The new season is not quite upon us but already some of our Veteran players have been in action in the North East Veterans tournament held at Seaburn Leisure Centre, when Eddie Smith triumphed in the Over 40s Singles. Last year’s winner, Dave Robson went out this time round in the semi finals when he was beaten by Andy Trott from Northampton. Trott, however, was then well beaten by Smith in the final. In the same event Jim Stamas had an excellent victory over the Yorkshire player, Richard Lightowler.
Meanwhile Robson had to be content with the Over 40’s doubles title which he won with Trott.
In the Over 60’s singles Geoff Salter reached the semi final stage before losing out to the eventual winner, Brian Hill of Lincolnshire, whilst Stamas was the losing finalist in the Over 50’s plate event.
Pauline Long was losing finalist in the Over 60’s plate.
Paul Drinkhall, the England number 1, won the Mens Single title at the Teessport Newcastle Grand Prix held at Eldon Leisure. After winning his group he accounted for Colin Dalgleish and Chris Main, both from Scotland, then another Scot, Richard Main in the semis to set up another England v Scotland affair in the final. Scotland’s top player Gavin Rumgay had come through the other half of the draw but he was no match for Drinkhall in the final.
Joanna Parker, recently elevated to number one in the English rankings duly took the Womens title by beating Melissa Wright of Avon in the final. Wright had taken advantage of the absence of the number two seed Hannah Hicks who withdrew because of illness to get to the final but she did cause an upset by beating the number three seed, Karina Le Fevre of Cleveland. The under 21 Mens title went to Ireland’s Ashley Robinson with the Under 21 Womens event being won by Wright who again did well to beat the favourite Yolanda King.
Cheshire’s Tomasz Rzeszotko defeated Scotland’s Gerry Campbell in the final of the Veterans singles.
The best performance of the week end by a local player came when young Akshay Pabary got through to the final of the Band 6 Singles with victories over Noor Owadally(Middlesex), Shaun Ellis(Yorkshire) and Ian Johnston(Scotland) before losing out to Adam Harrison of Lincolnshire who was also the Band 5 winner.