Simon Pugh was the first home winner of the 9th Halifax Veterans Summer Open Championships played at Halifax TTC last weekend. From a record entry approaching 60 players, Pugh took the main event with a final victory over Durham’s Dave Robson.

Saturday saw group play in the men’s event and the finishing places in the Saturday groups determined which group the players went through to on the Sunday with three bands of men’s being scheduled.

The top 16 players qualified for the A banded event with the winner and runner-up qualifying for a top eight knock-out on Sunday afternoon and in the first quarter-final Pugh faced fellow Yorkshire player Ivan Lewis who had relegated top seed Liverpool’s Keith Williams into second place in the top group.

Pugh accounted for Lewis in four games; 11-6 11-6 6-1 11-5, to set up an all Yorkshire semi-final as he faced Hull’s Chris Clinton who defeated Worcestershire stalwart Roy Norton; 9-11 11-3 11-4 11-5.

The bottom half of the draw saw Robson beat Williams; 11-1 11-8 8-11 4-11 11-8, in their quarter-final and he would face Yorkshire-man and former winner Richard Lightowler who came through his semi-final with an; 11-5 11-4 11-8, victory over Lancashire player Brian Clements.

The first semi-final saw Pugh just scrape home against Clinton in a five game thriller; 11-6 1-13 11-6 9-11 11-8, where he would face Robson who accounted for Lightowler; 11-7 10-12 11-8 11-8.

The final proved to be something of an anti-climax but the set was over as a contest after the first game which Pugh took 14-12 as Robson then ran out of steam as Pugh powered through to take the next two games 11-5 11-7 and the £100 first prize.

There were also two more banded events in the men’s section which saw Yorkshire player Phil Cawser beat Lancashire’s Graham Coupe; 13-11 11-6 7-11 11-6, in the final of the band B event and in the band C event another Yorkshire player Phil Bell proved too strong for Ken Read of Staffordshire as Bell won; 12-10 6-11 11-6 11-6, in the final.

There was also a men’s doubles event on Sunday morning which saw the all-Yorkshire pairing of Clinton and Lewis beat the South Yorkshire/Yorkshire pairing of Shaun Bibby and Tim Dyson; 13-15 11-4 11-1 11-6, in the final.

The ladies were also well represented with 11 entrants which saw the county’s top veteran Sue Collier of Cheshire take the top prize in the event from good friend Sandra Rider and the pair also enjoyed top spot in the ladies double’s as they took a round robin event from Yorkshire players Lynne Thompson and Linda Sanderson.

There was also a ladies band 2 event which was won by Eileen Allison of Lincolnshire with Hull’s newcomer Linda Lo finishing as runner-up.

Barry Snowden

9th August 2011