Colebridge underline strength in depth at County Championships

Kate Hughes had a successful time at the County Closed Championships in Warwick.
Kate Hughes had a successful time at the County Closed Championships in Warwick.

Colebridge mirrored their strength in the Leamington League by securing the bulk of the titles at the County Closed Championships at St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre last weekend, writes Phil John.

There were 11 groups in the men’s singles with Ricardo Bolanos, Dave Ramsey, Sam Weaving and Sam Wiggins claiming four pole positions for Lillington Free Church.

Anthony Ellis, Paul Lenormand and Ben Willson secured three for Colebridge and Steve Bertie of Continental Stars, Michael Browne of Smithswood, Simon Griew of County Council and Mark Jackson of St George’s took the other four spots in the knockouts.

Lenormand went on to beat Griew in one semi-final, with his clubmate Willson seeing off Jackson in the other, both matches finishing 3-0. In the final, Lenormand took the trophy 11-6, 11-7, 11-8.

The ladies’ singles attracted five entries who played on a round-robin basis and again Colebridge came out on top with Kate Hughes winning all four of her matches. Livvy Fletcher of Free Church was runner-up.

The men’s doubles saw four clubs represented at the semi-final stage, with Lenormand and Willson defeating the strong County Council duo of Nilton Green and Simon Griew in straight sets whilethe St George’s pairing of Jackson and Earl Sweeney held off the challenge of Free Church’s Harry Purewal and Ramsey 11-9 in the fifth. Jackson and Sweeney went on to secure the title 3-1.

There were only three pairings in the ladies’ doubles where Hughes and Fletcher defeated Juliet Bertie of Continental Stars and Doreen Tierney of Smithswood 11-4, 11-4, 11-6.

In the mixed doubles, Tierney and Sweeney swept to the semi-final but were cast aside by Hughes and Lenormand, while Fletcher and Wiggins accounted for their Free Church clubmates Emily Beasley and Ricardo Bolanos.

The Colebridge stablemates then eclipsed their final opponents 11-9, 11-3, 11-7 to send yet another senior trophy in the direction of Birmingham.

The men’s restricted final, which ruled out the top players, resulted in county junior Jack Green of Free Church defeating Sweeney 3-1 after losing the first.

In the ladies’ restricted event, Tierney thwarted another county junior in Beasley when landing the trophy 11-7 in the fifth.

The veterans’ events were all mixed gender, with 26 players contesting the over-40s’.

The semi-finals saw Willson beat Stephen Robinson of Hamstead 11-5 in the fifth, while Jackson overcame Rajinder Singh, also of Hamstead, 3-1. Jackson went on to take the title in straight games.

In the over-50s’ singles, Steve Bertie won his semi-final against Owen Malcolm of Hamstead and Robinson triumphed against Tony Deren of Whitnash, both 3-0. Robinson won the final 11-8, 11-5, 11-5.

Diane St Ledger of Smithswood, a former county singles champion, turned back the clock to beat Terry Cooper of Streetley 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 in the final of the over-60s event.

Cooper had the consolation of taking the over-70s’ trophy after beating Stephen Foster of JLM Academy 11-8, 13-11, 11-8.

None of the five-strong county team entered the junior events which gave several players the chance to emerge from their shadows.

There were three groups in the junior boys’ singles with the winners going through to the last four.

Free Church’s Josh Yarrow, who had beaten number one seed Nathaniel Saunders in straight games in his group, received a bye to the final to meet Henry Belcher of Colebridge who squeezed past Rugby’s Alex Bowe 11-7 in the fifth. The final proved even closer with Belcher winning 14-12 in the fifth.

The pair also contested the final of the restricted junior boys’ singles where Belcher enjoyed an easier victory.

The junior girls’ singles had just three entrants, with Colebridge’s Sophie Rinnhofer winning her two games to become champion.

There were just three partnerships in the junior boys’ doubles, with Belcher and Saunders, also of Colebridge, taking the trophies.

Four group winners contested the semi-finals of the under-15 singles. Number one seed Saunders ended Nicholas Ho’s charge 3-1 and Eduardo Bolanos of Free Church beat clubmate Nathan Jackson in the other semi.

It proved a close final with Saunders emerging as the winner after the match went to five.

The under-15 girls’ singles was a repeat of the junior singles with Rinnhofer again triumphing.

Two group winners went through to the final of the under-13 boys’ singles where Saunders beat Chris Ho 11-4, 11-8, 13-11.

Anya Sompura of Phoenix clinched the under-13 girls’ title with an 11-9 victory over Daya Chima, another Phoenix member, while Wajid Wafiq of Smithswood won all three of his matches to become boys’ under-11 champion.

Free Church’s Jun Chung emerged with two wins to finish as runner-up.