Hardy adds Island singles title to his CV

STUART HARDY is finally a Guernsey men’s singles champion.

Stuart Hardy has achieved a long-time ambition by becoming the Island men's singles champion. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31533643)
Stuart Hardy has achieved a long-time ambition by becoming the Island men's singles champion. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31533643)

Although Hardy has won Island Games medals and competed at three Commonwealths, his triumph in this year’s Senior Closed Tournament at Rohais Badminton Halls was a lifetime first for him.

In the absence of serial champion Paul Le Tocq, who foiled his title bid last year, 20-year-old Alex Tapp lined up as Hardy's singles opponent on finals night.

The youngster had returned from ankle injury to put up a decent fight, which bodes well for the future.

Hardy struggled out of the blocks in the first game but then hit several points unanswered and never looked back from there, winning it 21-13.

In the second, Tapp raised his game again and scored some cracking points, keeping Hardy within reach until the dying stages, where his older opponent pulled away to win 21-16.

‘It’s a big relief,’ the winner said.

‘The one thing I still wanted to achieve that I had not achieved yet was the singles title.

‘Going in as number one seed, the pressure is on there.

‘Alex is playing really well. I played him in the group matches on Monday and we had a really close game in that, and he played really well in that final too.’

Among a smaller women’s singles field, fellow Commonwealth Games player Emily Trebert retained her title by defeating young Carys Batiste in the final.

Trebert was never behind in the first game but relied on one significant scoring run to break clear, winning 21-14.

She repeated that winning scoreline in the second game and in fairly similar circumstances, being held to level pegging at 5-all before embarking on a remarkable nine-point scoring run.

The defeated Tapp joined forces with Emily’s younger brother, David Trebert, to defeat Hardy and Daniel Penney in a lengthy men’s doubles battle.

The youthful duo won the first game 21-17, lost the second 21-15, then came through a decider 21-13.

The women’s doubles also went to a third game.

Trebert and Batiste won the opener 21-14 against Renee Cotterill and Chloe Le Tissier only to be edged 21-18 in a close follow-up, but they sealed the title with another 21-14 scoreline.

Yet the mixed doubles provided arguably the greatest contest of all, with Hardy adding to his title tally after coming from behind in a three-game battle.

The singles champion and Le Tissier went down 21-13 in the first game against Tapp and Batiste.

But they exacted revenge in the second, dominating it 21-8, before squeezing through an extended decider 24-22.

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