Dulwich Open – Grant takes the title

Sunday, Day THREE

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Final:
[1] Adrian Grant bt [2] Jaymie Haycocks  11/5, 11/6, 11/6 (45m)

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Adrian Grant put in a consummate performance to win the inaugural Dulwich Open in SE London. Local resident Grant improved with each round as the event went on and gave second seed Jaymie Haycocks very little to work with in the final.

All three of the games followed a similar patter with Grant starting the better, controlling the rallies and winning them with clinical volleys short or forcing Haycocks into trying something that wasn’t quite on.

As the games wore on  Haycocks started to get in to it but by then the damage was done and Grant closed each one out to win in straight games in front of a capacity audience that were full of appreciation for the worthy winner.

The event was funded by the members of the club through donations and fund raising events to reach the £3,000 prize money required to join the Reliable Networks UK Grand Prix and was enjoyable by participants and spectators, with plans afoot already to build on it moving forwards.

Grant’s win also qualifies him for the Reliable Networks UK Grand Prix Finals which will take place at the Roehampton Club from 29-31st May 2013.

 

Saturday, Day TWO

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Semi-Finals:
[1] Adrian Grant bt [5/8] Chris Fuller  11/7, 11/9, 11/3 (55m)
[2] Jaymie Haycocks bt [3/4] Joel Hinds   11/6, 6/11, 11/4, 11/9 (75m)

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In  a true sign of a quality player top seed Adrian Grant eased through to the final of the Dulwich Open but not before being severely tested by Chris Fuller.

Grant came out of the blocks at race speed winning the first game for the first time during this year’s event. However, Fuller clearly took on board the advice from coach Steve Townsend and put together period of high class squash that saw him leap to 9/2 taking the ball early at every opportunity. Grant recognised the danger and straightened up and the patient tactic paid dividends as he started to make inroads in to the deficit. In fact, in a reversal of Fuller’s earlier match it was his opponent that turned things around and Grant caught up and went on to win the game in just one hand.

Fuller came out strongly again in the third but the exertions of a full court press against a player of Grant’s quality began to be evident and it was the ex-England international the took up his predicted berth in Easter Sunday’s final.

The second semi-final was a more scrappy affair with a few traffic problems developing as both players fought for the ‘T’ and several 50+ shot rallies ending in an inevitable let. Jaymie Haycocks took the game, but it was Joel Hinds who started the stronger in the second taking advantage of the ball starting to slow up and picking the ball off on the volley as often as possible.

He levelled it up, but Haycocks was undeterred and got the better start in the third to open up am 8/3 lead and closing out comfortably the quickest game of the match 11/4. Hinds bounced back to lead 7/4 in the fourth but Haycocks knuckled down and worked his way back in to the game to ultimately set up match ball which he converted at the first attempt as Hinds hit the ball out of court.

So the top two seeds will contest the final tomorrow at 3pm (not forgetting the clocks are changing!)

Full Draw & Results

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Quarter-Finals:

[1] Adrian Grant bt [5/8] Tim Garner  5/11, 11/8, 11/7, 11/6
[5/8] Chris Fuller bt [3/4] Scott Handley  11/7, 11/9, 11/6
[3/4] Joel Hinds bt [5/8] Paul Rawden  11/9, 11/9, 11/9
[2] Jaymie Haycocks bt [5/8] Chris Tasker-Grindley 12/10, 11/9, 11/6

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Fuller gatecrashes Dulwich semis

Chris Fuller was the only surprise winner in the Quarter-Finals of the Dulwich Open. Taking on  3/4 seed Scott Handley, the youngster put in an impressive performance to see off his more experienced opponent in straight games. High quality rallies punctuated by precise winners helped Fuller to a semi-final berth with the pivotal moment being when he recovered from 6/9 in the second to rattle off 5 points and take a two nil lead.

Top seed Adrian Grant ended the hopes of Dulwich first team captain Tim Garner. It was the latter that started better taking the first before Grant, who lives just a mile from the Dulwich Club, showed his class to even things up. The third was crucial as both players used plenty of height in the cold conditions to wrestle control oft the rallies and it was evenly poised at 7-7 before Grant eased away and Garner’s challenge was effectively over going down in four.

Chris Tasker-Grindley had won a nail-biter the night before and appeared to be suffering as he started slowly falling behind 1/8 in the first to Jaymie Haycocks. However, he had other ideas and battled back to 10/10 before losing the first on a no-let decision, which he wasn’t overly happy with! The second was nip & tuck all the way to the wire and it was Haycocks that took it 11/9 to put himself in a strong position and making the most of it winning in 3.

The last Quarter-Final saw another player who had got through by the narrowest of margins as Paul Rawden took on Joel Hinds. However, this time it was Rawden who was on the wrong end of the tight games scores losing each one 9/11 to leave an intriguing semi-final between good friends Hinds & Haycocks.

 

Full Draw & Results

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Friday, Day ONE

The top 8 seeds all progressed in to the last 8 of the inaugural Dulwich Open but in vastly differing manners.

Scott Handley & Chris Fuller set up an intriguing quarter-final clash with one another with straight games victories over Josh Taylor & Charlie Johnson, respectively.

Dulwich favourite Tim Garner then followed closely behind with another three nil win albeit needing to save a game ball in the third against Neil Chambers.

However, it was then that was the first indication of the drama that was to follow started to unfold as top seed Adrian Grant was slow out of the blocks against South African Tristan Eysele, losing the first 11/2 and needed a tie-break in the second before closing it out in four.

On the other court Chris Tasker-Grindley and Youssef Abdalla played out the most entertaining match of the evening. Tasker-Grindley edged the second to lead 2-0 before Abdalla fought back, much to the delight of the crowd, using his speed and unorthodox shot-making to set up a decider. It was nip and tuck through out as first Tasker-Grindley edged ahead 7/5 before Abdalla found a way back to lead 8/7. However, a couple of tins later he was 8/10 down, but bounced back to level it 10-10 before Tasker-Grindley held his nerve to close out a frantic but exhilarating battle 12/10.

Joel Hinds and Jaymie Haycocks seemed to settled the seeded ship with straight games wins over Dave Wardle & Joe Green, with the latter covering every inch of the court against his more illustrious opponent.

There was still time for one last play in the nights drama as Paul Rawden and Rory Pennell took centre stage. At times it seemed like neither wanted the victory but after over an hour of pulsating play it was Rawden that managed to focus on the task at hand and snuck home in 5.

Full Draw & Results

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