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Overview of tournament by L&DTTL's Chairman Don Davies

Men's Band 1
England ranked 24 Kevin Dolder, the runner-up to Craig Hardie (Scot) in the group matches, was then pitted against top seed Paul McCreery in round one of the knock out stages. The Lancashire number 2 twice took the lead, the Irishman pegging him back on each occasion before Dolder edged home 9 in the decider. A three straight win over Matt Pernet (Sy) and a 3-1 success over Richard Andrews (BK) followed which left him facing Hardie in the final. The Scot had a close shave in last 16 scraping home 10 in the fifth against in-form Tomaz Rzeszotko (Wales) who had the Band 2 singles title tucked under his belt. After beating Joe Chacholides, he dropped the opening two games to Patrick Thomas (Wales) who had forged a 2-0 lead in the semi's. Hardie, though, stepped up a gear, dropping only points in the next three games which earned him another crack at Dolder. The pair contested five close games, Dolder taking the first, dropping the next 10 while restoring his lead 11-8 in the third. Yet again the Scot came back but, after forcing a fifth when levelling again, it was the Lancashire man who triumphed 11-9 in the decider.

The clash followed the pattern of Dolder's match with McCreery - the Lancashire number two
winning the first and third, Hardie replying in the even games. In a tense finale, it was the Yorkshire born Dolder who came out on top 11-9 in the decider, a sweet victory after having lost 12-10 in the fifth to the Scot in the initial group stage.

Band Two: Tomaz Rzeszotko, a former Liverpool league player, was the runner-up to Brian Wright (Wal) in the group. He took the opening game when he met second seed Dash Zhang in the last four before slipping behind 11-7, 13-11. At 10 all in the third, he could easily gone out but, after taking the next two points - eased home 11-5 in the decider. His final opponent, Kevin Caldon (E) ran him close in the first before comfortably winning the next two.

Band Three: Joseph Hurdley played twenty games after qualifying for the main draw and had to recover from 2-1 down in the semi's against Scotland's Willie Mabon before taking the last two, 10 and 12. His final opponent, fifth seed Remata Sherwin from the Philippines,enjoyed a more comfortable passage and was only behind in one game in beating Edward Fambley (Y) in the last 16. Hurdley disposed of Sherwin in the final after taking the opening game, squeezed home in the next 15-13, winning the third and the title 13-11.

Band Four: The final was an all Ireland affair, unseeded Sam Logue taking on Maciek Szymanski. The latter dropped just two games en-route and neither time did he trail while Logue won in five from 2-1 adrift against Thomas Dantzig (Mi) in the last eight and a game down to Fambley (Y), in the next - then bagging the next three to reach the final. Szymanski ousted Scotland's Nathan Courtney in the semi' but was unable to overcome his team mate who took the title in straight games.

Band Five: Szymanski had twice to recover from a 2-0 deficit, playing a total of twenty one games to claim the title. Group winner Adam Fox (Cu) opened up a healthy lead in the last
eight and lost only 13-11 in the fourth and the decider to the Ireland man 11-7. Steven Fowler (Sco) took the opener against Szymanski in the last four but couldn't clinch the two points when they were level at 13 all in the next, eventually falling away in the next two 8 and 4. Michael Lunn (La) also had to fight hard from deficits' firstly against second seed Ernest Mpundu (Ys) from 2-1 down and then when Michael Hahn won the first two games , Lunn then pipping him 13-11 in the fifth. Mathew Lancey (Wal) was the next to fall after taking the first 3-1 in the penultimate round. Yet again, Szymanski made hard work of clinching victory - Lunn ranked at 533 in England, looked in fine form when racing into a 2-0 lead, the Band Four runner-up, though, wasn't done for, sweeping to victory, 8, 9, and 9.

Band Six: Top seed Lee Devenport won his group but was dismissed in the first round of the knockout stage, Scotsman Dean Cundy who had beaten Matt McCormick 3-1 in the preliminary round. He also lost the first two game in the quarter's to Jonathan Evans (Ha) and the first 14-12 and third in the semi's to Andrew Eagles (Ch) but earned a place in the final against Kristof Pinter (La), winning 8 and 4.

The final required all five games Cundy romping home in the first 11-4 and despite losing the next two, levelled matters in the fourth. Pinter, who had beaten Everton Junior Wilson (Ng) and Matthew Knott, former Lancashire junior Richard Beattie and Matthew Knott to reach the final, picked up his first rating points, clinching a fine victory 11-6 in the fifth.

Under 21 Singles: England number 2 and top seed Darius Knight conceded a walk over at the first round stage which left Damien Nicholls as the favourite. He duly qualified accounting for Mark Simpson (Du) 3-1 in the last four. Ireland's Ashley Robinson, the beneficiary of Knight's withdrawal, pushed Craig Hardie (Sco) (the runner-up in the Band One final) all the way,
losing 11-8 in the fifth. Sean Doherty, also from Scotland, put a halt to Hardie's charge 3-1 in the last four before Nicholls took the title by three games to one.

Women's Band One The final produced a fine contest between Natalie Slater (St) and Mary Fuller, the former accounting for top seed Melissa Wright (Ys) in straight games and Gillian Edwards (Sco) 3-1. Miss Fuller from Yorkshire, coached by legendary Estonian, Hans Soova, chalked up 3-1 wins over Chloe Thomas (Wal) and Lancashire's Rachel Baker 11-7 in the fifth. Miss Slater edged the opener 13-11, dropped the next but took the fourth 11-9 before sweeping to victory 11-3 in the decider.

Women's Band 2: The Celtic nations were well represented in the main draw with Scotland's Gillian Edwards being joined by second seed Sara Dolan (Ireland) together with Chloe Thomas,
Angharad and Megan Phillips all from the principality. The final paired miss Edwards,who had
recovered from 2-0 down and eleven all in the third against Megan Phillips, with Angharad who had dismissed team mate Chloe Thomas in the semi's. Miss Edwards eased to a 3-0 victory to annexe the title.

Mixed Veteran Singles: With most of the top veteran players in England failing to enter the tournament, Lee Neil (Ng) ranked at two in England was seeded at one with Wales' Mark Simon at two. The next highest English ranked player was Kevin Caldon, standing at 44. Ivan Lewis (Y) 109 in England, dashed Neil's hopes of claiming the title in the last four winning 3-11, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8. In the other half of the draw Tony Wilson (Cv) beat Mark Simon 3-1 in the last eight and local player Garry Watson (Ch) who beat Darius Knight in the men's event two years ago. As in an earlier final, the runner-up held a healthy, this time it was Lewis who recovered from 2-0 down to take the title won by Liverpool's Keith Williams, a year ago.


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