Channel Island number 1 Garry Dodd (pictured) further cemented his position as one of the all-time greats of the sport as he brushed aside all Caesarean opposition without dropping a leg to win his 3rd consecutive and 4th overall Channel Island Top 12 title. The competition is widely regarded as one of the toughest to win due to the requirement to play against the top 11 other players across the Islands over 2 days. Such was his dominance this year that he only dropped a single leg en route to the win, that being to Scott Romeril in the Guernsey qualifying tournament.
Dodd breezed past Victoria Barnes, Jack Mills and Eugene Ellis in the first half of matches and his closest match came in round 4 against fellow southpaw Josh Band. Despite the convincing 3-0 score line, Dodd was extended to deuce in each of the opening 2 legs before turning on the heat to cruise through the 3rd. This result kicked the Sarnian into top form for his final two matches against Jersey’s highest qualifying players. Chris Morshead is fast becoming one of Jersey’s top players and he has secured victory over Craig Gascoyne already this season in Jersey. Dodd was absolutely ruthless against the chopper and cruised to a straight game win, losing just 11 points in the process, an 11-0 outcome in game 2. But his best was left to the end against Jersey’s number 1, Hugo Tupper. The outcome of the match was simple; whoever won the match would be crowned champion. Dodd was now firing on all cylinders and he crushed the Jersey player for the loss of a paltry 10 points.
This win had an added bonus for the Guernsey contingent as it meant that Scott Romeril finished in 2nd position. Romeril had played some top table tennis on the day as he mirrored Dodd’s feat of 6 wins out of 6. His closest matches came against Hugo Tupper and Josh Band, whom he defeated over the full 5 game distance. His defeat in the Guernsey qualifying to Paul Hainsworth meant that he finished on the same points as Tupper, however his 5 game win over the Jersey player ensured the runner-up spot was his with Tupper taking 3rd.
The other Guernsey qualifiers finished in positions 7-10 and they were made up of Joshua Stacey, Paul Hainsworth, Lawrence Stacey and Dawn Morgan respectively. All players competed well and all 4 defeated Jack Mills and Victoria Barnes. Hainsworth enjoyed further success with a 4 game win over Band in the final round of matches.
There was good support at the event from local spectators and the tournament was run excellently by Lionel Jones, with Brian Le Cras’ team of umpires rounding off the smoothly ran competition.
The results from Dodd and Romeril are an early encouragement ahead of the Channel Island Championships which will be held in Jersey at the end of April.