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Jack Carrington Tournament January 2013

posted 23 Jan 2013, 14:48 by Martin Sarre   [ updated 23 Jan 2013, 14:58 ]
Guernsey Table Tennis Association Jack Carrington Tournament Report


15 Year old Alex Robinson (pictured) came of age on Monday evening by claiming his first Senior Tournament title, the
Jack Carrington. The 6th seeded youngster came to the fore by defeating top seed Jez Powell in the final of
the tournament that excludes players that have competed in the Green trophy over the past years. With
Garry Dodd, Phil Ogier and Scott Romeril out of contention due to this stipulation, the draw was wide open
with numerous players in the mix for the win. 2 such players unable to compete were 2nd and 3rd seeds Adam
Langlois and Lawrence Stacey respectively due to illness.

The other 4 seeds present at the tournament each navigated their way through the group stage, but there
were a few strong performances from their opposition. Eventual finalist Powell had a battle on his hands when
he encountered the rapidly improving 11 year old Ben Foss. Foss is currently underway with his debut season
in Division 2 where he has defied his age en route to winning over half of his matches, a lot against high quality
experienced veterans of the local game. Despite this continued improvement, you would expect Powell’s
extra quality to be too much for the Junior. Foss was having none of it and opened up a 2-1 lead over the 2010
champion. Powell used all of his know how to steady the ship and eventually closed out the following 2 ends to
win 3-2. Foss just missed out on qualification in the end as he was defeated by the wily Maurice James.

Another junior who continues to impress is 16 year old James Rabey and he secured a top drawer straight
game win over 1st division player Martin Sarre in the group stages. Although he did not qualify from the new
format 5 man group, he also pressed division 2 averages leader Kay Chivers to a deciding end and 5th seed Paul
Hainsworth to 4 close ends.

Alex Robinson and Joshua Stacey made progress to the semi –finals look easy as they dispatched Division
2 regulars Chas Elliott and Peter Powell respectively without loss. Defending champion Liam Robilliard had
effectively taken Langlois’ spot as 2nd seed in the draw and he battled past Chivers in 4 games to take his
semi-final berth. The final quarter final was between Powell and Hainsworth in a clash which saw Powell race
through the opening 2 games with few problems. Hainsworth did well to overturn a 7-3 deficit in the 3 rd to win
12-10, but Powell’s combination of aggressive forehand topspin’s and controlled backhand strokes from his
pimpled rubber proved decisive.

Powell’s semi-final clash was a lot more comfortable than expected as he breezed past Stacey for the loss of
just 13 points. Stacey appeared to be greatly affected by the top seed’s use of pimple strokes and this led to a
few frustrated wasteful points. Powell rightly kept his foot on the gas to ensure that no comeback was on the
cards.

In the other semi-final it was Robinson who also came through in straight games, Robilliard on the wrong end
of the result. A crucial point in the match was the 2nd leg, which Robilliard had led 7-3. Robinson’s trademark
fighting spirit was a big factor in him winning the leg 13-11 and he went on to win the 3 rd with ease.

An unusual stat going into the final was the fact that no match had gone the full 5 game distance during the
knockout stages; the question was whether the final could produce this 5 end encounter. Robinson had shown
good form throughout the evening and his confidence was evident as he edged a hard fought first leg. Powell
recognised the need to apply more pressure and he raised his game considerably with more attacking strokes
to comfortably claim the following 2 ends. It looked like the match was coming to a close at 9-9 in the 4 th as
Powell had played an excellent point, with just a forehand smash to put away. Robinson was fortunate on
this occasion as Powell was unable to convert the glorious chance and put his smash off the end of the table.
Buoyed by this opportunity, Robinson made no mistake and won the following point to ensure the trophy
would be won in a decisive end. Powell made a great start to the decider by winning the first 2 points, but
unfortunately for him it went downhill from that point, Robinson again showing great fight and bottle to close
the match and his first senior tournament win out, 11-4 the final score.