Whipp takes season opener in Solent

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Solent Classic 2012, Final:

[1] Andy Whipp bt [3/4] Tim Vail 11/6, 11/7, 6/11, 11/7

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Whipp takes season opener in Solent

This Sunday Morning ‘YOL’ ,battle scarred graded tournament players turned out to watch the main event. A very dapper number 1 seed , Andy Whipp v. A very well hydrated Tim Vail, who endured a 71 minute semi last night, and Andy who has yet to be tested properly, maybe this could be the day.

A long furiously fast first rally started the proceedings. Andy seemed to set his stall out early, to take the first 11/6.

The 2nd started in the same fashion, with high pace. This time Tim stayed in patiently up and down the backhand wall, while looking for his trademark volley nick, but Andy rode out the 2nd 11/7.

A slight drop in pace in the third, and Tim capitalises on it to find hid length and get more time on the ball. This takes him to game ball 6 which he shut out with a tremendous low volley drop – score 11/6.

Normal service resumes in the fourth , pace back on the ball and movement. Andy made Tim do a lot of work to the front of the court. A back hand drop from mid court takes Andy to match ball 7, and to finish the match in the same scenario. Some consolation for Manchester, after Ricky Hatton’s defeat last night, but ‘Blue Moon’ will shine on!

Martyn Collins-Ballands (big Ricky Hatton fan)

Semi Finals

First up tonight Andy Whipp v. Scott Handley with Andy sporting another outfit from his Winter collection! Unfortunately Scott had to pull out with a sore glute. What a shame!

And to the last match of the day! All the WAGS had turned out for this encounter between the top two players at Lee – this should be an enthralling match! Anthony, having not been tested in his quarter final i, but Tim , being luved more at Lee ( Ant’s words) as he seemed to settle down first. But Ant’s backhand drive seems to be doing some dangerous damage as he takes the first game 11/8. Anthony’s athleticism really shows with some wonderful retrieving but Tim calls on experience to bring some air between pick-ups. Ant’s backhand boasts to a low level at one game all.

A contentious third game – maybe Tim playing a coach/ pupil card, saw Tim take a 2-1 lead.

A more focused Anthony arrived at the party at the beginning of the 4th and took an 8/5 lead, and good tight attacking play took the match to a decider.

A great opening rally set the mood for the next game. Tim was now in a playing mode, played shots from all over the court together with changing pace to give himself some time. A missed volley drop from Ant gave Tim match ball, only then to give away a stroke. Tim then took the match with a great back hand drop which Ant unsuccessfully dived for. A great match!

Quarter-Finals:

Good Morning Lee-on-Solent! Graded Tournament players loitering with intent and exhaustion.

Today’s ¼ finals look intriguing. First up 3/4th seed Scott Handley v Charlie Johnson on Court 6 and number 1 seed Andy Whipp v James Simpson.

Scott early into Charlie’s engine with great drop and boasts put together with searching drives, first game 11-3.

While on the other court James seems to be staying with Andy being patient in the vallies and creeping into an 8-4 lead, eventually taking the game 11-6.

Back on Court 6, Charlie really comes to the “party” prepared to go and get Scott’s short game and only loses 11-8.

Scott begins the 3rd on the attack, playing fluidly which took him to world status running out the match 11-6.

Maybe jetlag from Manchester was in Andy’s legs because he raced away with the next two games to set up a semi-final against Scott (mouthwatering!).

Anthony Graham v David Allam

Staring again from where he left off earlier, moving around and hitting with ease, he took the first 11/6 with some errors from David. Ant hit third gear, and with some gifts from David, Ant took the 2nd game 11/2. Frustration crept into David’s game and ,boy, does he have to work hard to stay in the match, but to no avail as Anthony took the game to win the match 3-0.

Next on was Tim Vail v. Phil Bull

The effect of running a good tournament were still with Tim early doors of the match with Phil making Timmee move forward keeping the scores level until Tim drew away to 11/9. Phil stayed focused and took the second game . The third game was one way traffic with Tim winning 11/1. The fourth game was heavily contested, but Tim got into 6th gear and drew away to victory – 11/6 –and another home quarter final .

On the next court is number 1 under 19 player Ollie Holland against Richard Birks – he’s still not looking ruffled – maybe that’s the effect of Richard’s lunchtime game twinned with Rich not bringing his short game with him. Ollie played strong and solid throughout the match and managed to stay on top taking the match 3-1.

The final game is between Mike Harris (Ex Millfield) and Youssef Abdullah, the flamboyant player out of the East End with a great hairdo. First and second games went to Michael who used his experience from tournaments and PSL to take the lead. Yossef – less experienced- made some errors – but don’t stop playing without fear (Ramy’s done okay ?) Only for Youssef to force errors from Mike and stay in the match winning the third. The fourth – Youssef’s string broke to give a little momentum back to Mike who levelled he score to 6 all. A great backhand volley from Mike and two tins from Youssef – a backhand kill gave Mike match ball which is given to him.Talented boy –Youssef and well played Mike.

The next two quarters is number 2 , Lee’s Anthony Graham v England’s number one u19 Ollie Holland both playing looking to ask questions of each other.

While next door Lee’s very own Tim Vail v Mike Harris his Exeter team-mate.

Anthony starts really well keeping Ollie behind him and forcing the errors and keeps him forcing the errors and keeps him in front to a 11-8 first game.

Ollie again lets Anthony get away from him with some punishing play and eventually Ollie is forced to concede leaving Anthony to march forward relatively fresh into a semi-final against the winner of court 6 in which Tim has a 2 nil lead.

The third starts with Tim holding the ball well, making Michael stop and start but Mike begins to read Tim’s moves and takes the 3rd, maybe getting Tim into his area made in “Millfield” hard hitting and patient length which seems to work until all but two strokes sees Tim move forward to semi-final against his pupil Anthony. Hopefully Tim will recover enough after this fairly hard encounter.

 

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