Post date: May 04, 2019 9:34:52 PM
Lawrence Stacey capped off a highly successful season by adding the Division 1 Championship title to his trophy haul. Recently crowned as Men's Singles Island Champion and with his Whistlers B team having claimed the Division 1 title, Stacey claimed the domestic treble with victory over brother and doubles partner Josh in the final.
The top two seeds came across some stern tests along the way as Lawrence was pushed hard by top Division 2 player Jez Powell in the quarter final, nearly going 2 games down before rallying to win 7-11, 14-12, 11-7, 13-11. The best match of the evening was between Player of the Season winner Dan Collenette and Paul Hainsworth. Collenette made a sluggish start but fought back impressively from 2 games down to win 16-14 in the deciding end. The match between former teammates was an excellent spectacle between two open attacking payers and featured plenty of expansive topspin rallies and counter loops with neither player looking to go on the defensive.
Having performed heroics in the quarter final, the speed of Lawrence Stacey was too much for his younger opponent in the semi-final as Collenette went down 3 games to 1. In the other semi-final, Josh Stacey survived a fightback from Over-40s champion Phil Ogier, eventually winning 13-11, 12-10, 3-11, 7-11, 11-9. The last match was a predictably close affair between two players who have competed countless numbers of finals over the years, but it was Lawrence who took the initiative after the first two ends were shared and came out winner 13-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6 to claim his first Division 1 Singles title.
Division 2 Jez Powell only lost one Division 2 league match all season and underlined his ability with a win in the final over Kay Chivers. While the seeded players all progressed through their respective groups, there were some fascinatingly close battles in the knockout rounds. Particularly impressive was 17-year old Billy Ogier, who knocked out the dangerous Steve Ozanne by 3 games to 1 and then fellow junior Callum Gilson before eventually succumbing to Powell 3-1 in the semi-final. Earlier Gilson had claimed his own notable scalp in 4th seed Tim Le Page, with his powerful backhand attack proving too much for his opponent. In the other half of the draw, Andy Ferbrache also upset the seeding by knocking out Martin Sarre in 4 games to unexpectedly reach the semi-final. Although he claimed one end against Chivers, the 7-time champion came through 3-1. The final was a tense affair as both players were conservative in their shot selection in fear of making mistakes. It was Powell who opened up more effectively though and claimed the first two games by the narrow margins of 12-10 and 11-9 before playing more expansively to win the third game 11-6 and with it the Division 2 title.
Hot favourite Stuart Sarre was crowned as Division 3 champion though he was pushed all the way by the experience of Brian Le Cras. There were some notable absentees on the night including league winning St Pauls B players Craig Dunning, Derek Carter and John Wills which opened up the chance for others to shine.
Le Cras had only come runner-up in Group C after being defeated by Mick Ingrouille but recovered from this to progress through and defeat Shelby Timms 3-0. His next opponent was Ravenscroft Panthers' in-form Mark Windsor but Le Cras overcame a late fightback from Ravenscroft Panthers player to progress 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6.
Ingrouille's night came to an end at the hands of the impressive Darren Sarre, with Darren then being drawn against brother and teammate Stuart in the second semi-final, eventually losing in straight games.
Stuart Sarre continued where he left off from the semi-final and looked to be in cruise control in the final with his powerful forehand loops providing an effective source of points. However the experienced Le Cras changed his tactics to good effect and forced a deciding end. Sarre managed to recompose himself and his attacking game came good to win the 5th end and with it the Division 3 title 11-5, 10-12, 6-11, 11-3, 11-7.
Division 4The Division 4 tournament proved to be a battle between youth and experience as both semi-finals pitted an Island Under-13 player against opponents who have been playing for decades. Both these matches and the final proved to be very evenly balanced as Shelby Timms continued her recent fine form with an impressive win against Val Guilbert, coming back from 2-1 down to win 11-5 in the 5th end.
On the adjacent table, Island Under-13 champion Jayden Tucknott also had a difficult opponent in the form of Rose Powell. This time it was Powell who came out on top with her excellently controlled, close to the table play proving too much for the junior. Any bookmakers would have found it hard to call the final and both players went toe-to-toe in a match with some great rallies. However it was Timms who claimed the title in the end, with her powerful forehands proving a useful weapon with the final score being 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11.