Sherborne School, Dorset
Saturday/Sunday, 21-22 October 2023
STOP PRESS Dan Tristao did the double, winning his 6th West of England Open Singles title at the expense of Ben Beltrami, then pairing up with Ben to defeat Lewis Keates & Sam Russell in the Doubles final; it was Dan’s 5th such Doubles title and their first as a pair. Charlie Lacewing also continued his fine record in Plate competitions by winning both the Singles and the Doubles Plate, the latter with Dwight Murdoc. Oscar McIntyre swept the board in the Plate for quarter-final Singles losers.
Nick Geere reports: With the London Open taking place only a fortnight beforehand this year, there were just 4 entrants for the Singles competition as the deadline expired, although this rose to 14 over the next few days, with 9 Doubles pairs.
As well as a good proportion of high-ranking players and a few ‘stalwarts’, there were four promising schoolboys, one lady, and one brave entrant who hadn’t played for 20 years. Unfortunately the conditions were perfect for the courts to be sweating again this year, but the School were very helpful in keeping them heated throughout the weekend, so that the only sweating was done by the players.
In the quarter-finals, Dwight Murdoc from the Exeter Club at Blundell’s made his tournament debut, scoring an impressive 8 points in his first game against Dan Tristao. Lewis Keates won in 3 tight games of positional play against Cameron Low, with Sam Russell doing well to keep the up-and-coming Oscar McIntyre at bay, and Anthony Goodwin putting up a good fight against Ben Beltrami in their second game.
In the final, Ben attacked from the start to take a quick lead. But, although declining a let offered when 3-0 down, which would have been too tempting for most people, Dan then rallied, and went on to win the first game. Unfortunately, Ben had to contend with a slightly sprained ankle in the second game, which saw Dan emerge as the winner of a high quality match. Meanwhile, Charlie Lacewing won the main Plate, and Oscar the Quarter-finalists’ Plate – both fairly comfortably.
In the Doubles, the entry of Brooke & Grant caused some concern that the seedings were incorrect (assuming a missing ‘s’). In the end, the Bristol pair of Stephen Brooke and Peter Grant played well to come second in the Plate. Oscar & Anthony also achieved a very creditable result in their match against Dan & Ben, with Sam & Lewis overcoming Cameron & Archie McCreath in the other semi-final. In the final, Sam & Lewis built up a promising-looking 6-0 lead, and had one later chance, but Dan & Ben somehow managed to edge past them to win the first game and, following a close second game, took the title in another inspiring final. Charlie Lacewing & Dwight Murdoc were the victors in the Plate, winning all four of their games.
On the Saturday evening, some of us managed to escape the various World Cups that were taking place, with a meal at Tamburino’s. Most diners’ Italian vocabulary was enhanced, when a giant tambourine made its appearance in an elaborate birthday celebration in the restaurant, which also featured dimmed lights and a Hammond organ. However, when this performance was subsequently repeated (twice), a quick calculation by the General Secretary revealed that some of these birthdays were likely to have been spurious, given the limited population of Sherborne.
We look forward to welcoming players back next year. Please advertise the tournament to anyone you come across who you think may be interested.
1st round: A Upton bt A Rackham 11-3, 11-4; N Geere bt B Wood 11-1, 11-0
2nd round: D Murdoc bt C Lacewing 11-4, 11-3; C Low bt Upton 11-0, 11-2; O McIntyre bt H Rackham 11-3, 11-0; A Goodwin bt Geere 11-1, 11-1
Quarter-finals: D Tristao bt Murdoc 11-8, 11-0; L Keates bt Low 11-12, 11-9, 11-5; S Russell bt McIntyre 11-7, 11-4; B Beltrami bt Goodwin 11-1, 11-7
Semi-finals: Tristao bt Keates 11-8, 11-4; Beltrami bt Russell 11-4, 11-0
Final: Tristao bt Beltrami 11-7, 11-5
Plate: Lacewing bt H Rackham 15-1
Quarter-finalists Plate: 1st McIntyre; 2nd= Goodwin and Low; 4th Murdoc
1st round: N Geere & A Rackham bt C Blakeley & L Hogarth 11-1, 11-2
Quarter-finals: B Beltrami & D Tristao bt Geere & Rackham by default; A Goodwin & O McIntyre bt C Lacewing & D Murdoc 11-9, 11-2; C Low & A McCreath bt N Geere & A Landon 11-1, 11-3; L Keates & S Russell bt S Brooke & P Grant 11-2, 11-0
Semi-finals: Beltrami & Tristao bt Goodwin & McIntyre 11-7, 11-8; Keates & Russell bt Low & McCreath 11-7,11-5
Final: Beltrami & Tristao bt Keates & Russell 11-9, 11-7
Plate: 1st Lacewing & Murdoc 60pts; 2nd Brooke & Grant 55pts; 3rd Geere & Landon 46pts; 4th Rackham & Rackham 35pts; 5th Blakeley & Hogarth 25pts
The Champion Dan Tristao
Runners-up Russell & Keates
Ben Beltrami in action against Anthony Goodwin
Oscar McIntyre in action against Harry Rackham
Dwight Murdoc in action against Charlie Lacewing
Dan T in semi-final action
Ben B on the attack
Cameron to Oscar
Charlie to Anthony
Spectating the final
The Singles final ends