Kent’s Kendrick joins elite group to reach Leamington in top four events
The performance of Roger Kendrick, who plays for the Vickers, Crayford, Dartford (VCD) club, deserves a special mention. He has qualified for the national championships in five events – men’s singles, pairs, triples and fours, and mixed pairs.
He was particularly delighted to win the county’s blue riband singles title, after losing in the final twice – in 2001, when he was only 24, and again in 2015. He also won the Kent mixed pairs title with 16-year-old clubmate Olivia Moulton, but lost in the fours final.
Although he and Jason Haskins lost in the semi finals of the men’s pairs, and (when the duo were joined by Barry Stone) the triples, Roger’s VCD teams managed to make the frame for Leamington in both events – by winning the third-place play-offs.
Like other big counties, Kent are given the benefit of have a ‘C’ entry in the national championships, so the senior ICT engineer at a comprehensive school in Gravesend became one of the few men to qualify for all four premier events – singles, pairs, triples and fours – in the same season.
For the record, the legendary David Bryant did so twice from Somerset, while others to achieved that feat include the late Grahame Luker (Somerset), Grant Burgess (Worcestershire), Les Gillett (in his Oxfordshire days) and Derbyshire duo Ashley Clipston and Martyn Allsopp.
Roger, who lives in Gravesend, heaps praise on his partners John Coatham, Jason Haskins and Barry Stone, in the men’s events, and his highly promising young lead, Olivia Moulton, in the mixed pairs.
Singles final: Roger Kendrick (VCD) bt Michael Cheeseman (Bromley) 21-18. Pairs 3rd place play-off: Jason Haskins & Roger Kendrick (VCD) bt Colin Coomber & Bruce Woodington (Empire) 18-16. Triples 3rd place play-off: Barry Stone, Jason Haskins, Roger Kendrick (VCD) bt Josh Tingey, Dex Weyand, Ken Weyand (St Lawrence) 19-9. Fours final: John Coatham, Jason Haskins, Barry Stone, Roger Kendrick (VCD) lost to David Mason, Scott Whiting, Joe Kelly, Grant Allen (Herne Bay) 14-16. Mixed Pairs final: Olivia Moulton & Roger Kendrick (VCD) bt Julie Parker & Alan Morton (Lenham) 22-12.