Open Top 12 Qualification
Post date: Dec 02, 2018 9:3:40 PM
The Channel Islands Open Top 12 Qualification event was held on Sunday 2nd December.
1. Garry Dodd
2. Joshua Stacey
3. Phil Ogier
4. Paul Hainsworth
5. Lawrence Stacey
6. Dan Collenette
7. Ryan Bichard
8. Ryan Gilson
9. Matthew Casey
10. Jamie Ferbrache
Phil Ogier in action. Photo courtesy Martin Sarre
Garry Dodd showed why he remains to be the standout leading player within the Island following his successful CI Open Top 12 qualification tournament success on Sunday at the GTTA Centre. The left-hander has not had much table time so far this campaign due to his imminent relocation to the UK, however he was largely untroubled during his 9 matches in the local qualification tournament.
The gruelling tournament saw all of the usual leading faces present, with all 10 players being included in the Island’s British League campaign this season. The only absence was Ben Foss, who is currently recovering from surgery and expected to be back to action in January and Dawn Morgan, who is out of the Island on holiday.
Dodd looked to be in cruise control during the earlier stages of the tournament and despite dropping ends to Jamie Ferbrache and Dan Collenette, was always in control. His opening round match against Ferbrache actually turned out to be his closest match of the day as he needed to come back from 2-1 down to take the decider 11-9. He left his best for his toughest 3 matches of the day however and despite dropping an end to Phil Ogier, he finished strongly with a duo of straight sets wins over the Stacey twins, Lawrence and Joshua.
Joshua too was unbeaten going into his final round clash with Dodd, but despite the 3rd end being won by Dodd 14-12, was never in a position to properly challenge. Stacey’s toughest match prior to this came against Ogier, but he battled back superbly from a 6-1 deficit in the 4th end to clinch it 11-9.
Ogier himself ended in 3rd spot, despite experiencing a surprise defeat to Ryan Bichard in the second round of matches. In one of many surprising results on the day, the youngster earned his maiden win over Ogier after battling through a tough 4th end 14-12, to win 3-1. Ogier made up for that defeat by winning 5 of his next 7 matches to end the day with 6 wins out of 9. This included a gritty 5 set win over the higher ranked Lawrence.
Paul Hainsworth ended up in 4th spot on countback behind Ogier after also winning 6 of his 9 matches on the day. He too earned a surprise victory over Lawrence, but needed to do it the hard way and came back from 2-1 down to win in 5. He narrowly avoided a surprise defeat of his own to Jamie Ferbrache in the 2nd round, needing to come back from 2-1 down in that one to win over the distance. Hainsworth’s straight sets defeat to Ogier was the deciding factor in finishing positions for the Lions pair.
Lawrence ended in 5th position following a tough day at the office. Despite his troubles, he comfortably qualified courtesy of 5 wins from his 9 matches. His toughest other clash came in the second round against Matthew Casey where he needed the full 5 sets to get over the winning line.
The battle for the 6th and final spot was very open and going into the final 2 rounds, 4 players had a chance of grabbing it. When Bichard defeated Casey 3-1 in the penultimate round, it left him on 3 wins, which was the same number of victories that Collenette was on after his straight sets loss to Hainsworth in the same round. At this point Bichard was favourite to qualify as he was due to play the winless Ferbrache, whilst Collenette had the daunting task of needing to beat Ogier. But in the theme of the tournament, another surprise result was waiting until the very end as Ferbrache picked up his solitary win of the day over Bichard in 4 sets. Collenette also lost his clash to Ogier in 4 sets, but he qualified by virtue of the fact that he had defeated Bichard in their head to head clash over 4 sets.
The qualification tournament was a great spectacle played with good sportsmanship and spirits and saw numerous high quality rallies and shots and the qualifying players now look forward to competing against their Jersey counterparts at the GTTA Centre in January 2019.