Saturday’s play at the 8th NatWest Jersey Grand Prix saw the banded events take place and there was no shortage of great play on show at the Geoff Reed Table Tennis Centre.
The Men’s Band 1 round-robin was won by Kent’s diminutive powerhouse Danny Lawrence with Wales’ popular son Ryan Owen deservedly taking the runner-up slot.
Men’s Band 2 turned out to be a very tight round-robin affair with it ending in a close count back situation. In the end it was Sussex’s Rory Scott who emerged from the field as the winner. Jersey’s chopping defender Chris Morshead took the runner-up slot with his losing head-to-head match with Scott proving crucial.
Men’s Band 3 ended in an all Jersey final after Max Tupper had survived a five-game thriller against Paralympian David Wetherill whilst Chris Morshead had beaten Adam Feargrieve in a less stressing match 3-0.
Tupper took a 2-1 lead and held two match points before the obdurate chop and superb retrieval of Morshead took the match to a decider. Morshead reached the turn first at change of ends and then kept his nose in front forcing errors with his heavily chopped returns. At 10-9 down Tupper, totally uncharacteristically, served off to gift wrap the title for Morshead.
Men’s Band 4 was another round-robin group but two players stood out from the pack at the end. Jersey’s 14-year-old, Jordan Wykes, emerged undefeated having shown great mental strength despite being severely tested by his senior opponents. The runner-up place was claimed by London 2012 Paralympian David Wetherill from Cornwall.
Men’s Band 5 big entry saw three Jersey players make the semi-finals after the group stages and preliminary knock-out matches. Top seed Jordan Wykes faced Glen Brown whilst Tyler Gosselin faced young Scot, Calum Morrison. Wykes negotiated what could have been a tricky match exceedingly winning 3-0. Gosselin though fought back from 2-0 down against Morrison only to lose agonisingly in the fifth 11-6. In the final Wykes turned up the heat on his Scottish opponent and never let him settle as he raced deservedly to the title 3-0.
Men’s Band 6 had another large entry and any number of the players was capable of winning the money. Following the group stages and quarter-finals three Jersey players reached the semis. Luke Greenfield, Tom Marsay and Tyler Gosselin. However, waiting in the second seed slot after winning his group was the talented young Scot Calum Morrison.
Fourteen-year-old Morrison met Marsay in the final after defeating Gosselin in his semi. Once again Morrison played the percentage shots better and deservedly took the title with a 3-1 win.
Women’s Band 1 was a high class affair with Guernsey’s Alice Loveridge and Dorset’s Sanja Clements being joined by Derbyshire’s Emma Vickers and Jersey’s Kelsey Le Maistre in the semis.
Loveridge was given a stern test by Le Maistre but in the end her greater experience held sway. In the other semi-final Emma Vickers had too much fire power for Sanja Clements securing her berth in the final with a 3-0 win.
In the final, Derbyshire’s Vickers was in the ascendency getting to a 2-1 lead but Loveridge’s never-say-die attitude was again to the fore as she levelled at 2-2 and then took the decider 11-8.
Women’s Band 2 was loaded with experienced players which included the current England No.s 1 and 2 Ladies Veterans players, Sue Collier and Sanja Clements who were also seeded to meet in the final. However, with the injured Collier beaten by Guernsey’s Dawn Morgan 12-10 in the fifth it meant that she then had to face Clements in the semi-final.
Morgan’s excellent success was short lived though as she exited to Derbyshire’s experienced Jane Vickers. The final was superb with Vickers trying to stem Clement’s attacking flow but in the end the higher seed battled out the win 3-0.
Women’s Band 3 produced a local winner in Sofia Uddnas who was unbeaten in the six-way round-robin with Guernsey’s Beth Priest in second place.
Women’s Band 4 was also a round-robin which was also won by Jersey player Sofia Uddnas to add to her Band 3 title with France’s Carol Milnes the runner-up.
Read the report from Sunday here
Read the report from Friday’s team event here