Island Championships 2020 - Day 1
Post date: Nov 14, 2020 4:7:12 PM
The opening night of action from the Championships saw the turn of the Under 21 Open Singles, the Over 60's Open Singles and The Restricted Open Singles (over 21 but under 40). Ben Foss, Mark Pipet and Paul Hainsworth ended as the victors on the night, with each adding a further title in these categories to their existing repertoire
Under 21 Open Singles
Foss won his 3rd consecutive Under 21 Open Singles title after overcoming his Lions A team-mate and 2nd seed Ryan Bichard in the final. The final was a quality affair and Bichard played some good table tennis during the 6 set defeat. Bichard had kept his hopes his alive by battling through the 5th end 15-13, however Foss regrouped well and closed out the 6th end 11-5 to win 4-2.
Foss had earlier beaten 3rd seed Matthew Casey 4-0 in the semi finals, whilst Bichard bounced back from losing the opening end to defeat the unseeded Ben Sharp over the course of 5 sets.
Earlier in the tournament Sharp had earned a surprise straight sets win over the 4th seeded Junior CI Top 12 champion Ellis Tomlin, whilst 2nd Division player James Crocker came through the closest match of the tournament over Connor Powell in 7 sets. Jonah Ingrouille also gave 1st Division player Ryan Gilson a good battle, before the left-hander came through 11-9 in the 6th.
Over 60's Open Singles
Mark Pipet has not played competitive table tennis this season, but he showed his quality by picking up his 3rd title in this category over the past 4 years. His opponent in the final was top seed and defending champion Kay Chivers, who is the only player to have beaten Pipet in this event, in the final of the event last year. Pipet was always ahead and 12-10 results in his favour in games 2 and 4 gave him a strong 3-1 advantage. Chivers battled hard to pinch the 5th 14-12, but Pipet made no mistakes in the 6th, comfortably taking it 11-3.
Pipet had earlier seen off 4th seed Chas Elliott 4-1, whilst Chivers dispatched Mark Windsor in straight sets in the other semi final, having received a walkover against 3rd seed Ian Fitchet in the Quarter-finals.
Restricted Open Singles (21-40)
This event excludes players to have competed in the Green trophy inter-insular clash over the past 2 seasons, so this ruled out Josh and Lawrence Stacey from competing this season.
Top seed Paul Hainsworth continued to show his dominance in this event by picking up his 6th title in this event, following its introduction 7 seasons ago. He competed against fellow Lions C team-mate Sam Clark in the final and won in straight sets. Hainsworth had earlier earned comfortable straight set wins over fellow Division 1 players Steve Ozanne and Charlotte Casey and lost just 46 points during the 12 sets contested during the night.
Clark did excellently to make the final as this started with a 4-1 win over Paula Le Ber in the prelim round before a 5 set win over the former GTTA Development officer Becks O'Keefe in the Quarter-Finals. His best win however came in the semi finals, where he earned a super 7 set win over 2nd seed Jamie Ferbrache. Ferbrache held a match point in the 6th end whilst leading 3-2, but Clark saved that en route to taking it 12-10 and then played some strong table tennis in the decider to win it 11-6.
The Island Championships are traditionally the curtain closer on the league season and usually contested during March or April each year. The draws had all been completed and programmes produced and the Championships for the 2019/20 season were scheduled to commence on 20th March 2020 before these plans were scuppered due to the lockdown enforced in Guernsey during March.
Guernsey have been and remain to be in a very fortunate situation in that all Island sport has been able to re-commence and largely run with little to no change.This has enabled the GTTA to make the decision to still hold the Championships for the 2019/20 season, albeit a lot later than normal and actually part way through the 2020/21 season.
Another significant change is that there will be no CI Championships contested with Jersey for the 2019/20 season due to them being unable to hold their Island Championships due to the COVID-19 circumstances in the Island. The schedule for the Championships is very tightly packed and sees all 20 events contested over 4 days between Friday 13th November and Monday 16th November 2020.