The South East Open Championships
Christ’s Hospital, Horsham
Saturday/Sunday, 17-18 August 2019
Organiser Ed Hatton reports: A record entry of 21 for Singles and 16 for Doubles turned out for the 2019 South East Open — or they would have done if not for a high-ranking player’s unfortunate car breakdown. Still, 20 was a good haul!
Highlights of the 1st and 2nd rounds of the Singles included a solid win for James Tilston against 8th seed Christian Blackaby, Durham’s George Marshall’s battling win in 3 against local favourite Morgan Spillane and Sam Russell’s close first game against Ben Jourdan.
The quarter-finals proceeded according to seeding except a knock-down drag-out sweat-fest between Tom Watkinson and David Butler. After two and a half very tight games, the outcome was only decided by David having to retire hurt whilst 9-7 up in the third.
Whilst Tom then proceeded to an almost equally tight semi-final against next generation hero Sam Russell, top seed Ed Kay’s progress to the final remained imperious despite the challenge of Julian Aquilina in the other match. The final seemed a foregone conclusion, but Tom did himself proud in his first open final but, after a battling first game, could not quite keep it up in the second. Ed regains the champion title he has not held since his victory in the inaugural tournament in 2014
The main Plate tournament was joined by a 2nd Plate open to those 1st round winners and 2nd round losers who would otherwise be denied further games. In the main Plate, stand-out performances came from the aggression of Ben Jourdan and the dependability of Chris Davey. The former won a very tight see-saw final. In the 2nd Plate the energetic Lewis Keates won a close event, separated by only 2 points from Michael Suddaby.
The Doubles enjoyed the perfect entry of 16. This created some tasty pairings — in the view of the organiser, Davey & Woolfenden and Hebblethwaite & Sumner looking like early prospects. So it turned out only partially — after the round-robin stage, Keates & Spillane and Mathieu & Tilston topped their groups. Ultimately it was the latter who triumphed in the final against the former, excelling in communication and consistency. In the Plate, Davey & Woolfenden had two close games against Kay & schoolboy Nsenga and eventually found top gear to win the deciding game.
Thanks to all who participated and supported.
1st round: M Suddaby bt G Nsenga 11-1, 11-5; N Woolfenden bt C Davey 9-11,11-6, 11-3; G Marshall bt M Spillane 11-7, 2-11, 11-4; L Keates bt L Mathias 11-2, 11-3; C Low bt J Sumner12-10, 11-5
2nd round: E Kay bt Suddaby 11-1, 11-0; J Tilston bt C Blackaby 11-3, 11-2; T Parker bt Woolfenden 11-1, 11-2; J Aquilina bt Marshall 11-0, 11-1; D Butler bt Keates 11-5, 11-0; T Watkinson bt E Hatton 11-6, 11-5; S Russell bt B Jourdan 11-8, 11-1; C Low w/o D Tristao
Quarter-finals: Kay bt Tilston 11-4, 11-2; Aquilina bt Parker 11-3, 11-2; Watkinson bt Butler 7-11, 12-10 7-9 ret.; Russell bt Low 11-1, 11-2
Semi-finals: Kay bt Aquilina 11-0, 11-4; Watkinson bt Russell 11-9, 11-4
Final: Kay bt Watkinson 11-8, 11-0
Plate: Jourdan bt Davey 15-13
2nd Plate: 1st Keates; 2nd Suddaby
Group 1: 1st Keates & Spillane 45 pts; 2nd Jourdan & Mathias 37 pts; 3rd Davey & Woolfenden 31 pts; 4th Kay & Nsenga 21 pts
Group 2: 1st Mathieu & Tilston 41 pts; 2nd Hebblethwaite & Sumner 41 pts; 3rd Hatton & Suddaby 40 pts; 4th Aquilina & Thornhill 24 pts
Semi-finals: Keates & Spillane bt Hebblethwaite & Sumner 12-11, 11-9; Mathieu & Tilston bt Jourdan & Mathias 12-10, 9-11, 11-7
Final: Mathieu & Tilston bt Keates & Spillane 11-5, 11-12 11-6
Plate: Davey & Woolfenden bt Kay & Nsenga 11-4, 7-11, 11-0
Ed Kay wins his 2nd SE title
Tom Watkinson’s first open singles final
Chris Davey runner-up to Ben Jourdan in the Singles Plate
Rupert Mathieu & James Tilston claim the Doubles title
Lewis Keates & Morgan Spillane runners-up in the Doubles
Chris Davey & Nick Woolfenden win the Doubles Plate