Corcoran Retains Title in Thrilling Final
England junior Adam Corcoran has retained his Winchester title, overcoming club coach Gary Hinton in a thrilling final in front of a packed Bereweeke Road crowd. Corcoran looked to be coasting to victory as he cruised into a 2-0 lead with a combination of clinging drives and precision drops, but Hinton’s recent enhanced training regime showed its worth as he clawed his way back to 2-2 with some astonishing retrieving and audacious winners. But the England U19 no.2 wasn’t to be denied, keeping the ball in play and forcing errors from his tiring opponent to run out a comfortable winner in the deciding game. A fabulous win for Corcoran then, but a hard fought and extremely sporting contest which did great credit to both players.
Elsewhere Hannah Sinclair edged out Yvette Ashman to win the Ladies title 3-2, Ashman gaining compensation by claiming the Ladies O35 crown over Georgina Newham in straight games. In the Men’s age category events, the indefatigable Phil Ashman completed the O35 and O45 double with victories over Jon Day and club captain Paul Thomas respectively, with George Kousseff regaining the O55 ‘Super-Vets’ title from club legend Chris Wilson.
Longest match of the night was the racketball final with the versatile Phill Bull overcoming Wes Cusick in a two hour marathon, clinching the final game 11-9. Other awards went to Mike Catlin who overcame Phil Ashman in the Men’s ‘B’ Final, and 13-year-old Joe Sutton-Welch who edged out Hannah Sinclair in the ‘C’ final before proving just too fit and indeed experienced for veteran Craig Mascall in the Racketball ‘B’ final.
Special awards were handed out to Richard Corcoran for the huge amount of work he puts in behind the scenes in organising junior events, and Russell Brooks for organising a series of special events including a forthcoming exhibition match between Daryl Selby and James Willstrop both of whom are in the World Top 20.
Club Chairman Phil Ashman handed out the awards at the Mexican-themed annual club dinner, with the overall Player of the Year award going to Paul Jones who returned to team action after a year out with a snapped achilles, played for a total of five different teams, and lost only two matches during the entire season.
So a fitting finale to a hugely successful campaign, with both Ladies teams topping their respective Divisions, the Men’s first team finishing runners-up in the Hampshire Premier, the Veterans first team retaining their Hampshire title by a huge margin of over 40 points – and the Men’s 4th team saving their skins on the last day of the season thanks to skipper Tom Oldroyd turning round a 0-2 deficit to triumph 10-9 in the fifth against Totton’s club coach!
Written by George Kousseff