oxford Invitation event on May 5th saw eight hours of intense play at Kidlington Forum. The Ladies’ singles groups were well contested, with Dawn Pearce (Begbroke) surviving an early scare from junior Minh Van (Forum), a newcomer from Vietnam, and Nikki Francis (Forum) just prevailing over five games against Svet Khoronenkova (Holton). Sharon Curtis (Holton) got the better of Lianne Fisher (Vikings), just recovering from a 1-2 deficit, while Janet Brown (Begbroke) lost only one game, to cadet Vicky Coll (Forum). Dawn and Janet then had it much their own way in the semis against Sharon and Nikki, to make it an all-Begbroke final. It was Dawn who triumphed, winning three close games, for her 5th title in nine years.

Junior Lewis Sumner (Forum), who trains at Grantham Academy, made his mark in the Men’s singles with a scintillating victory over Mark Scott (Holton) (3-1). However, his earlier defeat at the hands of Andy Misseldine (Holton) (7, 9, 9) left him vulnerable to a swing of fortunes, as Mark proceeded to surprise Andy over five games, leaving Lewis eliminated after a three-way games countback. Mark went on to an epic quarter-final against ace defender Alan Cherry (Vikings), in which Alan saved two match points in the 4th, one on an edge, before taking the 5th 11-9. That left the top four seeds in the semis, with Karl Bushell (Forum) beating Andy 3-1, and top seed/holder Pawel Jaskolski (Vikings) taking out team-mate Alan in straight games. Pawel then added to his growing collection of trophies by dominating the final against Karl (3, 8, 6).

In an eventful day, Alan Cherry also saved a match point against Jason Tustain (Bicester) in the Veterans’ quarter-final and looked to have the beating of Andy Misseldine in the semi, taking the lead several times in the 5th with his superb defensive play, but squandering his hard-won lead with wayward hits, as all the day’s drama took its toll on him. Mark Scott also reached the semis and took the first game off Karl Bushell, before going down at 13-15 in the 4th. Thus two old adversaries, Karl and Andy, contested the final, which Karl won 3-1 to retain his title.

The Ladies’ doubles, with four pairs and played as a round robin, resulted in a triple tie and another countback decision. Nikki Francis and Minh Van had won their first two matches, but came unstuck against Lianne Fisher and Sharon Curtis, who had previously lost to Janet Brown and Vicky Coll. The games tallies of 5-4, 4-4, 4-5 gave the narrowest of victories to Janet and Vicky, who has just celebrated her 12th birthday!

The rest of the doubles belonged to evergreen Tony Stead (Rutherford Appleton Laboratories), with a little help from his friends, Karl and Dawn. Karl and Tony beat the Bicester pairing of Tony Gorman and Jason Tustain in the Men’s doubles final, while in the Mixed Tony and Dawn prevailed over junior Lewis Sumner and Janet Brown. Not only is Tony a very good doubles player, but he also kept up his fitness level extremely well throughout a long day to get back on the winners’ board for the first time since 2009.

Presentations/Special Awards:
Alan Hopwood (outstanding service): Avril Haynes
Ken Ford (best junior new league player): Reece Chamdal
McKechnie/Hawkins (junior boy of the year): Simon Price
Hawkins/McKechnie (junior girl of the year): Teisi Tamming
Dave Hawkins (outstanding junior performance): Lewis Sumner

The final results of the Oxford Invitational can be found here

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