BATTS 1 STAR OPEN 9/10 MAY 2015
The last BATTS One Star Junior Open Tournament of season 2014/15 was held at the home of BATTS Table Tennis Club, the Norman Booth Centre, Old Harlow on the 9/10 May. There was another large entry, 104 all told, down somewhat on the previous two years but did enable Consolation events to be held for those players who failed to finish in the top two or three places in their Groups to qualify for the main KO event but could compete in the KO Consolations. Sadly with only one girl entry for the U14 event (two other entries turned out to be boys) and two girl entries for the U16 event both these events had to be cancelled. Players entered from as far away as Dorset, Durham and Norfolk as well as four of the Greenhouse Centres.
Saturday morning started with the Under 14 Boys event, four Groups of six players. Only two of the four seeds won their Groups, both losing to the second seed in their Group. In the top half Dorset’s number 1 seed Kai Major progressed to the final, beating County colleague Alexander Malloch, the number 4 seed who had lost to Xudong Wang in his Group, -10, 7, 4, 9 and Surrey’s Group 3 winner Damien Gray 6, 8, 15 in the semi. In the bottom half number two seed Jaycee Chan (Mi) was taken to a deciding game in the quarter final by number 3 seed Syed Hussain (Syed had lost to Damien in his Group 11-9 in the deciding game after being 2-0 up) and Jaycee reached the final with a 14, 6, 8 win over Xudong. In the final Kai won 6, -8, 7, 6.
In the Consolation event Isaac Hughes (He) beat Kieran Stanley (E) in a tightly fought final 12, -11, 3, 12.
The afternoon saw the Boys Under 16 event. With one boy absent ill there were two groups of six players and two of five. Three of the top seeds won their Group and the shocks came in Group 3 where Norfolk’s Thomas Connelly accounted for the top two Group seeds, Kai Major and Syed Hussain, both 3-1. In the top half top seed Jack Stockdale proceeded to the final but had to come back from 2-1 down in his quarter final with County colleague Justin Jeffery to win -10, 3, -8, 5, 5 and then Kai in the semi after losing the first game. In the bottom half Thomas’s brother Michael lost to number two seed Fraser Donnelly 9, 7, -10, 9 in the quarter final and then Fraser had an even tougher match with Thomas to squeeze into the final 10, -5, 5, -9, 10. In the final Jack held his composure in the exciting fourth game to win 8, -7, 5, 11.
With a number of withdrawals in the Consolation event Umair Obaid (E) found himself propelled in to the final without having to play. In the bottom half it was a much tougher job to get to the final. Xudong Wang beat club colleague Shazaib Rehman 3-1 and Jamie Glatzel (Do) had to come back from 2-0 down to win the next three close games against Arron Fox (Mi) in their quarter final and it took another five games with Xudong to reach the final. After his long wait Umair won the final 4, 9, 10. It is interesting to note that both players finished bottom of their respective Groups.
Sunday morning’s U13 events attracted 38 boys and 12 girls entries. Six Groups of five and two Groups of four were planned for the boys but as three players withdrew ill the two extra players that one of the Greenhouse Schools brought with them and a player whose E-mail entry I had not received could be accommodated. The top seeds in the Groups of five all won their Group but the top seeds in the two Groups of four both finished as runners up. Top seed Jaycee Chan (Mi) reached the final with a 3-1 win over Felix Thomis (Bk) but his toughest match was the second round 13, -8, 2, 10 win over Jared Chelski (E). Felix had earlier defeated number three seed Bruce Yao (He) and fourth seed Jordan Aulakh (E) lost to Shaun Douglas-Small 3-2, both matches in Round 2. The two players who failed to win their Groups met in the bottom half semi final, Dane Major (Do) had beaten Shaun 5, -12, -13, 9, 8 and Ray Yan (E) had beaten Harry Boston (Ca), the number two seed, 4, 7, 1 in their respective quarter finals. Ray came out on top with a 9, -9, 5, 8 win over Dane and went on to win the final 9, -7, 5, -10, 4 against Jaycee.
In the Consolation event both semi finals were nail biting five game matches. The top half match matched Essex players Jacob Ling and Luca Bailey which Jacob came back form 2-0 down to win -7, -5, 9, 12, 9 whilst Shikhor Pandey (Mi) won an even closed match with Harry Gill (Sk) -11, 10, 7, -9, 10. In the final Jacob won -8, 5, 6, 7.
For the girls two Groups of six had been planned but with the Greenhouse School bringing an extra girl with them it was just possible for me to increase one Group to seven players to accommodate her. In Group 2 top seed Federica Bonata (Sy) had a tough time in her opening match with Natalia Ianau (Mi) winning 11-8 in the deciding game but after that it was plain sailing to win the Group. Chloe Pryke (Ca) had two of her matches go to deciders with Isobel McGerty (Sk) and Erin Greensmith (Du) winning 11-9 and 11-8 respectively to finish third in the Group behind Natalia. In Group 1 number 2 seed Patricia Ianau won the Group with Ilyssa Lacorte coming runner up after her 11-7, 15-13, 13-11 win over Lucia Shakespeare. In the semi finals Ilyssa beat Federica 5, 8, 4 and Patricia beat sister Natalia 7, 11, -7, -3, 8. Patricia won the final 5, 7, 4.
The Consolation final was between Samardhi Udamulla (Mi) and Erin Greensmith which Samadhi won 8, 9, 9.
Sunday afternoon was the U15 boys and girls events and the U11 Open. Five Groups of five for the boys with the five top seeds all winning their Groups although Joe Walker (E) needed countback over Ignitious Kalulu to win his Group. The top four reached the semi’s where Eren Gozcu (Mi) beat Kyle Murphy (Mi) 10, 7, 6 and Kai Major (Do) beat Fraser Donnelly -10, 9, 5, 8. Eren won the final 5, 1, 6.
The Consolation final was between two Essex players where Matthew Stringer beat Luca Bailey (who had finished bottom in his Group) 8, 6, 6.
The U15 Girls event was a round robin of seven players which Patricia Ianau won by winning all her matches. For the Runners Up position there was a three way tie which on countback was won by Natalia Ianau curtesy of the two games she took off Holly McGerty (Sk) who finished fourth with Federica Bonata finishing third.
The U11 event was scheduled for two Groups of five players. However one group was extended to six when the player turned up to play and his E-mail Entry had not been received (it transpired an incorrect E-mail address had been used). Thus seven boys and four girls competed. Felix Thomis (Bk), the number two seed, was the winner of Group 1 with Kamran Bastani (Ca) the runner up whilst in Group 2 top seed Harry Boston(Ca) won the Group without dropping a game. Luke Manning (Bd) was the Runner Up. Luke won his semi with Felix 7, 10, -6, 5 and Harry beat Kamran 8, 6, 7. In the final Harry dropped his only game in winning 9, -11, 3, 10.
In the Consolation semi’s James Hamblett (He) beat Sam Gill (Sk) 8, 8, 4 whilst in the other semi between Suffolk colleagues Isobel McGerty had beaten Henry Shaw 4, -9, -9, 5, 8 and she went on to beat James 11, -10, 5, 6 in the final.
Another enjoyable weekend for all the players and a hectic two days for me. The Consolation events also show that even if they finish last in their Group matches they can still gain the experience of getting to a final and gaining a trophy.
Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary
Member of the BATTS Organising Committee.