ESSEX JUNIOR CLOSED 2014 – 2015
The Essex Junior Closed was held at BATTS Harlow on Saturday 10 January 2015. At the Closing Date there were 53 entries and with the acceptance of late entries the final entry figure was 57 as against last year’s 73, with one more accepted on the day. Groups of three players in in most events and even with this we overran by just over an hour.
The opening event was the Under 13 Boys but with only two Girls entering their event they were transferred to the Boys event which thus became on Open event. There were eight Groups (two having four players). One player did not turn up so the only player looking for a scratch entry could be accommodated. Two seeds failed to win their Group, Alexander Bettley (Bra) defeating Daniel Zeffie (Sou) 3-0 and Alana Mansfield defeating William Bettley (Bra), also 3-0, to set up a first round match between the brothers which William won 3-0. Only one match went to a fifth game decider, Zak Norman squeezing through 12-10 over Reece Harris-Griffiths (Sou) to go through to the KO Stage. The top four seeds all got through to the semi finals, Casey Mansfield having the toughest match to overcome Gracie Edwards (Cla) 10, 8, 7.In the semi he met No. 1 seed Rahul Jindal (Mossford). Saving two match points in the third game he went on to a narrow -3, -10, 10, 6, 9 win. In the other semi No. 2 seed Ray Yan (BATTS) met Jaden Aulakh (Mossford) and after a gripping match just managed a -9, 3, -9, 9, 9 win. The final also went the full distance with fortunes going one way, then the other before Ray eventually won 7, -4, 6, -4, 8.
At this stage Gracie withdrew from the U15 and U18 Girls events leaving us with just three girls in the U15 event (Zoe Davies (Sou) first, Alana the runner up and Jaz Harvey third) and Zoe defeating Lauren James (Col) 3, 3, 7 in the U18 event.
There were 9 Groups in the U15 Boys event (7 of three players and 2 of four) but No. 2 seed Jack Stockdale(Havering) failed to arrive (more later). The remaining eight seeds all won their Groups although for Xudong Wang (Eastbury) it was on countback as the players all beat one another and he was the only casualty of round one losing to Jamie Morgan (Col) 9, -11, 7, 11. With some quarter finals having started Jack Stockdale arrived and it transpired that I had given him the same start time for both U15 and U18 events in error (first time that I can remember that I have done this). After discussions and after all it is a closed event and the mistake was mine it was agreed that Jack would be fitted in in his No. 2 position and the event proceed accordingly. In the top half No. 1 seed Sam Hume (Cla) had a 3-0 win over Jamie Morgan with Syed Hussain (Eastbury) defeating Casey Mansfield 10, 3, 4. The semi went to five games with Sam winning –6, 5, -8, 6, 4. Catching up with matches in the bottom half Jack defeated Matthew Stringer (Sou), Ray Yan and Ali Cangir (Eastbury) 3-1 each time to reach the final. In the final, which was played after the Groups of the U18 event were played, Jack won 10, 8, 7.
When Daniel Young failed to qualify from his U15 Group the U11 Open event was commenced earlier than scheduled with two Groups of three in play. William Bettley gained his revenge for his earlier defeat by Alana with a 3-0 win in his Group and with Alexander losing a five game thriller to Daniel Young 9, -10, -9, 6, 7, in the other Group the brothers met again in the semi final, William again the winner, this time 3-1, to reach the final. In the other semi Alana beat Daniel 8, 3, 11. The final was thus a repeat of the Group match and this time William had to come back from 2-1 down to take the U11 title.
For the U18 Boys event there were five Groups and as she only played one match in her U18 event Zoe Davies replaced the absent Adam Hill. Only seed not to win his Group was Jack Stockdale, defeated by Zoe Davies -8, 12, 8, 7 but in the quarter final she lost to Jonathan Ma (Col) 7, 8, 9. The other three quarters were all close, No. 2 seed Luke Jones defeating Matthew Nariel (Sou) 14, 12, 11, Jack defeating Justin Jeffrey (Sou) -3, -4, 10, 3, 8 and saving two match points in the third game, and Sam Hume struggling to beat Casey Mansfield -7, 4, 5, -13, 5. In the semis Sam gained his revenge for his previous defeat by Jack by winning 11, 4, 10 whilst Luke beat Jonathan 4, 10, 9. In the final Luke won 11, 5, 9.
The last event of the day was the U18 Boys Restricted Singles and seven groups of three. In the semis Casey beat Matthew Stringer (Sou) -9, 8, 9, 7 while in the other semi Louis Jones (Eastbury) beat Daniel Payne (Sou) -5, 9, 5, 6. In the final Louis beat a tired Casey 7, 9, 9
My thanks to Umpire John Jennings for his stalwart duties and Alan Wood for obtaining such nice trophies and Chairman Ken Field presenting the trophies. I think a good day was enjoyed by all
Arthur C. Clark
Junior Match Secretary and Tournament Organiser.