Kay and Arnold dominate the Yorkshire Open

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The Yorkshire Open Championships,
Derby Moor Academy,
Saturday/Sunday, 11-12 September 2021.

STOP PRESS: Ed Kay successfully defended his Yorkshire Open Singles title but not without a tough challenge from first-time regional finalist Julian Aquilina. Ollie Arnold, beaten by Ed in the quarter-final, went on to win the 2nd Singles Plate, then teamed up with Ed to win the Doubles. Joe Sumner won the 1st Singles Plate, beating Lewis Keates, while Keates & Bally Singh won the Doubles Plate at the expense of Chris Davey & Raheem Yusuf.

Organiser John Hawke writes:

Saturday 11th September saw the export of the Yorkshire Open Fives tournament to the courts of the Derby Moor club. Although the move was prompted by uncertainty of the availability of the Giggleswick courts due to Covid, the change of venue also made sense for other reasons. Derby is easily accessible from both London and the North East; with the demise of the Halifax courts few, if any, Yorkshire based players are available; and, historically, the Derby club has provided a large proportion of the entries for the Giggleswick Doubles.

The reward for the change of venue came in the form of the largest entry for many years, with 15 Singles entrants and 10 Doubles pairs. As to the accessibility, players came from London, Durham and even as far away as Devon, with the organiser travelling from Anglesey.

Now to the Fives. Within an hour of the nominal start time some serious Fives was underway. Because of the high number of Derby players it proved impossible to avoid matches between club members, the most notable of which was the hotly contested battle between Lewis Keates and Anthony Goodwin. Anthony finally won after three gruelling games. The remainder of the first round matches were settled in two games, with the star players providing plenty of exercise for those of lesser abilities.

Ed Kay was made to work reasonably hard in his journey to the final, all his opponents scoring at least 7 points in every game. Dave Butler, on the other side of the draw, was uncharacteristically lethargic, maybe due to taking the demon drink on Friday night, and was deposed from his number two seeding in the semi-finals by Julian Aquilina. Julian went on to push Ed to 3 games in the final. Ed eventually won 11-2, 9-11, 11-7.

The plate, for first-round losers, was played as a knockout competition, one game to 15. Again this produced some close matches, with Joe Sumner eventually victorious, having defeated Lewis Keates in the final.

A second plate was intended to include all the first round plate losers, but many of these had already thrown in the towel, leaving a single match to be both first round and final. Louise Mathias beat Vishal Singh 15-7.

To ensure that everyone had their fill of matches as round-robin was also held for cup second round losers. Ollie Arnold dominated with a win in every game. The Taunton medical contingent had a good day!

For the evening a meal had been organised by the Derby lads at a local restaurant. A good time was had by all.

Sunday was doubles day. The highlights of the early round were the three game match won by Law and Suddaby againts Mathias and Hill, and a repeat of the singles rivalry between Keates and Goodwin. Lewis Keates was again on the losing side, him and his partner Bally Singh being beaten in three close games by Anthony Goodwin and Max Frost.

First seeds Ollie Arnold and Ed Kay had an uneventful progress to the final, whereas Butler and Aquilina, the second seeds, were beaten surprisingly easily by Sam Russell and Tom Watkinson in the semi-finals. Sam and Tom’s euphoria was short lived as Ollie and Ed beat them in the final 11-0, 11-3.

The plate competition was run as two round-robins of three pairs each. Kirk & Kirby, Mathias & Hill and Keates & Bally Singh formed the first group, with Christie & Vishal Singh, Law & Suddaby and Davey & Yusuf the second. Keates & Singh, as winners of group one, then played Law & Suddaby who came second in group two while Davey & Yusuf played Mathias & Hill. Keates & Bally Singh eventually won the plate final against Davey & Yusuf 15-8.

The presentations at the end of a tiring day were made by the ever-young Bob Dolby. In addition to the usual cups, plates and medallions, Bob had also managed to produce RFA mugs for the doubles plate runners up and a bowl for Louise Mathias as a reward for her victory in the first-round losers singles competition.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. The organiser’s food calculations were somewhat thrown off by the absence of a certain Bob Sandie, but the excess has found a home at an Anglesey charity. The Derby courts have proved their worth as a tournament venue; the Yorkshire Open may, strangely, have found a new permanent home.

We look forward to seeing you all, and more, next year.


1st round: O Arnold bt R Yusuf 11-0, 11-1; C Davey bt M Suddaby 11-5, 11-5; T Watkinson bt L Mathias 11-0, 11-1; J Aquilina bt D Law 11-2, 11-2; A Goodwin bt L Keates 11-5, 9-11, 11-8; S Russell bt V Singh 11-2, 11-1; D Butler bt J Sumner 11-5, 11-4
Quarter-finals: E Kay bt Arnold 11-8, 11-7; Watkinson bt Davey 11-9, 11-1; Aquilina bt Goodwin 11-3, 11-3; Butler bt Russell 11-9, 11-8
Semi-finals: Kay bt Watkinson 11-7, 11-7; Aquilina bt Butler 11-2, 11-9
Final: Kay bt Aquilina 11-2, 9-11, 11-7
Plate: Sumner bt Keates 15-10
2nd Plate: 1st Arnold; 2nd Russell; 3rd Davey; 4th Goodwin
3rd Plate: Mathias bt V Singh 15-7


1st round: R Christie & V Singh bt S Kirby & B Kirk 11-0, 11-5; D Law & M Suddaby bt L Mathias & A Hill 11-6, 10-12, 11-4
Quarter-finals: O Arnold & E Kay bt Christie & V Singh 11-4, 11-5; M Frost & A Goodwin bt L Keates & B Singh 11-7, 7-11, 11-4; S Russell & T Watkinson bt C Davey & R Yusuf 11-7, 11-4; J Aquilina & D Butler bt Law & Suddaby 11-4, 11-2
Semi-finals: Arnold & Kay bt Frost & Goodwin 11-5, 11-2; Russell & Watkinson bt Aquilina & Butler 11-4, 11-2
Final: Arnold & Kay bt Russell & Watkinson 11-0, 11-2


Group A: 1st Keates & B Singh; 2nd Mathias & Hill; 3rd Kirby & Kirk
Group B: 1st Davey & Yusuf; 2nd Law & Suddaby; 3rd Christie & V Singh
Semi-finals: Keates & B Singh bt Law & Suddaby; Davey & Yusuf bt Mathias & Hill
Final: Keates & B Singh bt Davey & Yusuf

Worth the trip up to Yorkshire — well, Derbyshire!

The Singles finalists

The Doubles Plate finalists

Joe, winner of the Singles Plate — it’s a Cup in Yorkshire

Julian pressures Ed in front-court play

Mike Suddaby playing familiar opponent Joe

Louise meets Tom twice in a fortnight!

Douglas Law too strong for Raheem

Five captains of Durham Uni — in chronological order!

The Derby Moor contingent

No words needed