Ryan Jenkins won the Men’s Singles at the Tees Sport Blackpool Grand Prix with an exciting 3-1 victory over English number four Daniel Reed.
In reaching the final the pair had only conceded one game apiece to their respective opponents as their class shone through in their consistency and flair.
Jenkins beat Gerry Campbell (3-0), Lewis Gray (3-0), Daniel Basterfield (3-1) and Gavin Rumgay (3-0) to reach the final. His much anticipated semi-final match against Rumgay was full of class with Jenkins in particular oozing confidence in his backhand.
The tone of the match was set early on as the Welshman raced into a 7-1 lead in game one before the Scot fought back. However, it wasn’t enough as Jenkins held on 11-8.
As hard as Rumgay fought, he couldn’t defeat the consistent Jenkins, who ended up winning in three straight 11-8 games.
Reed’s progression to the final was similar with supreme dominance over most of his matches. In beating Jonathan Taylor, Tomasz Rzeszotko and Chris Main he didn’t even drop a game as he reached the semi-final fixture against Chris Doran.
Doran had recently won both the Doncaster GP and Jersey Open but couldn’t live with Reed’s ever-present attacking sturdiness. Although Doran took the first game 11-6, Reed found his rhythm and took the next three 11-6, 11-7, 12-10.
The final itself started poorly for Reed who served into the edge of the table on the first point. However, he managed to recover as three-consecutive shots into the net from Jenkins gave the Englishman a 7-4 lead.
Jenkins recovered well to win seven of the next eight points and take the first game to lead 1-0. It was a similar story in the second for the Welsh number 1 as he took it 11-7 to accrue a dominant 2-0 lead.
Reed wasn’t totally finished though as he hit back to take the third game 11-4 to give himself a ray of light. In the end it meant little as Jenkins remained steady in the fourth as his experience won through to win it 11-7 and take home the title.
In the Women’s Singles it was a tale of Yuko Tsuji’s dominance as she raced to the title – dropping only one game in the entire competition.
She cruised through her group with consecutive 3-0 victories over Helen Rutherford, Xue Bai and Daniella Gray before she continued that form into the knock-out stages to defeat Janay Gibson 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 11-3) to reach the semi-finals.
In the semi-final she met Karina Le Fevre who was the only player who managed to take a game off the Manchester based player when she claimed the second 11-5 in her 3-1 defeat.
In the other half of the draw, the absence of second seed Hannah Hicks meant that Welsh pair Charlotte Carey and Megan Phillips were able to meet in the semi-final.
Carey beat her compatriot 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 13-11) to face Tsuji, but the task was too hard to overcome as Tsuji ran out a comfortable 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-5) winner.
In the Men’s Under-21s is was victory for Lewis Gray over Scott Barton that took the title back to the Grantham College players home after an exciting five-game final.
Reaching the final, Gray made short work of Senri O’Hara, Adam Nutland and Richard Main while Barton also had steady progression apart from his match against counterpart Chris Wheeler which went down to 11-9 in the fifth.
The final again was a close affair with the first game the tightest of them all. Barton keeping himself ahead throughout but very narrowly – keeping Gray interested. However, the Scot held his nerve to take it 11-9.
Gray hit back immediately to win the second 11-5 only to lose a dramatic third 11-9. Barton had led 8-5 before Gray pulled back to lead 9-8 in the topsy-turvy game.
If you thought that would prove costly for Gray the deficit was instantaneously eradicated as Gray won the fourth game an astonishing 11-0. His run continued into the decider where he won 16 out of 17 points before Barton took a time out at 5-1 down.
It helped a little but only prolonged the defeat, which was sealed by Gray 11-7.
The Women’s Under-21 final was a similar story as Karina Le Fevre and Charlotte Carey took each other to five energy-absorbing games.
Le Fevre, who had beaten Emma Vickers in the semi-final, took the first game against Carey, who had earlier come through against Natalie Slate in the last four.
The final itself was a tiring affair with both players feeling the effects of a long day. Le Fevre went ahead in the first 11-6 but was pegged back by the Welsh girl by an identical scoreline in the second. When Carey took a tight 12-10 third game you sensed the game was up for Le Fevre.
However, the English number six had different ideas as she blew Carey apart in the fourth game. Not only taking it 11-2 but also highlighted the Welsh girls tiring legs. In due fashion Le Fevre finished the stronger and took the title with an 11-6 final game.
Tomasz Rzeszotko was the winner of the Veteran’s Singles event with an entertaining win in the final against Richard Lightowler.
Rzeszotko’s ability to fight back at the end of games proved vital as he twice won tight games when he was trailing comfortably early on. This happened in the first game when he trailed 10-8 before winning 12-10 to give himself the perfect start.
Lightowler hit back in the second 11-8 but the signs of Rzeszotko’s ability to fight back showed as he had actually trailed 8-2 in that game. The eventual winner then took the next two games as his opponent tired 12-10 and 11-6.
The Restricted Men’s final was won by Kev Dolder who won a tight four-game final with Chris Main from Scotland.
All four games went the full distance as the last match on show in Blackpool entertained the remaining crowd.
Dolder made the final after beating Mark Short while Main beat Jonathan Taylor in the semi-finals. It was Dolder who made the better start in the first game as he led 10-7 against Main. The Scot then fought back to 10-10 but Dolder eventually held his nerve to take the first 12-10.
Main won the second game in another tight 11-9 before Dolder dramatically won the final two games by consecutive 11-9 scorelines as the Tees Sport Blackpool Grand Prix came to a close.
Ryan Jenkins (WAL) bt Daniel Reed (Cv) 3-1 (11-8, 11-7, 4-11, 11-7)
Yuko Tsuji (JPN) bt Charlotte Carey (WAL) 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-5)
Lewis Gray (Sx) bt Scott Barton (SCO) 3-2 (9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-0, 11-7)
Karina Le Fevre (Cv) bt Charlotte Carey (WAL) 3-2 (11-6, 6-11, 10-12, 11-2, 11-6)
Tomasz Rzeszotko (Ch) bt Richard Lightowler (Y) 3-1 (12-10, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6)
Kev Dolder (La) bt Chris Main (SCO) 3-1 (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9)