The first BATTS One Star Junior Open Tournament of season 2013/14 was held at the home of BATTS Table Tennis Club, the Norman Booth Centre, Old Harlow on Sunday 9 March. Once again there was a good entry, 83 all told after eight late requests for entry were met from withdrawals on the previous two days with players coming from as far away as Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Norfolk.
Consolation events were held for those players who failed to finish in the top two places in their Groups in all the events. Even a player who finished last in his Group matches won a Consolation event, their opponent being the player who finished third in the same Group.
The day’s events started with the Under 13 Boys and Girls events. The two overnight withdrawals being met from overnight entry requests from the eight Groups of four in the boys event. Similar to the same time last season two of the top seeds failed to win their Group, Casey Mansfield (E) losing to Thomas Hagan and Thomas O’Sullivan (He) losing to Ali Cangir (E) whilst the other Group seeds all won their matches 3-0. Only six of the 48 Group matches required a deciding game. In the knockout stage top seed Reiss Vydelingum (K) proceeded comfortably to the final dropping only one game in the semi to number three seed James Kelly (Ca). In the other half No. 2 seed Reece Chamdal (Ox) progressed comfortably to the semi final where George Long (Mi) provided stern opposition, Reece losing his 2-0 lead before winning the deciding game 11-6. In the Final Reiss was in control throughout winning 1, 4, 6. Closest match in the KO stage was that between the two Essex players Casey Mansfield and Ali Cangir with Casey just scraping through -7, 7, 5, -5, 9.
In the Consolation event the two players who played one another in Group 8 were to meet in the final, but only after both had tough semi final matches. Rokas Dedinas (E) beat Amaan Dad (E) 8, 9, -8, -9, 5 whilst Angelo Papantonio (Mi) just got the better of Owen Longhurst (E) 12, 10, -9, 11. The final was to have the audience on the edge of their seats with both players having match points in the deciding set. Having lost 6, 7, -9, 8 in the Group match Rokas eventually squeezed home -13, 7, -9, 8, 15.
The Girls U13 event consisted of three Groups of four players played on two tables. With top seed Jemma Walker (Bu) forced to withdraw two days beforehand the Groups were re-constituted with the top seeds being Gracie Edwards(E) and Amelia Chan (Mi). Both won their Groups although Gracie had to come back from 2-1 down to beat Charlotte Marsden (He) For new third seed Lucia Shakespeare (Sy) nothing went right, losing to Isabella Hudson (Mi) after being 2-1 up and Lois Perryman (K) 3-0 to be relegated to the Consolation event. Gracie and Federica Tazartes (Sy) had played one another in the Group and they were to meet one another again in the final which Gracie won -9, 12, 7, 4. In the semi’s Gracie had beaten Essex compatriot Emily Smith 3-0 whilst Federica had beaten Amelia 3-1 in her semi after squeezing past Lois 11-8 in the deciding game of the quarter final.
In the Consolation event Lucia lost to Charlotte 11, 5, 10 in the semi and Charlotte went on to beat Natasha Kent (Ca) 9, 8, -11, 4 in the final. In her semi Natasha had to come back from 2-0 down against Alana Mansford (E) to win 11-9 in the decider.
The afternoon U15 events had ten Groups of four Boys and one of three after seven boys withdrew due to illness and injury over the previous two days but six boys seeking entry over those same two days were able to be accommodated. For the Girls one of the four Groups of four was expanded to a Group of five so that Natasha did not have to endure watching her brother playing all afternoon! Alas for Thomas although he won his Group he fell at the first KO hurdle to Fraser Donelley 14, -6, 6, -8, 9 and thus had to watch Natasha instead. Lehman Chan (Mi) and brothers Michael and Thomas Connelly (Nk) were the seeds not to win their Groups.
After the Group matches were played number one seed Reiss Vydelingum became unwell and withdrew before the KO stage commenced. This gave Thomas Connelly the opportunity to reach the semi final where he met number four seed James Knudsen (E) (he was ranked only one point below number three seed James Kelly), losing 8, -8, 8, 3. In the other half James Kelly had a titanic semi final battle with number two seed Reece Chamdal (Ox) eventually winning 5, -6, -10, 8, 6. James Kelly won the final -3, 9, 5, 10.
The Consolation final was contested by two Essex players and it was Jack Stockdale who won, defeating Casey Mansfield 2, 10, 10. Both had Essex opponents in the semi’s, Casey defeated Liam Squirrell 5, -11, 6, 8 and Jack defeated Ali Cangir 9, 8, 2. Ali had only got through his quarter final by the narrowest of margins, 9, 6, -7, -9, 10 over Angelo Papantonio.
In the U15 Girls event Zoe Davies (E), Katherine Shaw (Sk), Amelia Chan and Gracie Edwards all won their Groups. Amelia had to battle hard for her top spot, defeating Emily Smith10, -10, 9, 10 and just getting the better of Lois Perryman18-16 in the fourth game. Katherine had to sweat on the outcome of the Group countback for the top three places in her Group after losing to Federica Tazartes 12-10 in the decider in the last match of the Group. Earlier Federica had lost in the deciding game in the Group’s first match to Rebecca Lowman (E). In the quarter’s Zoe lost to Yolanda Tanner (Sy) 14-12 in the decider and Yolanda then lost to Katherine 3-0 in the semi. In the other half semi final Gracie went the full distance with Amelia before winning -7, 8, 10, -6, 8 and Gracie went on to win the final 5, 8, 4.
In the Consolation event Rebecca defeated Charlotte Marsden(He) 7, 3, 7 in the final after both girls won their semi’s 3-1, Charlotte by -12, 10, 7, 8 against Emily and Rebecca 8, 6, -9, 4 against Lois.
An enjoyable Sunday for all the players and a hectic day for me. With the BATTS policy of running Consolation events wherever the Schedule permits for those players who do not finish in the top two places in their Group it does give the lesser players a chance of winning some honours even if they do not win a Group match as has been shown in these events.
The next BATTS Tournament will be held on 10/11 May which will include an open U11 event on the Sunday.
Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary
Member of the BATTS Organising Committee.