Chris Doran’s streak of winning the last seven Grands Prix he had entered was ended at the Burgess Hill Satellite event at the weekend.

There was a very low entry of only 68 entrants in total this year, despite the only clashes being the English Schools Individual National Finals on the Saturday, and Senior British League Premier Division and a veterans’ tournament in Draycott, both on the Sunday.

Particularly disappointing was the lack of women’s entries as the only women’s event to run was the Women’s Band 2 and even then a Band 4 player had to be moved up to Band 2, just to make a group of three.

Other than the low numbers, the event ran smoothly and the big story was Doran losing a very close 3-0 to Artur Daniel, who flew over from Poland for the tournament.

As for the Men’s Banded events, two players excelled to win both of their bands, James Smith (K) taking the honours in Bands 1 and 2 and Alex Ahl (Mi) doing the same in Bands 4 and 5. Thanks to Jim Skinner and Amila Thilakarathna, who assisted at the referee’s desk.

Men’s Singles

There were 29 entries in this the biggest event of the weekend, divided into eight groups.

There were no major surprises at the group stage. Top seed, Chris Doran made his way to the final at the expense of Yury Zhelyabouskiy (Mi), Pedro Santos (Sx) and Guillaume Legrand (Sx) all 3-0, although he did lose an end in the group to Amila Thilakarathna (Sx).

Artur Daniel (POL), didn’t concede an end on his route to the final, defeating Stuart Laws (Nk), Harry McCarney (Sx), and Martin Gunn (Av) in the knockout stages. The other quarter-final results were Legrand beating Chris Cockburn (Nk) 3-0 and Gunn overcoming the higher ranked Zoltan Hosszu (Mi) in four very close games.

The final was extremely close and although Doran had chances in all three games, he lost to Daniel 10-12, 10-12, 10-12.

Men’s Band 1

Sherwin Ramata and James Smith

This event was a round-robin of four players. James Smith (K), the second highest ranked player in the group, won the event, beating both Daniel Moses (Bk) and McCarney 3-0 and beating Sherwin Remata (Mi) 3-1.

Remata beat Moses and McCarney 3-0 to get second place and Moses defeated McCarney in the fifth set for third place.

Men’s Band 2

James Smith and Daniel Moses

There were two groups of four in the Men’s Band 2. There was one upset at the group stage, with McCarney overcoming Remata in five sets. Top seed, Shaquille Webb-Dixon (Sy), saw off both McCarney and Remata in five. Moses won Group 2, with Smith in second place.

In the semi-finals, Smith knocked out Webb-Dixon 11-7 in the decider and Moses took out McCarney 3-0. Smith then beat Moses in the fifth set in the final.

Men’s Band 3

Mark Collins and Hiroshi Furuta

There were 10 players in this category in three groups. After a good showing in Band 4 (see below), Sam Ricks (Bk) failed to get out of his Band 3 group, losing to an in-form David Ramsey (Wa) 11-9 in the fifth set.

No 2 seed Mark Collins (Sx) won the whole event with ease, only dropping one end to Cockburn in the semi-final. Hiroshi Furuta (Mi), the lowest ranked player in Band 3, did very well, beating three higher ranked players, coming second in his group to Cockburn, but then getting a maximum win over the No 1 seed from Kent in the semi-final. However, he was no match for Collins in the final, who demolished him.

Men’s Band 4

Alex Ahl and Sam Ricks

There were 17 players in four groups in this event. Three of the four seeds won their groups, the exception being fourth seed, Dale Campbell (K), who lost to cadet Fraser Kent (Sx) in four, but came second in the group.

In the quarter-finals Alex Ahl (Mi) beat No 1 seed Cockburn 3-1, Robert Pelc (Sy) beat Kent 3-2, Campbell ousted third seed, Jarek Klamut (Sx) 3-0 and Ricks overcame Chris Hall (K) in five sets.

Ahl beat Pelc in four in the semi-final and Ricks overcame Campbell in five. The final was a repeat of a group match where Ricks had beaten Ahl in five. However in a very dramatic final, Ahl overturned this result, winning 17-15 in the fifth set.

Men’s Band 5

Mahmood Kelani and Sam Ricks

This was the band with the highest number of entries, with 26 players in seven groups. All of the seeds won their groups, which is a rarity in Band 5, with under-ranked or unranked players usually dominating.

In the quarters Ahl beat Chris Pullinger (Sy) 3-0, Kent got his own back on Pelc, winning 3-0, Michael Spiteri (Sy) beat Hall 3-0 and Mahmood Kelani (K) beat Filippo Sabatini (E) 3-1.

In the semis Ahl defeated Kent in four, despite losing the second game 11-0. In the bottom half of the draw, Kelani knocked out Spiteri in four.

Ahl, who had just scraped a victory over Kelani 13-11 in the fifth in the group, stepped up a gear in the final to beat him in straight sets.

Men’s Band 6

Ben Chan and Damien Gray

There were 21 players spread across five groups in this band. In Group 1, cadet Owen Brown (Sx) of the host club, Horsham Spinners, beat the No 1 seed Pullinger in four and won the group. Another cadet, Jack Trafford (Do) also did very well to win his group.

In the quarters, Damien Gray (Sy) beat Brown in three, Horsham Spinners player Alan Stone (Sx) beat Rafal Bajda (Mi) in four, Ben Chan (Sy) defeated Jacob Blackburn (Do) in four and Kelani knocked out Trafford in four.

Gray weathered the storm to beat Stone in five in the semis and in the other half, Chan beat Kelani also in five. The final was another five-setter, won by Chan.

Women’s Band 2

Sarah Horsnell and Sally Henke

This was a round robin group of three players. In the first match, Lynne Trussell (Sx), who had been moved up from Band 4 to make up numbers, almost had a massive win over Sarah Horsnell (Mi), as she led 10-9 in the fifth set, but it was not to be, as Horsnell cam back to win 13-11. Sally Henke (Sx) then dispatched Trussell 3-0, before losing in four to the slightly lower ranked Horsnell.

Open Doubles

Jarek Klamut and Artur Daniel

There were four pairs in the doubles event, in one group. Top seeds Daniel and Klamut were much too good for the others.

The other three pairs, all junior players, had a good battle for second place, which was achieved somewhat unexpectedly by brothers Damien and Ollie Gray.

Mixed Restricted Singles

Pedro Santos and Chris Cockburn

This was a large round-robin group of eight players. Top seed Cockburn won six matches, but lost to Santos in the decisive match 11-6 in the fifth set and so got the silver medal. Santos won all of his matches to get the gold medal, but had to save match points to beat Campbell 14-12 in the fifth.

Third place went to Sabatini, who won five times including a fifth set win over Ramsey. Campbell came fourth with four wins, including five-set victories over Ramsey, Patrick Garlick (Bk) and Tim Hampton (Ha).

Veteran’s Singles

Martin Gunn and Shaun Parsley

This had nine players and two groups. Top seed Gunn won group 1, with a group-deciding five set win over Shaun Parsley (Sx). Laws won Group 2, following the withdrawal of the No 2 seed.

In the semi-finals Gunn and Parsley dispatched John Hope (Mi) and Laws respectively with ease, both 3-0 to set up a repeat of their group game. In the final Parsley took the first game, but Gunn fought back to win the next three.

Men’s U21s Singles

Sam Ricks and Charlie Graham-Adams

There were three groups and 10 players in this event, following the withdrawal of the top two seeds. In Group 1, Charlie Graham-Adams (Sx) of Horsham Spinners TTC was the winner, with Eddie Haines (Bk) narrowly getting second place, with a very close win over Ollie Gray.

Group 2 went to a countback. Will Michell (Sx) also of Horsham Spinners suffered an unexpected loss 12-10 in the fifth set to Alessio Marrocco (Sx) in his first match, but went on to make amends, beating Damien Gray 11-9 in the fifth. Damien beat Alessio 3-0 to win the group and Michell went through in second place.

Group 3 was competitive, with the now top seed Ricks winning, but being extended to five sets by the fourth placed Brown. Ahl got second place in the group.

In the quarters, Ahl defeated Michell in four and Ricks beat fellow Berkshire player Haines in three. In the semis Graham-Adams had a tremendous four set win over Ahl and Ricks knocked out Gray, also in four.

Graham-Adams took the early lead in the final against a player almost 1000 points above him in the rankings. He won the first two games, but Ricks soldiered on, eventually winning in five games.

Summary of results

Men’s Band 1
1st: James Smith (K); 2nd: Sherwin Remata (Mi)
Men’s Band 2
James Smith (K) beat Daniel Moses (Bk) 3-2 (11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-7)
Men’s Band 3
Mark Collins (Sx) beat Hiroshi Furuta (Mi) 3-0 (11-6, 11-3, 11-3)
Men’s Band 4
Alex Ahl (Mi) beat Sam Ricks (Bk) 3-2 (5-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-4, 17-15)
Men’s Band 5
Alex Ahl (Mi) beat Mahmood Kelani (K) 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-8)
Men’s Band 6
Ben Chan (Sy) beat Damien Gray (Sy) 3-2 (3-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5)
Women’s Band 2
1st: Sarah Horsnell (Mi); 2nd: Sally Hughes (Sx)
Men’s Singles
Artur Daniel (POL) beat Chris Doran (Np) 3-0 (12-10, 12-10, 12-10)
Open Doubles
Artur Daniel (POL) and Jarek Klamut (Sx) beat Damien and Ollie Gray (Sy) 3-0
Mixed Restricted Singles
1st: Pedro Santos (Sx); 2nd: Chris Cockburn (Nk)
Veteran’s Singles
Martin Gunn (Av) beat Shaun Parsley (Sx) 3-1 (12-14, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8)
Men’s U21s Singles
Sam Ricks (Bk) beat Charlie Graham-Adams (Sx) 3-2 (7-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7)