The Britannia Suffolk Grand Prix third series (7th April)

King Gavin Rumgay still dominates the series!

A record 28 players attended the third event of this seasons Britannia Suffolk Grand Prix series on Sunday at the Britannia table tennis club in Ipswich

The attendees were undoubtedly the strongest in depth line up ever for a Suffolk ETTA ranking event, with two internationals and a host of the other players highly ranked in the country and it proved an overriding success!  it started at 9 15am and finished just over 12 hours later with nearly 120 games played.

In group one understandingly tournament number one seed Gavin Rumgay carried all before him without the loss of a game as the only woman player attending Dora Beke from Hungary got the nearest of all the players from taking a set of him losing the third end to nine!!

Gavin was joined in the band one section by Steve Joslin whose close wins over Andrew Warner and Tyla Anderson with just the one group defeat saw him come second. In the battle of third and fourth it was the exciting Anderson who just edged Warner deuce in the fifth! Richard Johnson is clearly coming back to form as he took Joslin to five sets and four sets with Anderson.

In Group two the top two seeds in the group Scotland’s Nial Cameron and Hungary’s Zoltan Hosszu were undefeated until their game which Cameron won comfortably 3-0 for them to finish first and second, then a three way split meant a count back on games won and lost as first Portugal’s Rui Campos dispatched Sussex’s Rory Scott 3-1 then Scott beat Suffolk’s Paul Broxton 3-0, only for Broxton to beat Campos 3-1 and on count back Campos exceeded his expected seeding coming fourth with Scot third and Broxton coming fifth.

Helmuth Osborne a regular at this event continued his improvement by taking a leg of Cameron and just losing to Scott having led 2-1 in games to finnish sixth!

Group three was undoubtedly the hardest group as the top six players were all worthy of band two inclusion and after which four players didn’t finish where they were seeded!

Joshua Nashad currently not ranked in the ETTA listings pushed Hon Kau Choy all the way in their match losing 3-2 and took a leg of Richard Hutchinson before getting his reward in beating comeback player Mario Michaellides 3-0 to finnish fifth, however Jo Jo Senorin became the only player not to qualify for band one where expected as he lost a cliff hanger at deuce in the fifth to Choy and in four sets to Suffolk’s Hutchinson.

Group top seed Nicholas Leung won all his games, but was extended to five sets both by Senorin and Michaelides. This all meant that Choy qualified for band one with Leung while Hutchinson came third and Senorin fourth.  Alex Zanunncio lost a tight four set battle to Michaellides for the battle of sixth and seventh.

In Group four brothers Jake and Ryan faced each other to decide the group winner having won all their previous games, not surprisingly it didn’t disappoint as Jake saved the fourth leg to take the match to a decider and then amid some breath taking rallies slightly forged ahead, only for Ryan to show his metal and just edge the decider 11-9, in the battle for third and fourth ‘The Octopus’ Paul Beck beat Andrew Dosher 3-1 with Colchester’s Jermaine Fearow fifth while friends Ashley Marsh and Kit Marsden  playing off for sixth and seventh place with Marsden a 3-0 winner.

The band one Championship section paired group winners with group runners up

In the first quarter final the all round game of Gavin Rumgay was just too much for Zoltan Hossza as scores of 2 4 4 suggest, much in contrast the second quarter final was a totally absorbing match between Nicholas Leung and Jake Collins as Collins twice came from behind in legs and finally edged a thriller 11- 8 in the decider.

Ryan Collins and Steve Joslin contested the third quarter final which was a repeat of the recent Ipswich closed championships semi final and although it was 3-0 to Collins the first and third legs were very tight, the final quarter saw Hon Kau Choy put up a valiant display against the number two seed Nial Cameron as he took the first set and Cameron could never completely relax against the difficult style of the penholder, but the Scottish number three turned the tables and finally ran out a 3-1 winner.

In the first semi final again Rumgay was in awesome form and try as he might Jake Collins like many other higher ranked players couldn’t halt the complete game of the Scottish number one but gave a respectful performance in losing 3-0, in the second semi Ryan Collins was paired with Niall Cameron, in last season’s corresponding GP Ryan achieved his best ever performance in beating the same player in the final, Cameron nicked the first end, but Ryan blitzed winners to take the second at 1, the experience of Cameron showed in the third end as he recovered to take it, but again Ryan responded amid some outstanding rallies to draw level at 2-2, in the final set Cameron got off to a good start from which he never surrendered and a won the decider 11-5.

The final brought to the table the number one and two players, with the number one seed Gavin Rumgay the big favourite with over 1000 more ranking points than Niall Cameron as this was a perfect showdown for their Commonwealth preparations later this month.

Gavin was in cruise control in the first two sets and still managed to entertain the crowd as he lobed Cameron from the outside of the courts, with Cameron attacking fiercely, these produced many long rallies but still the same outcome; mainly Rumgay winning the rallies.  Set three was much closer as Cameron opened up a gap which gave him more room to go for shots and for the first time Rumgay was under pressure, Cameron led 10-7, then Rumgay got back to 10-9 before a delighted crowd saw Cameron take the third end.  Rumgay focused  on getting a good start in the fourth which he did and Cameron never gave up but inevitably found the going tough as Rumgay  (ranked just outside the top 200 in the World rankings)  won his fifth consecutive Britannia Suffolk GP and showed that it will take a player of considerable international standing to beat him.

Final Results:

Final – Band One: 1st / 2nd Gavin Rumgay bt Niall Cameron 3-1 (11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6)

3rd / 4th Jake Collins w/o Ryan Collins

5th / 6th Zolton Hossza bt Hon Kau Choy 3-2 (11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 13-15, 11-8)

7th / 8th Nicholas Leung w/o Steve Joslin

Final – Band Two: 9th / 10th Richard Hutchinson bt Jo Jo Senorin 3-2 (11-5, 6-11, 13-11, 3-11, 11-8)

11th / 12th Tyla Anderson w/o Andrew Warner

13th / 14th Andrew Dosher bt Rory Scott 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-4)

15th / 16th Rui Campos w/o Paul Beck

Final – Band Three: 17th / 18th Joshua Nashad bt Jermaine Fearow 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-4)

19th / 20th  Mario Michaelides w/o Richard Johnson

21st / 22nd Helmuth Osborne bt Keiran Bean 3-1 (11-8, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6)

23rd / 24th Kit Marsden w/o Paul Broxton

Final – Band Four: 25th / 26th Alexandre Zanuncio bt Ashley Marsh 3-2 (11-7, 6-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-7)

27th / 28th Rus Calder bt Dora Beke  3-2 (11-4, 10-12, 9-11, 18-16, 11-9)