NATIONAL VETERANS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Marlborough College, April 25/26th
It was a case of history repeating itself at the 2015 National Veterans’ (over 45s) Championships, as the 2014 champions successfully defended their titles. John Minta took his second successive singles title, with a win over former champion Hamish Buchanan in the final, before Hamish teamed up with Bruce Hanton to win their fifth successive doubles title with a win over former National Doubles Champions John Beswick and Neil Roberts in the final.
In the Singles there was a good turn-out, with the south west well represented. New boy Tom Kiggell made his mark immediately by reaching the semi-final with a victory over former National champion Neil Roberts; in the semi, however, he had no answer to John Minta’s constant pressure. The other semi-final was a real classic, with John Beswick rolling back the years to take Hamish all the way. Amazingly Hamish had enough in reserve to give John MInta a serious test in the final.
The Doubles competition was marred by a 1st round accident to Mark Kiteley who had to be taken to Gloucester A& E by his partner John Hawke for relocation of his dislocated finger! The quarter-finals went according to seeding, though both Hamilton & Warner and Christie & Kirby were pushed hard and were no match for Buchanan & Hanton and Beswick & Roberts respectively in the semis. The final was another classic, a three-gamer that drew great applause for the level of skill and consistency shown by both pairs.
Preliminary Round: Minta bt Davison 15-2
First Round: Minta bt Grant 15-4, Bury bt Stubbs 15-3, Roberts bt Kennerley 15-3, Kiggell bt Harrison 15-6, Beswick bt Geere 15-0, Watson bt Hamilton 15-12, Warner bt Nithsdale 15-4, Buchanan bt Lewis 15-1
Quarter-finals: Minta bt Bury 11-5 11-1, Kiggell bt Roberts 11-2 11-9, Beswick bt Watson 11-0 11-0, Buchanan bt Warner 11-0 11-0
Semi-finals: Minta bt Kiggell 11-1 11-3, Buchanan bt Beswick 6-11 11-7 11-8
Final: Minta bt Buchanan 15-8, 15-9
Preliminary Round: Hamilton bt Stubbs 15-4
Quarter-finals: Hamilton bt Kennerley 15-7, Nithsdale bye, Grant bt Geere 15-12, Harrison bt Davison 15-3
Semi-finals: Hamilton bt Nithsdale 15-6, Harrison bt Grant 15-1
Final: Harrison bt Hamilton 15-4 15-0
Singles Bottle of Beer: Nithsdale
Preliminary Round: Buchanan & B Hanton bt Somerville & Thompson 15-4
First Round: Buchanan & B Hanton bt Bethwaite & Clark 15-4, Harrison & Nithsdale bt Atkinson & Gunyon 15-7, A Hanton & Stubbs bt Lewis & Watson 15-7, Hamilton & Warner bt Kiteley & Hawke (retired to A&E), Christie & Kirby bt Hillman & Sanders 15-3, Butterfield & Walter bt Davison & Kiggell 15-11, Kennerley & Kirk bt Bury & Grant 15-13, Beswick & Roberts bt Jenkinson & Sharp 15-2
Quarter-finals: Buchanan & B Hanton bt Harrison & Nithsdale 11-2 11-4, Hamilton & Warner bt A Hanton & Stubbs 12-10 11-9, Christie & Kirby bt Butterfield & Walter 11-9 11-9, Beswick & Roberts bt Kennerley & Kirk 11-6 11-2
Semi-finals: Buchanan & B Hanton bt Hamilton & Warner 11-4 11-1, Beswick & Roberts bt Christie & Kirby 11-7 11-4
Final: Buchanan & B Hanton bt Beswick & Roberts 12-15 15-5 15-4
Quarter Finals: Kirk & Kennerley bt Bethwaite & Clark 15-13, Atkinson & Gunyon bt Sanders & Hillman 15-9, Bury & Grant bt Somerville & Thompson 15-4, Davison & Kiggell bt Jenkinson & Sharp 15-2
Semi Finals: Kennerley & Kirk bt Atkinson & Gunyon 15-10, Davison & Kiggell bt Bury & Grant 15-11
Final: Davison & Kiggell bt Kennerley & Kirk 11-6 11-3
Doubles Bottle of Beer: Harrison & Nithsdale