Naseem Triumphs in Edinburgh Banded
Zeesth Naseem came out on top at Saturday’s Edinburgh Banded. As ever with these events each of the 6 bands was packed with tight and enjoyable matches. With players in Band 1 all playing 8 matches it was a test of stamina and concentration as much as skill- there were certainly some weary bodies and minds by the end!
Seeded no. 2, Naseem maintained a good level throughout though was frustrated to have lost his penultimate match – Colin Green displaying his usual tenacity to claim it in the 5th. Naseem was disappointed to have missed ‘4 or 5 straightforward forehand opens’ in the final set. ‘I always have 5-setters with Colin so hopefully next time I’ll not make so many errors’. In general he was happy with his game and particularly happy with his dominant display vs Faye Leggett. He was happy that his Tomahawk serve had been effective and felt that his ability to finish points quickly had been key to most of his wins-‘in the longer rallies I got a bit nervy…the shorter points suited me’. Naseem won 5 of his matches 3-0 reflecting his general sharpness. He finished well beating a slightly disgruntled Charlie Morton in his final match to ensure his overall victory.
Behind him were Charlie Ellis, Charlie Morton, Colin Green and Faye Leggett who all finished with a 5 wins and 3 losses ratio (Ellis edging the countback). Green was a bit unlucky to miss out having narrowly failed to complete a fine comeback vs Charlie Ellis (4,5,-7,-10,10). Among the best matches were Cameron Hussain’s versus Glasgow South clubmate Charlie Morton in which Hussain prevailed 11-9 in the 5th. Other lengthy 5-setters included Faye Legget’s 12-10 in the fifth win in a fast-paced contest with Ryan Docherty.
In Band 2 Andrew Nimmo finished on top with Joy Daniels coming 2nd. Nimmo was impressive in winning all eight of his matches and only being taken to five by Brian Irvine. Daniels again had a length tussle with 3rd placed Brian Irvine (who received the player of the day award for his good play and attitude during the day). Daniels eventually prevailing 3-2 (-4,8,10,-8,6) after an inordinate number of lengthy rallies. Lorenas Vismantas was selected by David Fairholm as Umpire of the Day for umpiring this protracted match and diligent umpiring during the whole day.
Bands 3, 4 and 5 were initially played as an assessment with the top 7 qualifying for Band 3 second-placed seven Band 4 and 3rd placers in band 5. Kieran Walker was undefeated in his six matches (though Alastair Hill pushed him close) and claimed the top spot from Graham Muir. 3rd placed Tariq Omar impressed with some stylish play and finished well with a win over Alastair Hill in the day’s final match – one which featured a ridiculous number of nets!
Haydn Jackson battled through to top Band 4, narrowly ahead of Edinburgh Banded stalwart Robbie McIntosh. Jackson was made to work hard for the win, losing to clubmate Masoud Nowbaveh and coming through three 5-setters, including a comeback win versus McIntosh (-7,-8,9,11,8). McIntosh ended his day on a high with a battling win versus Panagiotis Kanargias (10,11,-11,-6,11).
Local boy Jamie Toner was a popular winner of Band 5, ending with the same 5-1 record as Danny Gallagher but claiming top spot by virtue of a 3-0 (4,3,8) win versus Gallagher. An excellent effort by Toner given that he was seeded 6th in the group.
Euan Walker (a fine TT name!) won out in Band 6, edging a sets countback with Louis McLeod (runner-up) and John Kwok (an unlucky 3rd)-all three players ending with a 7-1 record.
Thanks to all who contributed: Gordon, Lindsay and Graham Muir, David Fairholm (Tournament Referee) and John Hannah who did a great, unflustered job in his 1st appearance on top table. Thanks also to Julie Jackson for setting up and running the Spot the Ball competition and to the staff at Bathgate Academy for their assistance.
Ratings Central Changes:
The next Edinburgh Banded takes place on November 30th . Enter here
The Jarvis Edinburgh Open is on the 4th and 5th of January. Enter here
Report by Charlie Ellis
Photo by John Hannah
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