The 4th stop on the grand prix calendar brings us to the Tees Sport Newcastle Grand Prix, staged at Eldon Square Leisure centre above the busy shopping complex. The regular Grand Prix venue has undergone a facelift since the visit 12 months ago, boasting new lighting and brand new bamboo floor. As per the normal structure of the Grand Prix series, the start of the day was the band 6, 4 and 2 events.

The men’s band 2 winner was the Swedish player Sebastian Loso, coming from the 2nd seeded position beating just Scottish players on his route from his group to victory. In the final he also met another Scottish player, Richard Main. Top seed for the event, Richard Main made his way to the final disposing of Tony Wilson and his Scottish colleague Scott Barton. In the final he was gunning for revenge for his brother, but it was not to be, going down in 4 games.

Men’s band 4, the 2nd biggest event of the day was won by Anthony Barella. Beating Denis Bernhard in 3 sets, Denis Bernhard is one of Bristol academies two new Swiss recruits studying English. He came though the top half of the draw, disposing of David Low in a tense semi-final that went all the way to deuce in the 5th for the young Swiss man to claim his place in the final. In the other semi-final local (ish) player Anthony Barella beat the other young Swiss player Dominic Schaueslberger in 4 games to book his final.

The men’s band 6 event was taken home by Stephen Joslin from Essex, who Alan McCarry in the final. Alan taking full advantage of the top seeded space left by the withdrawal of John Bousfield, whilst Joslin made his way through the bottom half, beating Steven Gray in his semi-final, Allan in his semi beat Jonathan Wooldridge, who in the 1st round had beaten 2nd seed Alan Headly.

Band 3 was a close run affair with great spectator matches through the later stages. The final was contested by Edward Famberly and Anthony Barella, appearing in his 2nd final. Ed beat Brian Wright in his quarter-final match and followed that with a very close match in the semis against a combative Tony Zequri which went right to the wire in the 5th, with Ed winning game 9. Anthony made his way to the final hitting through Phil Bell in the quarter and set up a repeat of the band 4 semi against Dominc Schaueslberger, and again Anthony came out on top in 3 games. Ed pumped after his long semi was just to smooth for Anthony winning in 3 games to stop a Barella double.

Stephen Joslin was the next player to attempt a double, meeting him in the final of the band 5 was David Low. In the semi Stephen set up a repeat of the band 6 final and again beat Allan McCarry. David Beat Jonathan Wooldrige. David who lost in the semis of band 6 had no thoughts of letting Joslin have 2 titles and came though winning in 3 games.
The main event of the day was the Band 1 and the withdrawal of the number one seed due to illness left it wide open. Emran Hussain was the man to take advantage, beating Chris Main and Sebastian Loso on his route to the final before defeating Tom Maynard in 4 sets. Tom on his way to the final beat the number 2 seed Simon Noutch and Jake Collins, who had earlier accounted for Abdul Wurola in a close 5 set encounter.

In the women’s events Christine Burke took the band 3 title at the expense of Hannah Winfield, in a game that that was almost of copy of their group match, with Hannah taking an early 1-0 lead in both encounters before being hauled back by Christine. On her route to the final Christine picked up wins over Jennifer Hart and Lara Stirling, while Hannah claimed wins against the Bristol academy pair of Charlotte Binley and Emily Standing.

The women’s band 2 saw Sandra Rider and Sue Collier defeat Charlotte Binley and Charlotte Airey respectively, both matches taking 4 sets to reach an outcome. In the final Sue Collier took control to take a straight sets victory and the title.

Due to lack entries the women were allowed to play in all bands above their own. Hannah Winfield took advantage of this, defeating Caroline Hallows in the group stage and going on to reach the final after recording a victory over Charlotte Airey in the semi-final. In the other side of the draw, Caroline recovered from her group loss to defeat Emily Standing, before she fell once more this time at the hands of Sue Collier. This made Sue the 3rd person attempting her banded double, and unlike those before her she took control once again to come out a straight set victor once more.

Men’s Band 6 – Stephen Joslin bt. Alan McCarry 11-6, 11-9, 10-12, 11-5
Men’s Band 5 – David Low bt. Stephen Joslin 14-12, 11-8, 11-9
Men’s Band 4 – Anthony Barella bt. Dennis Berhard 11-9, 11-6, 11-8
Men’s Band 3 – Edward Fambley bt. Anthony Barella 11-7, 11-8, 11-9
Men’s Band 2 – Sebastian Loso bt. Richard Main 11-4, 8-11, 16-14, 11-5
Men’s Band 1 – Emran Hussain bt. Tom Maynard 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9
Women’s Band 3 – Christine Burke bt. Hannah Winfield 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7
Women’s Band 2 – Sue Collier bt. Sandra Rider 11-4, 11-3, 11-8
Women’s Band 1 – Sue Collier bt. Hannah Winfield 11-2, 11-5, 11-9

Mattew Porter and Matthew Morris