A Good Weekend for Middlesex’s Curtis Welsh
The third BATTS One Star Junior Open Tournament of season 2012/13 was held at the home of BATTS Table Tennis Club, the Norman Booth Centre, Old Harlow on the 11/12 March. There was a massive entry, 142 all told, which meant reluctantly that Consolation events for those players who failed to finish in the top two places in their Groups could not be held for the U16, U15 and U13 Boys events. Players entered from as far away as Cheshire, Sussex, Beds and Norfolk as well as four of the Greenhouse Centres.
Saturday morning started with the Under 16 Boys event, originally eight Groups of five players and one of four. With two players not arriving the one player hoping for an on the day scratch entry could be accommodated. All the top seeds in their Groups were winners except one, Samuel Lowman (E) who lost to Cheshire’s Joe Howard. Number one seed Jamie Dignum (Mi) reached the final without dropping a game, defeating James Knudsen (E) in the quarter final and Jay Ghazi Timms (Mi) in the semi. It wasn’t as easy for No. 5 seed Curtis Welsh in the bottom half, 10, 10, -8, 5 against George Mills (Mi), 2, 8, 7 over No. 4 seed Jake Henley in the Q/F and -8, 3, 10, -8, 5 over No. 2 seed Rijul Roychoudhury (Mi) in the semi. In the final, after letting a 2-0 lead and three match points slip he finally beat Jamie 7, 9, -13, -4, 6.
For the Under 16 Girls three Groups of four but the number three seed failed to arrive. In Group one all matches were won 3-0 with top seed Charlize Uy (He) untroubled. In Group two the seeded Juliette Mousserie (Sy) lost her opening match to Jennifer Crapnell (E) 7-11 in the decider and Jenny went on to win the Group. Emily Wood (E) was the winner of Group three. In the semi’s Juliette defeated Charlize 8, 4, -10, 6 and Jenny beat Emily 9, 4, 14. Thus Juliette and Jenny met for the second time, another fine match ensued with Juliette just gaining revenge for her earlier defeat 12, 9, 12. In the Consolation final Sarah James (E) beat Lauren James (E) 8, 10, -7, -9, 9.
For the Under 14 Boys event there should have been twelve Groups of four but one seed withdrew before the weekend and another failed to arrive together with four other entrants. The two players left in one Group were moved to fill other Group spaces, so eleven Groups started. Nine seeds won their Groups with James Knudsen (E) losing to Joe Howard (Ch) and Jay Ghazi Timms losing to Max Aldous (He). With the quirks of different ranking points for Cadets and Juniors this season Curtis (now the No. 2 seed ahead of Rijul Roychoudhury, Jake Henley (He) and Jay Ghazi Timms) and Jamie reached their second final of the day. Curtis again beat Rijul in the semi, this tome -8, -10, 8, 7, 9. Another cracking final with Curtis just nicking it 9, -5, -7, 11, 11. The Consolation event was won by Nick Radia (He) over Tharujan Sivarajah (E) 6, 4, 7. Nick beat Arman Khan (Mi) and Tharujan beat colleague Hamza Rehman (both 3-1) in the respective semi’s.
There were originally two Groups of four and one of five in the Girls U14 event but with one absentee there were three Groups of four. Charlize and Juliette won their Groups but No. 3 seed Talia Banin-Reid lost to Katherine Shaw (Sk) in her Group. For the second time in the day Juliette beat Charlize, only this time it was the final and the match much closer 9,-10, 6, -9, 5. In the Consolation event Sarah James was triumphant for the second time, this time beating Catherine Maltby (Mi) -11, -7, 12, 8, 4
Sunday’s events started with the Under 13 Boys and Girls events. Thirteen Groups of four and one of five in the Boy’s event and the non arrival of seven players enabled three scratch entries to be accepted. Only three seeds failed to win their Group, Kian Burgess (E) to James Kelly (Ca), John Dignum (Mi) to Daniel Shelley (Sk) and Naphong Boonyaprapa (Nk) to scratch entry Kidi Martin Paulo. At the KO Stage Eren Guzco (a scratch entry inserted in the space created by the absent No. 2 seed) and No. 3 seed George Coulson (He) reached the final where Eren won 9, 7, -9, 7. In the semi’s George beat No. 1 seed Naphat Boonyaprapa (Nk) 9, 3, 9 and Eren beat Kai Ghazi Timms (Mi), No. 4 seed 8, 9, -9, 7.
In the U13 Girls event there were three Groups of four players. The three seeds, Amelia Chan (Mi), Ruth Marsden (K) and Georgina Lister (Ca) all won their Group. In the semi’s Amelia beat Zoe Davies (E) -4, 5, 6, -5, 7 and Ruth beat Emily Smith (E) 11, 4, -6, 7. In the previous round Emily had defeated Georgina -5, 6, 9, 5. In the final Amelia won 8, 6, 9. In the Consolation event Sarah James won her third Consolation event of the weekend by defeating Nabilan Rifat (Mi) 4, 3, 3 in the final.
There were three events in the afternoon. The Under 11 Open, two Girls and 14 boys forming four Groups of four, the U15 Boys, seven Groups of five and the U15 Girls, originally a round robin of six players but with three of the U13 Girls wanting scratch entries hurriedly reorganised into a Group of four players and a Group of five with subsequent KO Main and Consolation events.
It was good to see so many U11 entrants but with some players playing in their first Tournament event ETTA ranking points not necessarily a good guide which showed when the number 2 and 3 seeds failed to win their Groups but at least they went through to the main event by being runners up. Top seed Kai Ghazi Timms (Mi) had to come back from 2-1 down in his last Group match against Samuel Hague (Ca) to win his Group and in the Q/F he then had to face Naphong Boonyaprapa (Nk), the No. 3 seed, who had lost to Liam Smith (K) in his Group. Kai won 9, 17, 7 and went on to reach the final by beating Oliver Salmon (Ca) 5, -11, 5, 5. Meanwhile in the other half Liam went on to reach the final after a mammoth semi battle with Samuel Chesterman (Ca) 7, 8, -12, -4, 9. Earlier Samuel had defeated No. 2 seed Thomas O’Sullivan (He) in his Group and County compatriot Samuel Hague -7, -8, 10, 3, 9 in the Q/F. In the final Kai won 10, 5, 3. In the Consolation final the third and fourth placed players in Group two met again and again it was Casey Mansfield (E) who emerged the winner -10, 9, 6, 7.
In the U15 Boys event three of the seven seeds failed to win their Group, Jay Ghazi Timms, GBolohan Hassan (Mi) and George Coulson but all three went on to reach the quarter finals. Jay lost to Curtis Welsh 8, 4, 3, GBolohan to Claudiu Andrei (Mi) 10, 11, -8, -7, 7 but George beat Joe Howard (Ch) -9, 7, 6, 5 for a semi final match with top seed Kleber Silva (E). Kleber won this 9, 5, 3 and Curtis the other semi -9, 4, 2, 9. The destination of the trophy was always in doubt in an exciting final with Kleber pulling away in the later stages of the decider to win 8, -5, 10, -4, 8.
In the reconstituted Girls U15 event there were three way ties in both Groups. Jess Jarvis (E) won Group 1 but Georgina Lister (Ca), Ruth Marsden (K) and Emily Smith (E) each beat one another. On games countback Emily was declared the winner so finished second in the Group. For Group 2 the tie was for first place. Games countback made Zoe Davies (E) the winner, Jenny Crapnell the runner up and relegated top seed Viona Fejzullahu to the Consolation event. In the KO semi finals Jenny beat Jess -7, 5, 6, 8 and Zoe beat Emily, her League compatriot, 8, -4, -1, 10, 5. In a very close final Zoe beat Jenny 10, -9, 9, 10. In the Consolation final Viola had an easy win over Sarah Menghistab 3, 4, 2.
Another enjoyable weekend for all the players and a hectic two days for me. It was unfortunate that 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 and gives the lesser players a chance of winning some honours Consolation events for the Boys could only be held in the U11 and U14 events. To have staged Consolations for the other three Boys events would have meant a very late evening finish.
Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary
Member of the BATTS Organising Committee