Chatham TTC held this year’s annual Handicap Tournament on Sunday 23rd July 2017 with it being extended from a 24 player event to a 32 player format. In the event two late withdrawals meant that it was a 30 player entry. The format consisted of 8 four player groups with the top 2 going through to the main draw and the bottom two going into a consolation event making two groups of 16. In the next round of matches the top two in the main draw again advanced to the main draw and the bottom two played in a Category 2 tournament. The same system applied to the consolation event which split into Categories 3 and 4 meaning there were 4 groups of 8. The top of each of the 2 groups in the various comps:- Main, Cat 2, Cat 3 and Cat 4 played of in a series of finals.
The groups at the start of the competition were:-
GROUP A:- Martin Birley, Phil Humphries, Luke Barnard and Michael Gibbs.
GROUP B:- Harry Jones, Glenn Back and Jack Perham.
GROUP C:- Charlie Cook, Chris Morford, Joanna Lam and Stewart Day.
GROUP D:- Shevon McDonald, Malcolm Kay and Lennon McLorg.
GROUP E:- Segun Ake, Zhang Jiao Tan, Roger Chipperfield and Jacob Goodchild.
GROUP F:- Jordan Weller, Julian Barker, Liu Yun Guo and Liam Coake.
GROUP G:- Trevor Towers, Doug Murray, Gareth Fox and Tu Tran.
GROUP H:- Max Day, Jack Jordan, Alex Low and Jensen Bruce.
There were some very close games in the first round of matches with two of the matches being tied after two sets and some not so close games with the final order in 5 of the groups being decided by point’s difference. For those of you who like statistics the average winning margin was just over 8 points.
The groups for the next stage in the main comp were:-
GROUP 1:- Phil Humphries, Jacob Goodchild, Shevon McDonald and Alex Low.
GROUP 2:- Glenn Back, Lie Yun Guo, Chris Morford and Doug Murray.
GROUP 3:- Joanna Lam, Trevor Towers, Jack Perham and Julian Barker.
GROUP 4:- Malcolm Kay, Jensen Bruce, Martin Birley and Segun Ake.
Those players going into the consolation event were:-
GROUP 5:- Luke Barnard, Roger Chipperfield and Jack Jordan.
GROUP 6:- Harry Jones, Liam Coake, Charlie Cook and Tu Tran.
GROUP 7:- Stewart Day, Gareth Fox and Jordan Weller.
GROUP 8:- Lennon McLorg, Max Day, Michael Gibbs and Zhang Jiao Tan.
In the main competition in this round only 4 of 24 matches were decided by double figure margins, the closest group being group 4 where Malcolm Kay went through as runner-up despite being the only qualifier for the main competition with a minus points difference. Jensen Bruce was the best qualifier for the main comp with a plus 31 points difference followed by Glenn Back who finished 24 points up. Perhaps the unluckiest player in this round was Segun Ake who finished third in group 4 despite finishing up with a plus 21 difference.
The closest matches were in the consolation event where the average winning margin was just over 5 points.
The qualifiers for each of the 4 Categories were:-
GROUP 1:- Alex Low, Jack Perham, Liu Yun Guo and Malcolm Kay.
GROUP 2:- Glenn Back, Jensen Bruce, Phil Humphries and Trevor Towers.
GROUP 3:- Jacob Goodchild, Julian Barker, Chris Morford and Martin Birley.
GROUP 4:- Doug Murray, Segun Ake, Shevon McDonald and Joanna Lam.
GROUP 5:- Jack Jordan, Gareth Fox, Harry Jones and Zhang Jiao Tan.
GROUP 6:- Charlie Cook, Lennon McLorg, Luke Barnard and Jordan Weller.
GROUP 7:- Roger Chipperfield, Stewart Day and Liam Coake.
GROUP 8:- Tu Tran, Michael Gibbs and Max Day.
In the finals of each of the categories the results were as follows:-
CATEGORY 4:- Max Day beat Stewart Day by 7 points.
CATEGORY 3:- Gareth Fox beat Charlie Cook by 2 points.
CATEGORY 2:- Jacob Goodchild beat Joanna Lam by 14 points.
In the main competition the semi-final groups ended with both Trevor Towers and Malcolm Kay winning all three of their games to go through to contest the main final.
The final of the main competition was a very tense affair with Trevor Towers giving Malcolm Kay 10 points per set.
The match started off with Trevor attacking everything and quickly gaining a 5-0 lead and all Malcolm could do was just hang in as best he could and hope Trevor made a few mistakes and in the first set this seemed to work as Malcolm managed to only lose the set 21-14 and pick up 3 points on the handicap. The second set followed the pattern of the first with Trevor attacking and Malcolm hanging in but this time Trevor didn’t make so many errors and he won the 2nd set 21-8. After all that effort for the first time in the history of this competition the match ended in a tie and a third set had to be played starting at 10-0 to Malcolm. The first 6 points were shared (13-3). From that point on Trevor’s superiority started to tell and at one stage Malcolm’s lead had been whittled away to 16-14. At that stage the clever money, including Malcolm’s, were on Trevor to carry on and win but fate took a hand and Trevor made a couple of uncharacteristic errors and Malcolm found himself 18-14 up only to have that lead trimmed to 18-16. The next 4 points were shared to leave the score 20-18 to Malcolm. At that stage Trevor played just one loose shot too many and Malcolm, taking his one chance put a backhand flick away at a good angle and won the deciding set 21-18.
After the excitement of that final all that remained was for all the competitors to receive a commemorative medal, for the winners of the various categories to receive their awards and for Trevor and Malcolm to receive their trophies.