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.