Tipton Grand Prix

 Kenny Lindsey and Chris Doran

Men’s Band 1
Chris Doran duly swept to the men’s band 1 title as he began his preparations for Sunday’s men’s singles with a solid, if unspectacular, men’s band 1 crown at the Tipton Grand Prix.

The top seed for the men’s singles was rarely heavily troubled on Saturday – dropping just three games en route to the cash prize as he eased his way into proceedings. He picked off Joe Clark, Zoltan Hosszu and Kieran Smith in his group before despatching youngsters Adam Jepson and Calum Morrison in straight games to make the final.

His match-up for the title was Scotsman Kenny Lindsey who powered his way to the final pairing – dropping just one game in his campaign to the latter stages. After cruising past Daniel Moses, Adam Jepson and Luke Walsh he defeated band 2 winner Matthew Leete 3-1 (10-12, 11-6, 12-10, 11-7) and finally Kieran Smith 3-0 to set up his meeting with Doran.

Perhaps in second gear, it wasn’t plain sailing for the favourite after Lindsey picked up the second game to level at 1-1 and even lead 7-4 in the third. However, Doran’s extra intelligence told in the end as he picked up the crucial points en route to a 3-1 final victory.

Charlotte Bardsley and Kate Cheer

Women’s Band 1
Charlotte Bardsley completed a perfect day at the Tipton Grand Prix by following up her earlier triumph in band 2 (below) with an equally impressive performance in band 1 to secure back-to-back titles.

Again competing in the round robin format, Bardsley won all three of her matches, dropping just one game in the process. Her opening 3-1 victory over Emma Ludlow proved the closest on paper (9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 14-12) however, she also had a tough match to despatch top seed Kate Cheer 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 12-10) before sealing the title with a 3-0 victory against Scot Gillian Edwards.

Sussex player Cheer managed to overcome her opening defeat to beat Ludlow 3-0 and Edwards 3-2 (11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 5-11, 14-12) to secure second place and a share of the spoils.

John Taylor and Matthew Leete with TTE Board Member Simon Griew

Men’s Band 2
Matthew Leete orchestrated a controlled blitz through the men’s band 2 event at the Tipton Grand Prix, mixing his touch flair with powerful aggression to secure the title with a dominant pack of performances.

Leete sailed through his group with all straight games wins before seeing off Lawrence John (3-1), Nathan Thomas (3-0) and finally John Taylor (3-0) to pick up a well deserved title.

His final opponent Taylor had earlier emerged from group four as runner-up behind Amirul Hussain but managed to pick up form to see off Andreas Pusch (3-0) before usurping second seed Joseph Clark 3-0 in the quarter-final. Taylor’s dramatic 3-2 (11-8, 11-9, 5-11, 6-11, 11-3) semi-final victory over Adam Jepson may have tired him, but in truth, the champion Leete looked too hot to handle throughout Saturday morning’s play.

 Charlotte Bardsley and Emma Ludlow with TTE Board Member Simon Griew

Women’s Band 2
Charlotte Bardsley was quick out of the blocks on Saturday morning as she raced to the women’s band 2 title with four consecutive 3-0 victories to seal the round robin triumph.

The Staffordshire player wasted little time in dispatching her opponents, even fighting off the challenge of top seed Emma Ludlow 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-5) in a dominant performance. Ludlow, meanwhile, was able to secure the runners-up spot thanks to wins over Amy Blagbrough, Anna Dobrzanska and Erin Thompson.

 Shayan Siraj and Lucas Papantoniou

Men’s Band 3
Yorkshire youngster Shayan Siraj made up for an under-par morning with a fine performance in the afternoon in Tipton to win the men’s band 3.

Earlier the cadet failed to get out of his band 4 group but showed none of his inconsistencies in the afternoon group to finish top and take the number 1 seed position for the knockout draw. He warmed up with a tense 3-2 (7-11, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-6) victory over band 4 winner Craig Preece before getting into his rhythm with a 3-1 win against Joe Walker and 3-0 against Bogdan Caputa.

In the first round he again found himself 2-0 down, but unlike his morning performances he showed his trademark resolve to overturn the deficit against Scotsman Kier Morton 3-2 (10-12, 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-3). After that he made quick work of Cade Short (3-0) and Samuel Chesterman (3-0) to make the final.

There he met Lucas Papantoniou, a scratch entry in Tipton, who came runner-up to Rory Scott in group 5 but still managed to battle his way through the knockout stages.

Three times winning in five ends, he beat Joe Walker (3-2), Amirul Hussain (3-2), Lawrence John (3-1) and Nathan Thomas (3-2) to join Siraj in the final game of the day.

The pair shared the spoils early with a game each to set the score at 1-1. However, after that Siraj’s extra energy seemed to carry him over the line as he took the next two games 11-4 and 11-7 to claim the main prize.

 Lauren Evans and Jasmin Wong

Women’s Band 3
Jasmin Wong was unstoppable on Saturday afternoon in women’s band 3, winning 15 consecutive games to record a perfect campaign.

Having already beaten Erin Thompson and Danielle Kelly in straight games in her group, she didn’t let up any of her aggression, quickly seizing the initiative against Neetha Ramesh and Ruby Chan to secure her well deserved place in the final.

Meeting her there was Lauren Evans, who recovered from finishing runner-up behind Ruby Chan in group 2, to eventually get into the title decider. She saw off Medha Verma 3-1 before crucially getting past Amy Blagbrough 3-2 (3-11, 11-5, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7) to reach the knockout stages. There she beat Erin Thompson and Hannah Ward 3-0 before defeating the feisty Darcie Proud 3-1. Unfortunately, just like all the other competitors in band 3, she had no answers for Wong’s play on Saturday afternoon.

 Craig Preece and Matthew Evans with TTE Board Member Simon Griew

Men’s Band 4
Craig Preece staged a dramatic comeback in the final set against Matthew Evans to steal the men’s band 4 title from under the Befordshire player’s nose.

Preece started his campaign with a 3-1 win over Naphong Boonyaprapa before edging past Shaun Ellis 3-2 (9-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8, 11-3)  and securing top spot in the group with a 3-0 win against Lewis Palmer.

He continued his form into the knockout stages to beat Jack Cope 3-1 but then embarked on three consecutive five game matches to make hard work of taking the Tipton title home. In the quarter-finals he saw off Keir Morton 3-2 (11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 11-0, 11-7), then in the semis he beat Finn Morgan-Bayliss 3-2 (12-10, 5-11, 12-10, 0-11, 11-6) before reaching 2-2 in a close contest with Matthew Evans in the title game.

Evans, who earlier won all of his group matches 3-0 before beating Tony Whelan (3-2), Joseph Goss (3-0) and Ryan Lunn (3-0), looked in control of the final when he led the fifth game 10-6. However, Preece showed valiant defence to seal five consecutive points and eventually sneak home 13-11 in a dramatic turnaround in the final set.

 Rebecca Plaistow with TTE Board Member Simon Griew

Women’s Band 4
Scottish girl Rebecca Plaistow came through the women’s band 4 event to emerge victorious on Saturday morning at Tipton Grand Prix. Seeded top of group 2 she advanced with few problems after defeating Ruby Chan in four before seeing off both Danielle Kelly and Daisy Kershaw in three.

In the knockout rounds she battled past both Lara Whitton (3-1) and Charlotte Boston (3-0) to set up a final with Lincolnshire’s Darcie Proud.

Proud, who won all of her group fixtures, including a great comeback victory against Mehda Verma 3-2 (8-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2), then beat Hannah Ward and Neetha Ramesh to get to the final. However, the top seed was slow out of the blocks in all three games against the Scot – costing her dearly in the end. She trailed the first 7-0, the second 5-1 and the third 5-0 and, despite coming back to close in each, she left too much on the table, allowing Plaistow to secure the win and the Tipton Grand Prix title.

 Craig Brown and Louie Evans

Men’s Band 5
Craig Brown made up for his band six final defeat (below) early on Saturday at Tipton Grand Prix with victory in the band 5 event with a comfortable performance in the final.

Having emerged unscathed from group 8 despite twice going the full distance against Lewis Palmer and Stanley Shilton, he exacted revenge on band six final opponent James Houghton 3-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5) in the round of 16. He continued to build up form as the event went on, winning 3-1 against Yao Li in his quarter final before cruising past both Ben Glover and Louie Evans in straight games to pick up the title.

Evans did well to reach the final himself, surviving a 3-2 opening match against Joe Britnell to eventually win group 7 before defeating Tom Barnett, David Ramsey and Shaun Ellis to seal his place in the final.

 James Houghton and Craig Brown with TTE Board Member Simon Griew

Men’s Band 6
James Houghton won the men’s band 6 event at the Tipton Grand Prix after a series of confident performances to seal a surprise win despite being only seeded in the middle of the draw. In fact, both finalists, Houghton and Craig Brown, overcame the odds to get through their group in top spot on Saturday morning.

Houghton upset the tournament’s third seed Ben Glover in a 3-0 (11-0, 11-6, 11-6) win before also despatching competition from Leigh Hipkins and Gareth Edmunds. Meanwhile, Brown, the bottom seed in his group, upset Craig Allen, Yury Zhelyabouskiy and Minesh Pitamber to progress in first.

Houghton then defeated Allen 3-0, Pawel Lipiec 3-1 and James Kelly 3-1 to set up the final appearance against Brown who had to battle his way past Joshua Bleakley 3-2 (11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 3-11, 11-7) in the semi-final.

Perhaps fatigued after that performance, Brown was unable to pick up the pace and found it to his cost, quickly falling 2-0 behind in the final. Although he claimed the third end 11-3, a tight 13-11 game going to Houghton sealed the fate of the band 6 title.

Tipton Grand Prix Final Results
Men’s Band 1
Chris Doran bt Kenny Lindsey 3-1 (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8)
Women’s Band 1
Charlotte Bardsley won round robin. Kate Cheer runner-up.
Men’s Band 2
Matthew Leete bt John Taylor 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-6)
Women’s Band 2
Charlotte Bardsley won round robin. Emma Ludlow runner-up.
Men’s Band 3
Shayan Siraj bt Lucas Papantoniou 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 11-7)
Women’s Band 3
Jasmin Wong bt Lauren Evans 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-4)
Men’s Band 4
Craig Preece bt Matthew Evans 3-2 (9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 6-11, 13-11)
Women’s Band 4
Rebecca Plaistow bt Darcie Proud 3-0 (11-6, 13-11, 11-6)
Men’s Band 5
Craig Brown bt Louie Evans 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-8)
Men’s Band 6
James Houghton bt Craig Brown 3-1 (11-5, 11-6, 3-11, 13-11)