Each game in the MatchPlay is a two set affair with a tie-break. The round-robin stages determined the semi-finalists and there was a Plate competition too. The winners of three groups would go through to the semis along with the best runner-up. Group A was arguably the most open and contained two debutants, namely Essex’s John Fenton and all the way from the Royals in Tunbridge Wells, Paddy Rozier. Paddy did well to adjust to what was by his standards a slowish carpet to take second spot in the group behind the increasingly confident Tony Down from Bristol. Though Down did lose out to Rozier in their head-to-head match on the tie-break.
Group B saw a runaway success for the returning Lea Davis from the Jacks Centre IBC; not bad considering he had Val Bradley and John Appleton in that group too. Davis was unbeaten in the group.
Group C was without doubt the toughest. Had he not been forced to withdraw, it would have included defending Champion Percy Powell too but with Kevin Woolmore, Paul Brown and George Ridgeon in it, this was not going to be easy. This was heard said several times by the final member of this group, the phlegmatic local bowler from Foxhills IBC Michael Bull.
A side issue in Group C was the position of No1 in the BWBA’s UK Rankings. Woolmore went into the event as No1, having held that position for some considerable time. But his place at the top was under threat from Brown. So, what happened?
The first result revealed all with Brown beating Woolmore two sets to nil. Brown continued undefeated to top the group. Woolomore, surprisingly, was only to win one match and finish third behind the evergreen George Ridgeon.
The semi-finals had Paul Brown take on Paddy Rozier and Tony Down take on Lea Davis. Almost a West versus East clash with both Brown and Down being Bristolians.
Rozier did not quite have enough left in the tank and lost two sets to nil to Brown : one up to the West. Meanwhile, Davis won a somewhat one-sided match against Down by a similar score : so that one went to the East.
Davis’ good form continued into the Final where he won 11-2, 7-6 to take the 2011 MatchPlay Singles Championship. Whilst the ever-competitive Brown had to settle for second place, he did have the comfort of knowing that he would be ranked No1 in the UK after the Championships – and did all this whilst waiting for the news of the imminent birth of his first child! Third place was taken by Tony Down.
The Plate title went to Gloucester’s George Ridgeon, but only just. He beat Hull’s Val Bradley on the tie-break having : 8-3, 6-9, 2-0.
Set One Set Two Tie Break
Lea Davis 11 7
Paul Brown 2 6
Tony Down 11 10
Paddy Rozier 1 5
George Ridgeon 8 6 2
Val Bradley 3 9 0