With the league season only a couple of weeks away, Lillington Free Church’s first tournament of the season at St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre was over-subscribed.
In the morning events, Leamington men’s champion Lee Dorning overcame Colebridge’s Hawley Ellicott in the semi-final of the seniors to set up a final against Free Church clubmate Timmy Cooper, who had seen off clubmate Sam Weaving in his last-four clash. An exciting tussle ensued with Dorning taking the winner’s trophy.
In the junior event, Kieran Shaddel of Kidlington got the better of Church’s Lewis Singleton before overcoming Colebridge’s county star Lisa Rinnhofer who had reached the showpiece by getting the better of fellow county player Dan Burgess (Rugby).
The Cadets (under-15s) was another event of a high standard and the semi-finalists really earned their places.
In the first, Church’s Josh Yarrow defeated Evie Ellicott of Colebridge, while another Colebridge player, Sophie Rinnhofer, edged out Sam Slatter of North Gwent, with Yarrow taking the crown in the final.
Toby Dow of the Bodicote club near Banbury defeated Free Church’s Erin Darwen in the under-13s’ event, while George Barnes of Free Church overcame competition debutant Alfie Ransom (Free Church). In the final, Dow, who plays in the National League for Oxford, used his experience to overcome Barnes in straight games, though the first two went to deuce.
In the afternoon events, the host club dominated the Grade A event, providing all four semi-finalists. Weaving exacted revenge on Cooper to reach the final where he played Dorning who had overcome Ricardo Bolanos, still a cadet, in four. An exciting final followed which Dorning clinched 11-7 in the fifth.
The Grade B saw semi-finalists from four different clubs. County Council’s Mark Freeman was victorious against Shaddel and Nathaniel Saunders-Cole of Colebridge got through against Church’s Jenny Singleton. Freeman then used his experience to outfox the Colebridge youngster to take the title.
Henry Belcher was victorious in the Grade C event, beating Chris Jones of Free Church and then Farshad Shaddel of Kidlington.
There was an all-Free Church semi-final in the improvers with Joe Shrimpton getting the better of Tom Yarrow. Dow repeated his successful morning campaign by overcoming Ethan Morgan of Millennium (Banbury) in the last four and then beating Shrimpton for his second winner’s trophy.
In the beginners’ event, Free Church’s Dan Stone got the better of Alfie Ransom while clubmate Michael Khovanov lost out to Rugby’s Oliver Ferguson who went on to win the final.
Ferguson’s grandmother Jenny won the beginners’ consolation event to make it a family double.
Consolation finals: Seniors: Tom Clack (Plymouth University) beat Andy Davies (Nomads). Juniors: Jenny Singleton (FC) beat Milly Green (FC). Cadets: Aidan Mulligan (Streetly) beat Ethan Morgan (Millennium). Under-13s: Oliver Ferguson (Rugby) beat Michael Khovanov (FC). Grade A: Ian Beasley (FC) beat Roald Myers (FC). Grade B: David Jarvis (Aldershot) beat Emily Beasley (FC). Grade C: Jamie McNeil (Kidlington) beat Alex Bowe (Rugby). Improvers: Tom Hoskins (Colebridge) beat George Barnes (FC). Beginners: Jenny Ferguson (Rugby) beat Henry Church (North Newington).