Three in a row for Wayne Martin after narrow victory over Steve Howard
The third Eastwood Open proved to be another successful and enjoyable tournament. A round robin format was used which provided every competitor with at least three matches. The top two players in the four man groups progressed to the quarter-finals plus the best third placed player. In the five man group, the top three players were to progress, however it did not quite work out like that (see below).
Debutant Jimmy Gratton from Belper blew away his opposition in group one without dropping a frame. In his match against the home club’s Ash Goring he made awesome breaks of 54 and 59 in the same frame! He also knocked in breaks of 37 against Kingston’s Marc Harman and 34 against Matt Ellis.
Ellis really struggled and was on his way home by 4pm having failed to win a frame. After all matches had been played, Harman, Wilkin and Goring could not be separated. It was therefore agreed that all three players would play one frame against each other with the overall winner progressing to the semi-finals. Harman beat both Wilkin and Goring to progress.
*through to semi-finals
Wayne Martin, who was going for his third title, won the group without losing a match. Stewart Crosswell who reached the final last time out, showed flashes of brilliance, particularly in the deciding frame of his match against Steve Butler where he made a superb 72 break. Steve Butler also qualified for the quarter-finals as a result of being the best third placed player. Toby Irons, who was another player making his debut, struggled to find his form and followed Ellis out of the door at 4pm.
Group three contained three players who were making their tournament debuts. Tony Nelson won all three matches and finished top of the group. Steve Howard progressed in second place without having to find his top form. Andrew Gratton only just missed out. Tournament organiser Stephen Lally was unlucky, losing all three of his matches by the odd frame.
Wayne Martin 2-0 Steve Butler
An easy win for Martin including a 42 break as Butler was starting to tire.
Steve Howard 2-1 Tony Nelson
A very tight and tense affair between these two players but it was Howard who came out on top.
Stewart Crosswell 2-1 Jimmy Gratton
An excellent result for Crosswell to beat the on-fire Gratton and set up a semi-final clash with Howard.
Marc Harman 2-0 Ash Goring/Ross Wilkin
Harman came out on top in the three-way playoff (see group 1 above) to set up a semi-final clash with Wayne Martin.
Wayne Martin 2-0 Marc Harman
Harman had a couple of good chances in the first frame which he failed to take and Martin was now playing really well. He sealed the first frame with some solid play and then turned on the style in the second frame with a fantastic 81 break, the highest of the tournament, which earned him the £10 highest break prize.
Steve Howard 2-0 Stewart Crosswell
Crosswell was very disappointing in his match against the home club’s Steve Howard. Crosswell was favourite to reach his second final in succession but he missed too many chances and Howard’s solid play saw him into the final at his first attempt.
Final £60 / £30
Wayne Martin 3-2 Steve Howard
Howard made it really tough for Martin with some great potting and solid safety play. Howard took the first frame which made Martin realise he wasn’t going to have it all his own way. Martin pulled the next one back but Howard then took the third with the help of the matches highest break, a modest 34. In the fourth frame Martin knuckled down to ensure that the match went to a decider. The final frame was very tense as neither player wanted to leave anything easy for his opponent. Martin eventually managed to pull away to win his third successive title and the £60 winners prize.
Wayne Martin 81,42,39,31
Stewart Crosswell 72,42
Jimmy Gratton 59,54,34
Marc Harman 39
Andrew Gratton 37
Steve Howard 34