Blackpool Grand Prix

Good Evans! Callum and Mollie steal show


Paul Stimpson (Table Tennis England)

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Mollie Patterson and Callum Evans both won the senior singles titles and the under-21 versions to make it a day of doubles at the Blackpool Grand Prix.

It was actually a treble for young Welshman Evans, who had taken the Band 1 competition the previous day. Callum defeated Shaun Ellis 3-1 (11-4, 11-4, 4-11, 11-6) to take the top title, having gone through the earlier rounds without dropping a game against Peter Smallcombe, Jamie Nordin and Joseph Goss – who he beat 14-12, 11-8, 11-8 in the semi-finals. Ellis’ semi-final was more of a struggle as he had to dig deep to overcome Graeme Barella 3-2 (11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 14-12, 12-10.

Callum completed his on-the-day double with a 3-0 (13-11, 11-9, 11-7) victory over Jamie Nordin in the Men U21 singles. The top two seed Evans earlier saw off Lancashire pair Rhys Davies 3-1 (11-8, 10-12, 11-3, 11-6) in the quarter-finals and Zak Cantor 3-0 (11-6, 11-9, 12-10) in the semis. Nordin, who came through the bottom half of the draw after winning Group 2, defeated Scotland’s Charlie Morton 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-8) in the quarters and Ryan Choong of Lancashire 3-0 (13-11, 17-15, 11-8) in a tough semi.

In the U21 women Mollie Patterson’s second win of the day came in the round-robin Under-21s as she won all four matches. Only second-placed Beth Richards managed to take a game off the Norfolk teenager, going ahead before Patterson hit back to win 3-1 (9-11, 11-3, 14-12, 11-3). Grace Clement of Wales came back from 2-0 down to Lancashire’s Sandy Choong to triumph 3-2 (7-11, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-8), which was enough to finish third.

Jamie-Lee Harley won the Band 3 on Saturday with Beth Richards winning the Band 2 Open to show the Welsh stole the tournament once again.

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