Just 18 players took part in the Jarvis Sports Horsham Spinners Veterans and Senior 1 Star Ratings tournament on 8th December at the home of Horsham Spinners Table Tennis Club, Farlington School, but a successful tournament still took place and six of the nine tables were used.

There was one large round-robin group of 10 players for the seniors. 13 players entered the vets, which was not enough for a conventional ratings tournament, with two bands of eight players. Therefore we had to be creative with the format, in order for all players to get seven or eight matches. See the veterans report for more details.

For the ninth time out of nine, Rory Scott (IRL) won the Veterans Band 1, with eight wins out of eight, just losing one end 10-12 to Bob Lowe (Sx). He also won the Seniors for the seventh time out of eight, with nine wins, losing three games. Jonathan Chernett (Sy) got his first title, winning the Veterans Band 2.

Veterans initial groups:

There were initially three groups of four or five players. Then the top two from each group progressed into a Band 1 of six players and the remaining players went into a Band 2 of seven players. In Bands 1 and 2, players did not play against players against whom they had already played in the initial groups.

In Group 1, unranked Paul Rowley came second to Scott, with three 3-0 wins. It is worthy of mention that Tony Power (Sx) just lost 13-11 in the fifth to Colin Barham (E) in this group. Second seed, Lowe, won Group 2, just losing one game to unranked Jeremy Kempton (Sx), who was the runner-up.

Group 3 had three very close matches, with fourth placed Philip Digby (Sx) losing in the fifth to both Chernett and unranked Adrian Cretu (Sy). Cretu also pushed third seed, Simon Kempton (Sy) to the fifth end. These two went into Band 1.

Veterans Band 1:

The Vets Band 1 winners

So there ended up being three unranked good standard players in the Band 1, who would otherwise have been in Band 2 in the standard ratings tournament format. No matches went to five games in Band 1. There was only one case of an unranked player beating a seeded player, which was when Jeremy upset older brother Simon in straight games. As mentioned earlier, Scott won all of his matches to win the band.

Both Simon and Bob won three matches each and the silver medal was awarded to Kempton on the basis that he won their head to head (in four games). Jeremy and Paul both won twice and Rowley finished in fourth place as he had defeated Kempton (in four). Cretu brought up the rear in sixth place.

Veterans Band 2:

Chernett won all five of his second round matches to win the band, just losing the one end to runner-up Graham Underwood (Do). Underwood won his remaining matches, just dropping one game to third placed Digby. Digby won two five-enders vs fourth placed Mick Stanners (Sy-three wins) and fifth place Colin Barham (E-two wins). Alison Jordan (Sx) didn’t perform well by her standards, just beating partner Power, although she did extend Barham to five.


The top two in the seniors

Scott won all nine of his matches as mentioned above, beating runner-up, Lee McHugh, seeded second in straight games 11-8, 12-10, 11-8. McHugh won his remaining eight matches, conceding five games in total, but not being taken to five. Abdur-Rahman Kelani (K) finished in third place, but only won one match 3-0 and just scraped over the line vs Jozef Krakovsky (Sx) 12-10 in the decider.

As many as four players won four matches each, hence a count-back took place. The number of group points were taken into account first. Two group points are awarded for a win, one group point for a loss and zero group points for a concession. Cretu had left early and conceded two matches and hence ended up with two group points less than the other three, leaving just three players in the count-back.

Next, wins in matches between the three remaining players were considered and they all won one each. Next, for and against games ratio was considered, but since all three matches in the trio went to the fifth game, it became a points count-back between the three players. Krakovsky defeated Mina Matta (Sx), Matta overcame Digby and Digby prevailed over Krakovsky. After considering the points for and against ratio, the following finishing positions emerged: fourth Krakovsky, fifth Digby and sixth Matta.

Peter Cracknell (Sx) won thrice and finished in seventh place, while Stanners won twice and finished eighth with the same number of group points as Cretu, but since Cretu had given Stanners a walkover, Cretu finished below him in ninth place. Digby was involved in an impressive quintet of five-game matches, winning three of them: 11-9 in the fifth vs Stanners, and 12-10 in the fifth vs both Krakovsky and Barham. He lost 12-10 in the fifth to Cracknell and 11-9 in the fifth to Matta. He must have been tired with all of those five setters and having played 17 matches on the day!

Other five setters included Cracknell defeating Barham 11-8, Krakovsky overcoming Stanners 12-10, Matta getting the better of Cracknell 11-3. A massive seven matches in the group were decided by just the minimum two points.

Final placings:

Veterans Band 1: 1) Rory Scott (IRL), 2) Simon Kempton (Sy), 3) Bob Lowe (Sx), 4) Paul Rowley (Sy), 5) Jeremy Kempton (Sx), 6) Adrian Cretu (Sy).

Veterans Band 2: 1) Jonathan Chernett (Sy), 2) Graham Underwood (Do), 3) Philip Digby (Sx), 4) Mick Stanners (Sy), 5) Colin Barham (E), 6) Alison Jordan (Sx), 7) Tony Power (Sx).

Seniors: 1) Rory Scott (IRL), 2) Lee McHugh (E), 3) Abdur-Rahman Kelani (K), 4) Jozef Krakovsky (Sx), 5) Philip Digby (Sx), 6) Mina Matta (Sx), 7) Peter Cracknell (Sx), 8) Mick Stanners (Sy), 9) Adrian Cretu (Sy), 10) Colin Barham (E).