South West Open: Titles for Ellison and Grant — and Plates for Kirby and Goodwin

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SOUTH WEST OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Blundell’s, 12/13th July 2014
STOP PRESS:  Double for Will Ellison and Stuart Kirby. Will Ellison retained his Singles title, beating Dan Grant 7-11, 11-7, 11-2 in the final. Will and Dan then went on to win the Doubles once again by defeating Hamish Buchanan & Chris Burrows. In the Plate competitions Stuart Kirby won the Singles, beating 15 year-old John Halligan in the final, then teamed up with Anthony Goodwin to beat Alexandra Steel & Daniel Hill in the Doubles. On the Sunday Ben Beltrami & Maddy Raynor paired up to win the American Doubles against Alexandra Steel & Jez Sinton.  [Full Reports below]

Wayne Enstone writes: Thirty years on and the tournament was still extremely well supported by a good entry and mix of 31 players from colts to vintage age, both male and female, contesting the treasured titles.In the singles the seeded players won through to the quarter finals. Dave Butler had a hard-fought match against John Beswick whilst Sam Russell pushed Ed Kay in their first game. Equally James Tilston put in a fine performance before losing to Hamish Buchanan.

In the quarters, Will Ellison overcame a determined Chris Burrows by hitting a series of wonderful winners to conclude their match. The seeding was upset when an impressive Ed Kay beat 4th seed Hamish in two games, and Dan Grant was forced into an excellent three-gamer with Ben Beltrami (this year’s National Schools Champion) – what a prospect! John Minta had to work very hard to subdue and eventually beat an ever-improving Dave Butler. In the semi’s the 1st and 2nd seeds eventually won through after the spectators had been treated to many exciting shots and rallies.

The doubles began after the second round of singles and the new partnership of Minta & Tilston upset the seeding in the quarters by beating Beswick & Enstone who were overpowered by Tilston’s hitting. The semi’s concluded the day at 7.30pm with Buchanan & Burrows beating a rather tired pair of Beltrami & Kay in a three-game cliffhanger. Ellison & Grant, the holders, indicated that they definitely wanted to retain the title, winning in two.

At same time, the plate finals were both contested by players from Derby Moor Club. In the singles John Halligan (Colt) played very well; however, Stuart Kirby (Vintage), one of John’s coaches, showed that experience does count. Stuart then partnered Anthony Goodwin (RFA youngest Level 2 Coach) to beat James Milnes (ex-Blundell’s School) and John Halligan in the semi and Daniel Hill & Alexandra Steel in the final. Thanks go to Bob Dolby (President RFA) who ran the plates and was totally impartial throughout the finals as they were mostly ‘his boys’!

On Saturday evening, 31 players and partners retired to the local Butterleigh Inn for excellent drinks and food to revive and prepare worn out players and spectators for the Sunday morning finals and American Doubles tournament.

Thanks go to Alexandra Steel (ex-Blundell’s) who very nobly volunteered to organise Sunday’s American Doubles, between eight revitalised players. At the end of the round robin, Ben Beltrami & Maddy Raynor (ex-Blundell’s) had won the same games and points as Alexandra & Jez Sinton, so it was agreed to have a play-off game, which Ben and Maddy went onto win, an epic mini-tournament

South West Open American Doubles 2014
Alexandra Steel reports: The American Doubles was a fun affair this year, with a group of eight players participating. The players were: Beltrami and Raynor, Whitehead and Kay, Steel and Sinton, Warner and Dyke. Great fun was had by all, especially in trying to work out who was going to be in charge of keeping score (due to American scoring being a point each rally). We each had our own version of the rules but all managed to ensure a fair game was played.  In the end the results were Kay & Whitehead 50 points, Warner & Dyke 57 points, with Beltrami & Raynor and Steel & Sinton joint first on 62 points each. It was then decided – with a little help from Wayne Enstone – that there would and should be a play-off for the winner, albeit some of us thinking that we should flip a coin as the fatigue from the previous day’s play was beginning to set in and all players were hobbling around the courts.
The final was then played with Beltrami showing great determination to win, which he and Raynor did. Congratulations to them; it was a successful and highly enjoyable American Doubles mini-tournament. We’re now all looking forward to next year.

Singles
First Round: W Enstone bt A Steel 11-3, 11-7; C Burrows bt N Geere 11-2, 11-5; D. Hill bt J Milnes 11-1, 11-1; E Kay bt R Warner 11-1, 11-7; S Russell bt M Raynor 11-0, 11-0; J Tilston bt J Halligan 11-1, 11-7; D Butler bt K Kennerley 11-2, 11-7; B Beltrami bt A Smith 11-0, 11-7; A Goodwin bt J Sinton 11-6, 11-5; R Dyke bt S Watson 11-7, 11-7
Second Round: W.Ellison bt Enstone 11-3, 11-0; Burrows bt Hill 11-4, 11-0; Kay bt Russell 11-9, 11-5; H Buchanan bt Tilston 11-8, 11-4; J Minta bt S Kirby 11-2, 11-1; Butler bt J Beswick 12-10, 11-6; Beltrami bt Goodwin 11-4, 11-5; D Grant bt Dyke 11-7, 11-5
Quarter-finals: Ellison bt Burrows 11-5, 11-2; Kay bt Buchanan 11-3, 11-3; Minta bt Butler 11-7, 11-8; Grant bt Beltrami 5-11, 11-1, 11-4
Semi-finals: Ellison bt Kay 11-4, 11-4; Grant bt Minta 11-3, 11-5
Final: Ellison bt Grant 7-11, 11-7, 11-2
Plate: Kirby bt Halligan 15-5

Doubles
First Round: Ellison & Grant bt Halligan & Milnes 11-3, 11-1; Dyke & Sinton bt Steel & Minta 12-11, 11-9; Minta & Tilston bt Goodwin & Kirby 11-5, 11-6; Beswick & Enstone bt Geere & Webber 11-1, 11-4; Beltrami & Kay bt Kennerley & Kirk 11-2, 11-1; Warner & Smith bt Steel & Hill 11-5, 11-9; Butler & Russell bt T Lewis & Watson 11-0, 11-9; Buchanan & Burrows bt Raynor & M Whitehead 11-0, 11-8
Quarter-finals: Ellison & Grant bt Dyke & Sinton 11-5, 11-4; Minta & Tilston bt Beswick & Enstone 11-3, 11-8; Beltrami & Kay bt Warner & Smith 11-3, 11-2; Buchanan & Burrows bt Butler & Russell 11-0, 11-8
Semi-finals: Ellison & Grant bt Minta & Tilston 11-6, 11-6; Buchanan & Burrows bt Beltrami & Kay 6-11, 11-8, 11-8
Final: Ellison & Grant bt Buchanan & Burrows 11-5, 11-8
Plate: Kirby & Goodwin bt Steel & Hill 15-3
American Doubles: Beltrami & Raynor bt Steel & Sinton

2014 SW Open Grant & Ellison