100th All England Seniors 2016 and new title for Joanna

At this memorable 100th event played at Hertfordshire Sports Village in Hatfield, with over 440 players from 21 countries across the 8 age groups, there were 640 matches played. The standard of play was extremely high with senior World and European champions in the mix throughout many of the age groups. Avon players were contesting several age groups with varying degrees of success.


Avon had three men playing at 55+ at these Championships but in the MS both Dave Gribble and Gene Joyner fell to the seeded man in their group. At 55+ MD Gene was playing with Richard Jones (Sussex) in the same group as Dave Gribble and Ian Nicholls but, with the No 2 seeds from ChineseTaipei in the same group, neither pair progressed, though Dave and Ian gave these eventual gold medallists one of their toughest games of the day losing 27-25, 21-13.
With 22 pairs in the 55+ XD Gene Joyner and Anita Harris (Hertfordshire) were beaten in their group by Dave Gribble playing with Anne Bridge (Surrey). Ian Nicholls with Jenny Cox (Surrey) won their group but went out in the quarter final to the No 2 seeds. Dave and Anne went one better going through to the semi finals before losing out to the Chinese Taipei No 1 seeds and eventual winners.
Derek Simmons, playing 65+MD with Chris Hockey from Surrey, were another pair unlucky not to get through the group, going down in yet another close match, 21-19, 20-22, 23-21 to the Danish No2 seeds and eventual winners in this event. Mike Cox, playing in a scratch partnership with a Malaysian also lost out in this group.
Val O'Neill, with regular partner Penny Shears withdrawing with an injury, did very well to get to the final of the 65+ WD in another scratch partnership. Playing with Ewa Carlander from Sweden, they reached the final after some tough games, winning their semi-final 20-22, 21-10, 21-18 but then losing out to the Danish top seeds in the final.
Val playing at 65+XD with Grahame Moscrop (Northumberland), had a tough match in their group against Mike Cox and Pam Firth (Yorkshire) which Val and Grahame narrowly won but then lost to a Danish pair in their Quarter Final.

The outstanding result of the weekend for our County was from the 70+ group where Joanna Elson was playing with Vicki Betts from Hampshire. Joanna has had many successes including World Championship Gold at mixed doubles but never before won the Women's Doubles at the All England Championships, Joanna and Vicki took this title beating both the Danish No 2 seeds 21-14, 21-8 and the English No 1 seeds 21-19, 18-21, 21-15.  Joanna also reached the final of the 70+ XD with partner Ken Tantum but this time had to settle for the silver medal.