Igor Morais won the Men’s Band 1 event at the Bribar Guildford Grand Prix when he upset the seedings to beat ETTA coach Craig Bryant in the final.
Morais had progressed through the knock-out stages with convincing wins over Reece Placid, Thomas Maynard and Scott Barton before he met the top seed Bryant in the final. Bryant’s route to the final was much more difficult as Daniel Basterfield took him to five games in the semi-final.
The final saw the first two games won by Morais in tight encounters 13-11 and 11-9. Bryant fought back in the third to take it 11-8 but Morais was at his attacking best – releasing numerous fiery backhands to take the fourth game 11-5 and the Grand Prix title to boot.
While youth beat experience in the men’s band 1 it was the reverse in women’s band 1 as Sue Collier defeated Welsh girl Chloe Thomas in five tight games.
Collier had to beat the returning Tressa Armitage in five games to reach the final but once there she seemed in complete control against Thomas at 2-0 up after 15-13 and then 11-7 games.
However, Thomas wasn’t done there and she turned the tide to win the next two games and level the match at 2-2. The Welsh girl continued this form to lead 8-6 in the decider when Collier called time-out. It worked perfectly – although she fell 10-9 behind and had to save a match point – she eventually won 12-10 after using all her experience to win the day.
Huge controversy reigned in the morning’s Men’s Band 2 as Danny Lawrence defended his title from the Tees Sport City of Liverpool GP but not before the dramatic five-game final with Scott Barton had fallen into dispute.
Lawrence had made the final following victories over Joseph Langham-Ferreira, Alan Cherry and Steve Forster in the knock-out rounds while Barton had beaten Miki Sinanan, Zoltan Hosszu and Alain Choo-Choy in the same stages.
The final between the pair saw Barton power ahead to a 2-0 lead before Lawrence fought back with a dramatic 15-13 third game (saving five match points) and a steady 11-6 fourth game.
The drama all erupted in the fifth game at 9-9. The match, already a classic, then turned in Lawrence’s favour with his first match-point at 10-9 but two consecutive points from Barton gave him an 11-10 lead.
Then it happened. With Barton well in control of the rally, the ball dribbled in from the adjacent court. The let was called as Barton smashed the match-winner, which didn’t please Barton or his father.
A succession of match points came and went for each player before eventually, Lawrence fired a rapid forehand return to win the game 20-18 and secure back-to-back titles under a cloud of controversy. In total he saved 12 match points.
Maria Tsaptsinos won the Women’s Band 2 with a comprehensive victory in the final against Jas Ould. Tsaptinos had already met Ould in the groups where she won 3-1 before both passed through their respective semi-finals against group one winner Sue Collier, and runner-up Ikue Humphrey respectively.
The final was a more one-sided affair as Tsaptsinos won the opening game 11-6 before holding her nerve in a tight 12-10 game. A 5-0 lead in game three proved more than enough as she cruised to the title.
Men’s Band 3 proved full of surprises as Jersey’s expert defender Chris Morshead beat Dan Barna in the final.
With seeds falling left, right and centre – the pair kept their heads to reach the final. Morshead with a confident victory over Sam Mabey and Barna with a revenge win over Luke Savill after the cadet had beaten him in the morning.
However, Barna was unable to overcome the supreme defensive skills of Morshead in the final as the boy from Jersey kept his nerve to win in four games.
Similar to the Men’s Band 3 final, the Women’s Band 3 final was ultimately one-sided as Maria Tsaptsinos coasted her way to a second title of the day. She found no problems throughout her Band 3 campaign and this continued into the final.
Her opponent, Ikue Humphrey, did manage to level at 1-1 with a 12-10 game after Tsaptsinos had blasted the first game 11-2. However, the following two games went the same way as the first with total dominance from Tsaptsinos to cruise to the title.
Luke Savill won an incredible Band 4 final after coming back from 10-6 down in the final game to win 12-10 against Alex Forshaw, who himself had comeback from 2-0 down in the same match.
Both made the final after shock semi-final wins. Forshaw defeated top seed Sam Mabey 3-2 while Savill had beaten Dan Barna at the same stage.
Like the Band 2 final, Savill was 2-0 up before Forshaw fought back with 11-3 and 11-9 games to force the decider. In the fifth game Forshaw found himself leading both 6-2 and 8-3 before creating four match points at 10-6. However, Savill found another gear and took six consecutive points to win the title 12-10 and ensure his perma-smile (not present on many GP players) was carried through to the end.
Amy Blagbrough was the Champion of the Women’s Band 4 event after she beat both of her opponents in the round-robin event. The deciding match in the end was Blagbrough versus Hannah McErlane in which Blagbrough came from 2-0 behind to win 3-2 (8-11. 4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8).
The Men’s Band five final was played in almost total silence as it started well past the finishing time of all the other bands. Few spectators remained to watch as the clock ticked on but there was still enough time for Gabriel Achampong to secure the title.
He did so with two comprehensive wins at the end of the day. Firstly, a comfortable 3-0 victory over Omar Khassal in the semi-final before another 3-0 win in the final against Elson Costa.
Any thoughts Costa had of a comeback from 2-0 down were soon quashed when Achampong took a 7-0 lead in the third game to virtually seal the title.
Hugo Pang was the winner of the Men’s Band 6 after he beat Elson Costa in another five-game thriller on Saturday.
Pang and Costa had met in the group stages with Costa winning 3-1 (11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7) but Pang avenged that defeat in the final when the pair met again with a 3-2 victory.
Like both of the other morning men’s bands, the final went to a deciding fifth game where this time Pang took an 8-6 lead which forced Costa into a time-out. It didn’t work though as the youngster secured the game 11-7 and the title with it.
Bribar Guildford Grand Prix Final Results
Men’s Band 1:
Igor Morais bt Craig Bryant 3-1 (13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5)
Women’s Band 1:
Sue Collier bt Chloe Thomas 3-2 (15-13, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10)
Men’s Band 2:
Daniel Lawrence bt Scott Barton 3-2 (6-11, 10-12, 15-13, 11-6, 20-18)
Women’s Band 2:
Maria Tsaptsinos bt Jas Ould 3-0 (11-6, 12-10, 11-3)
Men’s Band 3:
Chris Morshead bt Dan Barna 3-1 (11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 12-10)
Women’s Band 3:
Maria Tsaptsinos bt Ikue Humphrey (11-2, 10-12, 11-4, 11-1)
Men’s Band 4:
Luke Savill bt Alex Forshaw 3-2 (11-5, 12-10, 3-11, 9-11, 12-10)
Women’s Band 4:
Round-robin: Champion Amy Blagbrough
Men’s Band 5:
Gabriel Achampong bt Elson Costa 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-2)
Men’s Band 6:
Hugo Pang bt Elson Costa 3-2 (6-11, 11-5, 12-14, 11-9, 11-7)