Day two of the Tees Sport Newcastle Grand Prix at Eldon Square leisure centre in plays host to the Men’s and Women’s open events in the morning, followed by the Under 21, Restricted and Veteran singles.

Star of the show was 17 year old Liam Pitchford, just returned with silver and bronze medals from India plus a win over world number 17 Gao Ning. Liam duly made his way to the final dropping just 2 sets; the first being his very 1st set of the day against David Low of Scotland and his second against Emran Hussain in the quarter-finals. Emran having picked up a good win against Stuart Crawford of Scotland in the last 16. In the other half of the draw Gavin Rumgay was getting his money’s worth in an epic 5 set match in round 2 against Sebastian Loso of Sweden. Three of the sets went all the way to deuce, with the first and last set ending 17-15, this lead to a captivating match, bringing almost the entire hall to a standstill. In the semi-finals Rumgay took a 3-0 victory over David McBeath who had previously accounted for another grand prix regular, Damien Nicholls. The other semi-final was contested between Liam Pitchford and Niall Cameron who himself had beaten Mathew Ware to reach the semi-final stage. The final was a largely one sided affair with Pitchford reaching the heights of his play in India to defeat the regular Grand Prix winner and current Grand Prix men’s singles Champion in 3 straight games.

In the women’s singles Lindsay Reynolds took control following the withdrawal of the number 1 seed Lauren Spink. She took the final in 3 straight sets against yesterday’s double banded winner Sue Collier. Emily Standing was Lindsay’s semi-final opponent; a game which she won 3-1, in the other half of the draw Sue Collier overcame the challenge of Caroline Hallows in a testing 5 set encounter.

The under 21 men’s singles event was taken by the number 1 seed and current under 21 Men’s singles Grand Prix Champion. In the final he beat Tom Maynard from the Bristol academy 3-0, who in reaching the final took a great semi final win over his Grantham academy opponent Mathew Ware. He followed that up with a 3-1 victory over Bristol academy new boy from Switzerland Denis Bernhard. Damien’s route to the final included wins over David McBeath and Ryan Collins, who had picked up a good win over Emran Hussain to reach the quarter final stage.

Emily Standing took revenge for defeat in the women’s singles group, by beating Caroline Hallows in the under 21 women’s singles final. The losing semi finalists were the Scottish duo of Lara Stirling and Jennifer Hart.

The mixed veteran’s event was won by local hero Eddie Smith who closed out the event by defeating the number 1 seed Abdul Wurola in a close fought 4 set final. In his semi-final Abdul beat Mark Land of Yorkshire, whilst Eddie Smith accounted for Gerry Campbell of Scotland. The pick of the quarter-finals was between Yorkshire rivals Richard Lightowler and Mark Land, which saw Mark come from 2-1 down to win 14-12 in the 5th end.

The final event of the day was the mixed restricted singles, Christopher Main proved too strong for the competition taking the final against Matthew Porter. Matt appearing in his 2nd consecutive restricted final was also runner up in Chris’ group allowing him to take his 2nd victory over him in just a few hours. Beaten semi-finalists were Chris Kendall and Ben Larcombe.

The Tees Sport player of the weekend was awarded to Emran Hussain of Grantham academy for his band 1 victory and win over Stuart Crawford amongst others. Big thanks to referee Aubrey Drapkin and assistants Nigel Coe, Dave Hutchinson and John Donnelly plus the army of blue coats working tirelessly throughout the weekend. Hope to see you all in Bristol.

Men’s Singles – Liam Pitchford bt. Gavin Rumgay 11-6, 11-5, 11-7
Women’s Singles – Lindsey Reynolds bt. Sue Collier 11-9, 11-7, 13-11
Under 21 Men’s Singles – Damien Nicholls bt. Tom Maynard 11-6, 12-10, 11-5
Under 21 Women’s Singles – Emily Standing bt. Caroline Hallows 12-10, 12-10, 11-6
Mixed Veterans Singles – Eddie Smith bt. Abdul Wurola 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8
Mixed Restricted Singles – Christopher Main bt. Matthew Porter 13-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-1

Matthew Morris and Matthew Porter