A total of 32 players took part in the Brighton Veterans 2 Star Ratings tournament in Southwick Leisure Centre.

Players were split into four bands, nine in Band 1 and eight in the other bands, although one player from Band 3 didn’t show up, leaving it with 7 players.

Only one of the top seeds won their band. The event was ably refereed by Sue Hayes from Cippenham TTC.

Band 1

Top seed, Rory Scott from Ireland and host club Horsham Spinners TTC, came through some very close matches, winning them all to get the gold medal. This was good preparation for his first matches representing Ireland in the Veterans 6 Nations in September.

Against Paul Martindill (E) he was match point down in the fourth set, but dug deep to win 13-11 & then 11-7 in the fifth. He was also extended to five sets by Samson Bekele (Sy). He won four matches 3-1, got a walkover from third seed, Chris Pickard (Mi), who had to retire after six matches with hip pain and paradoxically had his only straight sets win over the eventual runner-up Paul Beck (K).

There were three players who finished on five wins each: Beck, second seed, Hon Kau Choy (Ng) and Geoff Grange (Mi). Beck got the silver medal, as he beat both Choy 12-10 in the fifth set and Grange 11-6 in the fifth. Beck lost to Martindill 3-1 and Pickard 3-2. Choy who also lost to Graham Barnes (Sx) came third, as he beat Grange 3-2, who therefore came fourth.

Bottom-ranked Barnes did well to win four matches and ended up fifth. He trailed 4-10 in the fourth at 1-2 down vs Pickard but recovered to win 12-10, 11-9. Sixth-placed Bekele won three matches, all in the deciding end vs Ken Read (St), Martindill and impressively vs Pickard. He also lost to Grange in five, so got his money’s worth.

Band 2

The band 2 top two

No 1 seed Alex Aston (He) had a day to forget. He won three of his seven matches, losing to bottom-ranked Dean Rose (K) and also to Michael Wilkins (Bu), Roger Pingram (K) and second seed, Tony Catt (Sx) all by a 3-1 scoreline. He ended up in sixth position in a two-way count-back with Pingram, who came fifth.

Rose got five unexpected wins to snatch the silver medal. He beat Wilkins 3-2, Catt 11-9 in the fifth, Dennis Hayden (Sx) 3-2, Alan Stone (Sx) 3-0 as well as his win over Aston. Wilkins also fared extremely well with six wins, just losing to Rose and took the gold medal. Five of his wins were against players ranked above him, so Rose and Wilkins will climb the rankings.

Catt had five wins like Rose, but both his losses were 11-9 in the fifth to Rose as mentioned and to Wilkins. On countback Catt finished third, as he lost to Rose. Two of Catt’s wins were also 3-2, against Hayden and Pingram. Vadym Krevs (UKR) finished fourth with four wins, also beating Hayden in the fifth set, totalling three fifth set losses for Hayden, but he took some consolation in beating Pingram 11-9 in the fifth.

Band 3

Band 3 winner Elroy Edwards

Band 3 was won by second seed Elroy Edwards (Bd), who like Scott won all of his matches. He beat top seed, Laurence Symonds (Gs) in the closest match of the day 9-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-13, 16-14! Edwards only dropped one other end, which was against third seed, Ken Lewis (E).

Lewis won four matches, including a five-setter vs Ajay Shah (Sy) and finished second. Bottom-ranked Chris Pullinger did well to win three matches, including another five-ender vs Shah and finished third in a two-way countback with unranked Simon Kempton (Sy) (placed in Band 3 by ability rather than ranking), whom he beat, meaning Kempton came fourth. Shah got fifth place with two wins.

Symonds had a bad day, only winning twice (one of which was 13-11 in the fifth vs Kempton) and finished sixth. Spare a thought for Jonathan Chernett (Sy), who started well in his first two matches taking a 2-0 lead in both cases vs Pullinger and Kempton, but was pegged back and lost 11-8 in the fifth to both. He did however, get some consolation with a deciding end win vs Symonds and Chernett was the second lowest ranked player, so not too bad a showing.

Band 4

Band 4 winner John Dyson

This was a mixed group, with two ladies, Sue Pingram (K) and Lynne Trussell (Sx) and six men. Combination bat player John Dyson (K), used his long pimples to great effect, winning all seven of his fixtures, just conceding three ends over all his matches. The runners-up spot went to countback, with both unranked William Panes (Wa) and highest-ranked male player, Graeme Smith (Ha) winning five times. Since Panes defeated Smith, he got the silver medal.

There were only two five-set matches in the whole band, with Smith beating Pingram 3-2 and Alan Papier (Av) beating Panes 3-2. Pingram came fourth with four wins, including the important one vs Trussell, which was three close games. Trussell came fifth with three wins in a two-way countback with Papier, also with two.

Final Placings

Band 1
1) Rory Scott (IRL)
2) Paul Beck (K)
3) Hon Kau Choy (Ng)
4) Geoff Grange (Mi)
5) Graham Barnes (Sx)
6) Samson Bekele (Sy)
7) Chris Pickard (Mi)
8) Paul Martindill (E)
9) Ken Read (St)

Band 2
1) Michael Wilkins (Bu)
2) Dean Rose (K)
3) Tony Catt (Sx)
4) Vadym Krevs (UKR)
5) Roger Pingram (K)
6) Alex Aston (He)
7) Alan Stone (Sx)
8) Dennis Hayden (Sx)

Band 3
1) Elroy Edwards (Bd)
2) Ken Lewis (E)
3) Chris Pullinger (Sy)
4) Simon Kempton (Sy)
5) Ajay Shah (Sy)
6) Laurence Symonds (Gs)
7) Jonathan Chernett (Sy)

Band 4
1) John Dyson (K)
2) William Panes (Wa)
3) Graeme Smith (Ha)
4) Sue Pingram (K)
5) Lynne Trussell (Sx)
6) Alan Papier (Av)
7) Stephen Nelson-Smith (Ha)
8) Ian Fowlds (Sx)