A smaller no. of entrants (43) took part in the seventh Sussex Junior 2 Star of the Season 2012-13 at K2 Leisure Centre, Crawley on Saturday 15th June. This meant that most events were large group round robin events.

Junior Boys:

Junior Boys Bands 1 and 2 were combined with Cadet Boys Band 1, with eight players showing up on the day, who all played each other. Top seed Ben Foster (K) justified his ranking, by winning the group with six wins. However, he did come unstuck in a very closely contested match with Marcus Bracey (Lancing), losing 3-2 (15-13, 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 9-11). Bracey himself only ended up in sixth place, with three wins. It certainly was his day for five-setters though, as five of his seven matches went to five and he won three of them. Three players, Ben Cawston (Ha), Lucas Papantoniou (Mi) and Josh Gallen(Bk)achieved five wins each, so it was a games count back, counting only the matches between the three, that put Cawston in second place, Papantoniou (the second seed) in third place and Gallen in fourth. Bottom ranked player, Naphat Boonyaprapa (Nk) performed well to gain three wins vs higher ranked opposition. Ivan Monderin (Horsham Spinners), had a bad day by his standards, as he failed to pick up any wins, although he lost two in the fifth set.

Cadet Boys Band 2:

This was again a round robin, but there were ten entries. Third seed Will Goodstone (Cavendish) defeated all comers including brothers Mason and Regan O’Neil, who were first and second seeds respectively. His match vs Mason went to 11-8 in the decider. He overcame Regan in four, as he had done with four other opponents. However, in unprecedented circumstances (at least to this Referee), the brothers’ last match against each other, which would have been to decide the destination of the silver and bronze medals, was not played, as neither of them particularly wanted to play it! It was decided arbitrarily that the silver would go to Regan, as Mason was slightly less interested in playing. Fourth place went to fourth seed, Dexter Sherin (St. Michael’s), who won six matches. Ben Lane (Horsham Spinners & Trinity TTC’s), who was the lowest ranked player, performed well to beat Sam Wray and lost three agonisingly close matches, 11-8 in the fifth to Hamza Ansari (K) and 11-9 in the fifth to both Alistair Smith (MMJ East Grinstead) and Sherin. Kell Davies (K) took fifth place.

Mixed Cadet Band 3:

This was the largest event by a long way with 20 entries (half of which came from local club Horsham Spinners). The players were split into two equal groups of ten. In Group 1 James Boltwood (Littlehampton) was for the most part untroubled in seeing off all opposition. However, he had to fight a bit vs ten-year-old Matthew Langley (Lancing) to come from 1-2 down in games to win 11-6 in the fifth and Nick West (MMJ East Grinstead) took an end, but the remaining seven matches were won 3-0. There was a count back for second, third and fourth place in the group between West, William Michell and Joe Worskett (both Horsham Spinners). Michell had a superior games difference and therefore went forwards into the semi final along with Boltwood. West got third place in the group and Worskett fourth. Langley got fifth.

In Group 2 second seed Scott Covey (Horsham Spinners) emerged the victor. Playing significantly better than in the previous two star, he had a great start, winning his first eight matches. His only loss in the group was in the final encounter vs top seed Naphong Boonyaprapa (Nk), which he lost 2-3, despite leading 2-1 in games. The crucial match for Covey turned out to be his 11-7 in the fifth win over Hammad Ansari (K), who also won eight times. By virtue of that win, Covey won the group. It was a good thing for Covey that the positions are not decided by sets won and lost in two-way count-backs, as all eight of Hammad’s victories were 3-0, whereas Covey dropped four sets in his wins. There was a three-way count-back for third, fourth and fifth place between Boonyaprapa, Kerem Ergene (Horsham Spinners) and Michael Joyce (IW), who all won six matches. Ergene had the better games difference and got third in the group with Boonyaprapa and Joyce in fourth and fifth respectively. There was a cracking match in this group between seven-year-old Harry Filson (Horsham Spinners) and 13-year-old Joyce, a case of David Vs Goliath, except that Goliath ended up winning. Filson had three match points in the fourth, but Joyce came up with impressive counter-hits on each occasion. Filson again led 8-4 in the fifth, but Joyce played out of his skin to take the next seven points in a row. Nine-year-old Scarlett O’Neil (K) looks a very good prospect with two good wins and some close losses.

In the semi finals Boltwood faced Ansari, while Spinners club mates Michell and Covey squared up. Both encounters went the full distance with combination bat player, Boltwood, recovering from 2-1 down in games to win 11-7 in the fifth and Michell repeating the feat, but triumphing 11-8 in the fifth. Michell then faced Boltwood for the third time in a week. He took first blood, but Boltwood countered to complete a hat trick of victories over Michell, this time in four games 3-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7). Covey got the bronze medal by virtue of his group win over Ansari, who came fourth. West took fifth place with an 11-8 in the fifth game win over Ergene. Worskett then had an excellent win over the very talented eight-year-old Boonyaprapa to finish seventh. The eighth/ninth place play-off was won by Langley over Joyce 3-0.

Junior Girls:

This was a round robin of five players. Top seed Evie Foster (K) won the event, although she did lose to fourth placed Anna Joyce (IW) 3-2 (11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 8-11). Both Foster and Emma Sheen (Hollingbury), won thrice, but Foster topped the group, as she had overcome Sheen 3-1 (11-5, 11-9, 11-13, 11-5). Lowest ranked player Ema Gadzhova (Mi) won two matches (including an 11-8 in the fifth win over Juliette Moussarie (Sy)) and got the bronze medal.

Cadet Girls:
This was a round robin of four players and was the same line-up as the junior girls except that Evie Foster was not in it, as she is not a cadet. Top Seed, Emma Sheen again defeated her lower ranked opponents and got the gold medal. In the cadets Juliette Moussarie performed much better and defeated both Joyce and Gadzhova to claim the silver, although her match vs Joyce went to the wire 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 12-14, 12-10). Joyce got the bronze courtesy of a victory over Gadzhova.

Final Positions:
Junior Boys:
1) Ben Foster (K)
2) Ben Cawston (Ha)
3) Lucas Papantoniou (Mi)
4) Josh Gallen (Bk)
5) Naphat Boonyaprapa (Nk)
6) Marcus Bracey (Sx)
7) Ishan Bairoliya (He)
8) Ivan Monderin (Sx)

Cadet Boys Band 2:
1) Will Goodstone (Sx)
2) Regan O’Neil (K)
3) Mason O’Neil (K)
4) Dexter Sherin (Sx)
5) Kell Davies (K)
6) Hamza Ansari (K)
7) Ben Worley (Sx)
8) Alistair Smith (Sx)
9) Ben Lane (Sy)
10) Sam Wray (Sx)

Mixed Cadet Band 3:
1) James Boltwood (Sx)
2) Will Michell (Sx)
3) Scott Covey (Sx)
4) Hammad Ansari (K)
5) Nick West (Sx)
6) Kerem Ergene (Sx)
7) Joe Worskett (Sx)
8) Naphat Boonyaprapa (Nk)
9) Matthew Langley (Sx)
10) Micheal Joyce (Sx)
11) Jago Manning McGeorge (Sx)
12) Louis Zanden (Sx)
13) Harry Huddlestone (Sx)
14) Scott Slater (Sx)
15) Angelo Papantoniou (Mi)
16) Scarlett O’Neil (K)
17) Harry Filson (Sx)
18) Jake Vincent (Sx)
19) Matteo Galeazzi-Everett (Sx)
20) Josh Denton (Sx)

Junior Girls:
1) Evie Foster (K)
2) Emma Sheen (Sx)
3) Ema Gadzhova (Mi)
4) Anna Joyce (IW)
5) Juliette Moussarie (Sy)

Cadet Girls:
1) Emma Sheen (Sx)
2) Juliette Moussarie (Sy)
3) Anna Joyce (IW)
4) Ema Gadzhova (Mi)