Vickers and Jenkins take Jersey titles

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

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

Emma Vickers battled injury to win the Women’s Singles at the NatWest Jersey Open (Satellite Grand Prix).

The No 1 seed had withdrawn the day before due to a hip injury but reversed her decision and the signs were good as Vickers won Group 1 at a canter with Wales’ Kate Hughes the runner-up.

In group 2, the second seed also played to the form book as Angharad Phillips topped the group with her fellow Welsh player Nicole Hall the runner-up.

The semi-final line-up was Vickers against Hall and Hughes against Phillips – England versus Wales. Vickers did not show any signs of the niggling injury as she took the first game 11-4. Hall struck back immediately, winning the second 11-7. Vickers re-grouped and took the next two 11-5, 11-7, to book her place in the final for the third year running.

In the second semi-final, on paper Phillips was the slight favourite but Hughes did not read the form book as she took it 3-1 (11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6) to reach her maiden Grand Prix final.

Vickers took a close first game of the final 12-10 but Hughes struck back to seal the second 11-8. Vickers then turned on the after-burners with a range of unstoppable forehand winners to take the next two 11-7, 11-4 and seal the title.

The Men’s Singles groups saw the four top seeds – Ryan Jenkins, David McBeath, Darius Knight and Danny Lawrence – win their groups. Other group winners were Chris Griffiths and Dan O’Connell from Wales, Chris Morshead and Jordan Wykes from Jersey and Niall Cameron from Scotland.

Paralympian Will Bayley eased through the first knockout round but then came up Jenkins. He put the Welsh number 1 through the mill though with some characteristic gritty winners but the top seed survived.

Second seed McBeath also cruised to the quarters, beating Craig Feargrieve in the last 16. Lawrence saw off Guernsey’s Josh Stacey whilst Cameron was equally clinical in his match with Jody Bevington. Knight and Griffiths also made the last eight along with the last Jersey player standing, Wykes.

Jenkins showed no mercy to his Welsh compatriot Dan O’Connell whilst McBeath dispatched Griffiths. Knight put an end to the Jersey challenge and in the England v Scotland quarter-final Lawrence saw off Cameron 3-1.

In the semis, Jenkins swatted the feisty Lawrence aside 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 11-6) but the other tie was the complete opposite between the two big hitters Knight and McBeath. McBeath took the first 11-9 then Knight squeaked the second 16-14. The third was more of the same booming forehands but McBeath took this one 14-12. Knight was not to be denied though in the re-match of the 2015 final as he took the final two games 11-4, 11-7 to reach yet another Jersey final.

When he took the first 11-9, it looked as if he might win the title, but multiple Grand Prix champion Jenkins won the next three (9, 9, 6) to regain the Jersey Open title that he last won in 2011.

The Restricted singles was run as a round-robin with Horsham Spinners’ Rory Scott finishing as the undefeated overall winner. The runner-up slot was filled by Jersey’s Tom Marsay, who just edged out Alan Taylor from Kent.

The Veterans’ groups were tightly contested. Kevin Nicholls from Derbyshire, the top seed, went through as group 1 winner with Nottingham’s Steve Dickinson also through to the KO rounds. Avon’s Chris Price and Guernsey’s Andre de Carteret emerged from Group 2 to contest the semis. The group winners Price and Nicholls duly reached the final with Nicholls getting the verdict 3-1 after an entertaining encounter.

The Women’s Under-21 was run as a round-robin. In the end it was the Welsh contingent who were celebrating again with top seed Beth Roberts taking the title with Nicole Hall runner-up.

The Men’s Under-21 was the last discipline to finish and a fitting end to an enthralling weekend’s table tennis. Top seed Danny Lawrence bossed Group 1 despite losing to Jersey’s Tyler Gosselin. Dan Barna took the runner up slot. Jack Hunter-Spivey and Lawrence Stacey emerged from Group 2 with Chris Griffiths, Jordan Wykes, Josh Stacey and Luke Greenfield taking the other slots in the quarter-finals.

The Stacey twins from Guernsey both exited at that point, beaten by Lawrence and Wykes respectively. Griffiths finished Barna’s hopes and then put paid to Greenfield who had earlier edged past Paralympian Hunter-Spivey. Jersey’s Wykes put in a spirited performance against Lawrence but the Kent player was just that bit too strong, winning 3-1. Griffiths also had a tough match against Greenfield but also made the final 3– which belied the score.

The final was an all-action affair. It ebbed and flowed with Lawrence taking the first two games. Griffiths struck back in the third but Lawrence was not to be denied recovering from 4-0 down to win the final title of the fantastic three-day tournament.

Earlier in the competition, the Banded events were won as follows:

The Women’s Band 2 Singles was played as a round-robin of five, with Kate Hughes taking the honours ahead of Angharad Phillips.

Women’s Band 4 was also a round-robin, with Christina Wright – back in the sport after an 18-year break – taking the title ahead of Guernsey’s Sam Kershaw in a field of five players.

Men’s Band 2 saw No 1 seed and Paralympian Will Bayley beaten 3-1 by Jordan Wykes – who had earlier prevailed 3-2 in a group meeting between the pair.

Men’s Band 4 saw Josh Stacey taking the title 3-1 against Ben Foss, who had beaten Josh’s twin Lawrence in the semis.

Men’s Band 6 saw a thrilling final as Jack Hunter-Spivey recovering twice from a game down against Jersey player Jacob Gosselin. The final game was nip and tuck but finally it was the Jersey player who took the vital points to claim his first Grand Prix title.

The play in Men’s Band 1 was particularly frenetic with a number of five-game epic battles. In the end, Dan O’Connell beat Lawrence in one of those, which meant Niall Cameron was out on his own unbeaten and the overall victor, with O’Connell the runner-up.

Men’s Band 3 saw Chris Griffiths prove too strong for Rory Scott, closing out the match 3-0 to seal another title.

In Men’s Band 5, Jersey’s Tyler Gosselin maintained his focus impeccably against the defensive style of the experienced Kevin Nicholls to register his maiden Grand Prix title, winning 3-1.

The Women’s Band 1 was marred by a hip injury during her first match to the No 1 seed Emma Vickers. The round-robin was eventually won by Angharad Phillips, with fellow Welsh player Nicole Hall the runner up.

Women’s Band 3 saw more local Jersey success with No 1 seed Kelsey le Maistre living up to her billing, emerging from a round-robin of six players to take the title with Christina Wright (the earlier Band 4 winner) runner-up.

On Good Friday, the team competitions were held. The victors in the Veterans’ event were Tony Stead and Chris Price from Oxford and Avon respectively, with Steve Dickinson and Rob Dodds from Nothumberland the runners-up.

The Junior team winners were the CI combo of Jersey’s Jordan Wykes and Guernsey’s Ben Foss with Jersey’s duo Luc Miller and Luke Greenfield the runners-up.

In the Men’s event, Welsh pair Daniel O’Connell and Chris Griffiths saw off Jersey’s Josh Band and partner Danny Lawrence from Kent.

The Women’s team was run as a round-robin and two Welsh pairs finished on top as Angharad Phillips and Kate Hughes took the title, beating Nicole Hall and Beth Roberts in their best of five match.

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