2009 Northern Tournament
Andrew Mitchell reports:
This was the strongest field for many years, both in terms of numbers (26 pairs) and quality.
The group stages and first knockout round went more or less with form, leaving the top eight seeds in the quarterfinals, where the top three seeds progressed reasonably comfortably, although a tight match in the fourth match ended with Peter Cohen and Peter White beating Ed Taylor and Will Sorrell 12-7, 12-15, 12-5.
In the top semi-final, James Toop and Howard Wiseman beat the two Peters 3-0. Meanwhile Tom and Peter Dunbar had moved into a 2 - 0 lead against Seb Cooley and Dave Mew, but were forced to withdraw as injuries caught up with them.
In the final, although Cooley and Mew were always competitive, they never really threatened and Toop and Wiseman won 12-4, 12-8, 12-7.
A respectable 20 pairs entered the Festival and, as usual with a number of unknown quantities, there were no doubt a few pairs who were unlucky with the draw but by the semi-finals the cream had risen to the top!
In the first semi, an all Windsor and Eton affair, Richard Black and Stephen Brooke beat Philip and Robert Wilson, while in the other Hugo Tobias and Jon Staley beat another father and son pair, Bill and Connor Christie.
In a very tight final, Tobias and Staley won 13-10, 7-12, 13-11, 13-11, fully justifying a late decision to switch from the main tournament.
As usual, records are a little incomplete, but the Championship Plate, a pool for losers in the knockout stages, was won again by Theodossi and Perrie. Meanwhile the plate for those knocked out of the groups was won by Adrian (Sid) Simmons and Stuart Bickerton, who beat Will Gibbons and Oli Watts 2-0 in the final.
In the Festival Plates the final of Plate A, for early losers in the knock-out stages, was won by Mike Blake and Jamie Doran, who beat Alex Williams and Charlie Bailey.
Plate B, for those knocked out at the group stages, was won by Oliver Wilcox and Laurence Gribble.
A big thank you to everyone, particularly all the regulars, for your continuing support for the tournament, and it was good to see a few old faces returning after a bit of a gap, plus a few new ones venturing up to the wilds of Shropshire!
James Toop & Howard Wiseman beat Richard Tyler & Guy Chapman 2-0
Peter Cohen & Peter White beat Ed Taylor & Will Sorrell 2-1
Seb Cooley & David Mew beat John Reynolds & Mark Moore 2-0
Tom Dunbar & Peter Dunbar beat Anthony Theodossi & Ryan Perrie 2-0
J Toop & H Wiseman beat P Cohen & P White 3-0
T Dunbar & P Dunbar withdrew through injury when leading 2-0 against S Cooley & D Mew
Toop & Wiseman beat Cooley & Mew 3-0 (12-4, 12-8, 12-7)
Plate A (Pool losers)
Adrian (Sid) Simmonds & Stuart Bickerton beat Olli Watts & Will Gibbons 2-0
Plate B (Knockout losers)
Winners Anthony Theodossi & Ryan Perrie
Hugo Tobias & John Staley beat Richard Black & Stephen Brooke 3-1 (13-10, 7-12, 13-11, 13-11)
Mike Blake & Jamie Doran beat Alex Williams & Charlie Bailey 2-0
Winners Oliver Wilcox & Laurence Gribble
There was a great entry this year both in terms of numbers and quality, and the worst of the weather held off for the weekend. Shame about the walkover in the semi but still, we can't have everything.