Horsham; Saturday, 27th August 2022
STOP PRESS Organiser Ed Hatton managed to break new ground at this year’s South East Open on the FIVE COURTS at Christ’s Hospital by fitting in both Singles and Doubles in one day’s play and coming up with a first time Singles Champion in Ollie Arnold and a first time Doubles Champion in Joe Sumner. For Joe’s partner, Nick Woolfenden, it was a second win in this event. Joe reached the singles final as well, also a first for him. Stuart Kirby and Chris Davey also experienced a first by reaching the final of the Doubles, and Helena Tunks is possibly the first woman player to win a 3rd place play-off at a regional event, partnering Emrys Thursfield.
Organiser Ed Hatton reports: An interestingly sized entry originally of ten stimulated new possibilities for playing formats. Initially the organiser was determined to go with an unprecedented ‘league’ group of ten with all playing all – this would have meant 45 games overall which with the addition of the excellent glass-backed new fifth court was feasible, if tough on the players. In the end twelve entered the singles, so two round-robin groups of six were drawn up, which produced semi-finalists. Ollie Arnold secured early and steady progress against all comers, but Chris Davey also produced four impressive wins to head off other contenders for the other semi-final spot. In the other group Joe Sumner produced solid wins against all and continued a remarkable evolution in this tournament over the years from recent school leaver to title contender. Cameron Low also won through in some hard fought games. Both Ollie and Joe had too much for their opponents in the semi-finals, despite some long rallies and keen movement. In the bronze medal match Davey edged a very tight one against Low 16-14. It was left for Ollie to clinch his first open singles title with a strong win against a determined but tiring Joe in his first open singles final. Well played to all.
A doubles event of eight pairs started with round-robin groups. Very close competition took place throughout all games. Joe Sumner and Nick Woolfenden just pipped Chris Davey & Stuart Kirby to the post with slightly greater consistency. In the other group Cameron Low and Tony Hamilton were the stand-out pair, with Emrys Thursfield and Helena Tunks a close and deserving second. The semi-finals were comfortable for Sumner & Woolfenden but in the other match Davey & Kirby held their nerve to edge past Low & Hamilton. This took them to their first final and there they gave an heroic account of themselves but the deeply steady and reliable Sumner & Woolfenden were too much for them. Congratulations to all.
Group 1: 1st O Arnold W5 Pts 55; 2nd C Davey W4 Pts 45; 3rd L Keates W3 Pts 37; 4th E Thursfield W2 Pts 39; 5th E Hatton W1 Pts 29; 6th S Leboff W0 Pts 11
Group 2: 1st J Sumner W5 Pts 55; 2nd C Low W4 Pts 49; 3rd A Chai W3 Pts 45; 4th N Woolfenden W2 Pts 34; 5th H Tunks W1 Pts 23; 6th H Nugent W0 Pts 6
Semi-finals: Arnold bt Low 11-5, 11-4; Sumner bt Davey 11-4, 11-0
Final: Arnold bt Sumner 11-3, 11-2
3rd Place: Davey bt Low 16-14
Group 1: 1st Sumner & Woolfenden W3 Pts 33; 2nd Davey & S KirbyW2 Pts 32; 3rd Arnold & C Lacewing W1 Pts 25; 4th Keates & Nugent W0 Pts 19
Group 2: 1st A Hamilton & Low W3 Pts 29; 2nd Thursfield & Tunks W2 Pts 28; 3rd B Callaghan & B Kirk W1 Pts 26; 4th A Chai & Leboff W 0 Pts 9
Semi-finals: Davey & Kirby bt Hamilton & Low 12-10, 11-6; Sumner & Woolfenden bt Thursfield & Tunks 11-4, 11-2
Final: Sumner & Woolfenden bt Davey & Kirby 11-5, 11-9
3rd Place: Thursfield & Tunks bt Hamilton & Low 15-12
Singles finalists Ollie and Joe
Singles Champion Ollie
Singles runner-up Joe
Plate winner Chris
Champions Nick & Joe
Runners-up Chris & Stuart
Plate winners Emrys & Helena
Action from the Doubles