Coleman conquers Hedrick and Gillams as Sharpes shakes off James and Fallowes at Dulwich
By TIM GARNER in Dulwich (Our Man on the South Circular)
With the earlier retirement of Dulwich Open top seed Tom Richards, the door was ajar for one of the young challengers and it was Ben Coleman who took full advantage but not without a big effort.
In the quarter-finals he saw off Australian fourth seed Rex Hedrick in an athletic three games lasting over an hour, before facing Angus Gillams, who had earlier beatem Jim Bamber in straight games.
Over the course of the next 80 minutes both players drew ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the capacity crowd as they threw themselves around the court.
Coleman was in control early on but Gillams grabbed the second and just lost the third before powering back to draw things level, much to the delight of the Dulwich crowd who were loving every strained sinew and winning shot.
In the fifth, Coleman managed to get an early lead, and hold on to it, to cross the line after five exhilarating and exhausting games.
In the bottom half of the draw, it was the quarter-finals that produced the five setter with Declan James taking third seed Charles Sharpes (right) all the way to the wire before being edged out 11-9 in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Richie Fallows managed to get the better of second seed Eddie Charlton to set up a tasty encounter with Sharpes. In the end it was the first that proved decisive in the last match of the day as Fallows lead 10-8 before Sharpes dug in and managed to turn things around 12-10.
Although Fallows battled on, wowing the crowd with some spectacular winners it was the steadier Sharpes that had the upper hand and he closed things out in straight games.
So the Grand Final will be between two great friends separated by just three places in the PSA Dunlop World Rankings.
Dulwich Open sponsored by Harvey Wheeler
2pm Grand Final: Charles Sharpes (World no.62) v Ben Coleman (World no.65)