A MASSIVE ENTRY FOR THE MAY TOURNAMENT AGAIN
The second 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 the 10/11 May. There was a massive entry, 120 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 and Under 16 Girls events. Players entered from as far away as Hampshire, Beds, Northants and Norfolk as well as four of the Greenhouse Centres and a contingent of eight players from the island of Jersey.
Saturday morning started with the Under 16 Boys event, eight Groups of five players. With four players not arriving on the day (two of them numbers 1 and 7 seeds) one scratch entry made a Group of three up to four. Only three of the remaining six seeds won their Groups. In the top half number 4 seed James Knudson (E) was therefore expected to reach the final, but in the quarter final he fell to Jersey’s unseeded Jacob Gosselin 7, 7, -6, 4 and in the semi final Jacob defeated Norfolk’s Jacob Goss 5, 9, 5. In the bottom half number two seed Nick Mileham (He) reached the final after a titanic battle with number 3 seed Max Aldous (Mi), coming back from two games down to win -9, -8, 5, 6, 11. In the final Nick had a game point to take the match to a deciding game but lost 8, 10, -3, 10.
At the same time the Under 16 Girls played their event, what should have been two Groups of five. However the number 1 seed, Amy Blagbrough (Hp) failed to arrive and it later transpired that her transport broke down on the way to the venue so she had to be towed home and thus took no part in this or the other events she had entered. In Group 1 number 2 seed Charlize Uy (He) lost to Zoe Davies (E) -9, -9, 11, 6, 7 but by beating Group 2 winner Jasmine Chan (Mi) 6, 10, 13 in the semi final she reached the final. Similarly in the other semi final Group 2 runner up Gracie Edwards (E) beat Zoe 7, 9, 9 so both group runners up reached the final with Gracie winning 1, -4, 10, 6. In the Consolation event Sarah James (E) carried on her last season’s Consolation winning ways, this time beating Ruth Marsden (K) -5, 10, 7, 8.
The afternoon saw the Under 14 events. For the boys five Groups of five and one of four with three withdrawals Groups 1 and 2, which only had three players each were merged into a group of six to avoid those players sitting around for an hour and a half waiting for the other Groups to finish. Four top seeds won their Groups but number 1 seed Zaiim Premji (Mi) lost to Jack Stockdale (E) and number 4 seed Zachary Martillo (Ca) lost to Luc Miller (Jersey), Luc scraped through his quarter final against Thomas Connelly (Nk) -8, 10, -9, 5, 6 but lost the semi to number 2 seed Samuel Hume (E) 7, 10, -8, 8. In the other half Zachary and Jack met in the quarter final with Zachary coming through -7, 3, -10, 9, 4 but in another five setter he lost to Kian Burgess (Sk) -2, 6, 6, -7, 5. In the final Kian beat Sam 9, 11, 6. The Consolation final was an Eastbury Greenhouse affair, Rokas Dedinas defeating Ali Cangir 7, 9, 9 having defeated schoolmate Louis Jones 10, -10, 8, -5, 8 in the semi. In the other semi Ali beat Alfie Sutherland (Jey) 7, 3, 6.
For the Girls there should have been two groups of five U14 players but with four withdrawals a round robin Group of six was created instead. Gracie won her second event of the day without dropping a game with Ruth Marsden the runner up. The Consolation trophies were presented to Alana Mansfield (E) and Eve Whitaker (Bd).
Sunday’s events attracted massive entries so it was not possible to hold Consolation events for the U13 & 15 Boys or U15 Girls events and started with the Under 13 Boys and Girls events. All 15 girls turned up to play (in three Groups of 5) but of 43 Boys entered (seven Groups of four and three Groups of five) 8 failed to arrive, only two of which were known to be injured. This left two players in Group 6 who were moved to other Groups who were short and the one scratch player who turned up on the morning could occupy one of the vacant places. Six of the nine seeds won their Group, two of the seeds lost 11-9 in the deciding game and the other two seeds were among the absentees. Kian Burgess (Sk) again had a good run to the semi fianal where this time he was edged out in a five game thriller by number 1 seed James Kelly (Ca) 5, -6, -9, 10, 9. In the other half Jersey’s unseeded Luc Miller, having beaten the seed in his Group, had what appeared by the scores an easy run to the final beating number 4 seed Jaycee Chan (Mi) 5, 3, 5 in the semi after beating Zaiim Premji (Mi) 3-1 in the quarter. The final went the full distance swinging one way and then the other with James finally crossing the winning line -8, 6, 9, -6, 7.
In the U13 Girls the top three girls, Jemma Walker (Bu), Amelia Chan (Mi) and Gracie Edwards (E) won all their matches in their respective Groups, all 3-0 except for Jemma who had to come back from 2-0 down to beat Federica Tazartes (Sy) -14, -7, 9, 9, 3. In the other 18 group matches 9 of them went to a deciding game. Federica must be considering herself unlucky, having lost in the decider to the number 1 seed in the Group she then lost an even closer quarter final to number 3 seed Gracie Edwards -8, 6, 9, -11, 11. Gracie, however, found Amelia just too good in the semi losing -7, 3, 6, 9 and Amelia went on to beat Jemma in the final 2, 8, 1 after Jemma had beaten Lois Perryman (K) 5, 7, 6 in her semi. In the Consolation event Isabella Hudson (Mi) beat Yassmire Al-Amire (Mi) 9, -9, 5, 8.
The afternoon saw the Under 15 events and the Under 11 Open. For the Boys event there were nine Groups of four but with eight players withdrawing including the top three seeds, only one known to be injured, the Reserve and three on the day requests could be fitted in. All the remaining seeds won their Groups although three of them required a deciding game win in one of their matches. Group 7 was the first Group of the weekend to need a three way countback, not only on games but on points with Jaycee Chan (Mi) taking top spot over Luc Miller (Jey) by 4 points. With the top seeds missing the KO stage had an open look about it. The highest seed, Max Aldous (Mi) eventually made the final but it was hard work with five games needed in both quarter and semi finals. His quarter final opponent was Zaiim Premji (Mi), beaten 10, 5, -4, -5, 8 with Kian Burgess (Sk) the 8, -8, 7, -8, 7 semi opponent. In the other half Zachary Martillo (Ca) defeated the original number five seed James Knudsen (E) -7, -11, 8, 9, 1. The final seemed to lack the higher standards of previous years with Zachary eventually winning 10, 3, -8, 8.
There were four Groups in the Under 15 Girls event, two of four players and two of five. Seeds Jasmine Chan (Mi), Charlize Uy, (He) and Jemma Walker (Bu) all won their Groups but the Group in which Amy Blagbrough should have played ended in the only other three way tie of the weekend. Games countback gave Ruth Marsden (K) top spot, Megan Allaway (He) runner up and Rebecca Lowman (E) third place. Jasmine found Charlotte Boston (Ca) fighting back a 2-0 deficit in the quarter final before edging through 12, 3, -7, -6, 12, with an easier semi win over Charlize 7, -5, 6, 6. In the other half Jemma met five game specialist Federica Tazartes in the semi winning that -7, 7, 7, -5, 7 but lost the final to Jasmine 7, 10, 6.
It was good to have sixteen entrants again in the U11 Open event but with some players playing in their first Tournament event ETTA ranking points not necessarily a good guide particularly as the number 1 seed, Benjamin Mencer did not turn up. Felix Thomis (Bk) and Jaden Aulakh (E) won their Groups but Declan Garner (E) could only finish third in his Group, beaten by William McCarthy (K) and Alfie Sutherland (Jey) In Benjamin’s Group Shay Graham (Np) was the winner. Jaden defeated Alana Mansfield (E) 10, -10, 10, 6 in the quarters and Alfie 5, 4, 9 in the semi whilst in the other half William defeated Felix -9, 4, 7, 8 in the semi and went on to win the final 6, 8, 7. In the Consolation event Rahy Premji (Mi) beat George Anderson (E) 6, 8, 7.
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 but the Girls were luckier with only no time available for a Consolation in the U16 event. To have staged Consolations for the other events would have meant very late evening finishes. We hope the Jersey Players enjoyed their weekend in Essex and they venture back again in the future.
Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary
Member of the BATTS Organising Committee.