Lewis: A Level Above

(Report by Rory Scott, Referee)

The third Sussex Series 2 Star of the season attracted a top quality field, due to the high prize money offered, top class facilities and high number of matches. Many thanks to Heritage Oil, Griffin Security & Technology, Ray Hole Architects and Tees Sports for their support of the Sussex Series that makes the running of these events possible.

Despite entries being very low (circa 35) at the closing date, with a bit of chasing from the Organiser Steve Pound and the Referee, all 77 places were filled and indeed six players had to be turned away. Band 1 had most probably the highest quality ever seen at a 2 star in this country with all 16 players over 850 ranking points.

Four of the top eight junior boys in England entered and 14 of the top 60! The prize money for Band 1 alone totaled £850 and for Band 2 it came to £425! Tees Sport vouchers were presented for bands 3-5. In band 1 top seed Lewis Gray (K) was in imperious form and in no mood for long matches. Most impressively the England number 3 junior won all of his 11 matches 3-0, which at this level of play is good going!

Zak’s Back!

The lure of £300 prize money tempted former Junior Nationals runner-up Zak Zilesnick (Mi), to dust off his bat, not used for over a year (in fact he had to borrow one, as he had given his one away). He did play very well at times and took the eventual runner-up Liam McTiernan (Bk) to 13-11 in the fifth game and had a good win over fourth seed Jared Patel (E), although he lost four matches out of 11 (vs Lewis, Liam and Sussex Stars Alex Forshaw and Brian Kwan), but considering his lack of practice, he acquitted himself rather well. With a bit of practice, he could come back and win the £300 at the 21st April 2 Star.

In the top group there was a five-way count-back for positions 3-7, as all five players had won three matches out of seven. Unfortunately for Zak he lost out on count-back and finished seventh, but still got £40 cash for his efforts. Liam just lost the one match to Lewis for second place. Third place went to Patel, with Forshaw in finishing fourth.

Vinal Victorious in Band 2:

Vinal Patel (Sx) had a great day in Band 2 just losing the one match out of his 11 to George Harris (Sy), but still going on to win the event. George took second place with nine wins and Brian Gray finished in third with eight wins. There were two players on seven wins, but Shane Clark (Mi) beat Ryan Williams (E) to fourth place, as he had beaten Ryan.

Vinal was only the fifth highest ranked player, so did very well to win it. He had three five-game matches against Shane, Finny Wilson (Sx) & George. Shane, Olamide Wuraola (Sy) and Jimmy Yeung (Ha) also performed significantly better than their ranking.

100 Wat Yuki:

Yuki Wat (a girl from Hong Kong originally but living temporarily in Sussex) was given a dummy ranking for this event, as she has no English ranking & was seeded no. 1 for the Band 3. Band 3 was a group of 13 players and impressively Yuki came through undefeated. It was not an easy ride, however, as she was taken to five games by Jack Merton (K) (that was 11-9 in the fifth), Timur Hashimi (Mi) (which ended 13-11 in the last) & Armagan Huseyin (E) (which Yuki won 11-9 in the decider).

It takes some mettle to come through three tight five-game matches, so well done!

Second seed Charlie Bates (E) was not having a great day, losing to Martin Matuzevicius (Ha), Liam Winder (WAL) & Blair Phillip (K) and so decided to pull out of the competition. However, he had won five matches and it should be remembered that many players are well under-ranked and so losing to a player beneath you in the rankings does not necessarily mean you are not playing well.

Despite his five wins, he finished in last place, due to the fact that one match point is awarded for each defeat, but no match points awarded for a walkover given and Charlie gave four walkovers, which effectively cancelled out four of his wins.

Second place went to third seed Armagan Huseyin, who had 10 wins, losing to Yuki and Jamie Diddams (K). Meanwhile, third place went to Liam (with 10 wins as he lost to Yuki and Armagan), who had only been the seventh highest ranked player with Jamie coming fourth after eight wins.

As Happy As Harry:

Band 4 was made up of two groups of eight initially. Group 1 was won by Tommy Gritton (He), who had done very well at the last event. He continued his winning way without any losses in the 1st group. 2nd place went to to Harry Collins (Sx), with six wins out of 7. Third was another Sussex player, Michael Bridger, who was only seventh highest ranked in the group.

Group 2 was won by low ranked Yochai Johnson (K), who beat five players above him to remain undefeated. Second place went to another Sussex player Matt Van Yperen. He lost to Yochai and Ethan Walsh (He). Aaron Baksh (K) also had five wins but lost to Matt and so came third. In the top group in the afternoon there were many unexpected results. Group 1 winner Gritton only won three of his four remaining matches to eventually finish fifth in the band.

Exactly the same happened to Yochai, but he ended up third in the band, as there were four players with four wins. Michael emerged on top of these four (finishing second – a great achievement considering he was ranked 13th out of 16), with a superior games difference. He did well in the top group with three good wins. Aaron was the other player on four wins and he came in fourth place. Interestingly the two ‘bottom’ players in the top group (Sam Lu and Emma Sheen both from Sussex) did very well and picked up two wins each in the top group.

Sam impressively beat Yochai in five games and Emma defeated the eventual band winner, Harry Collins. Despite these top-notch results, they still finished in the bottom two of the top group. Fourth seed Harry finished with five wins to win the group and the band. The lower group in this band was won by Shaquille Webb-Dixon (Sy) and top seed for the band Charlie Savill (K), was runner-up.

Chapman is Champ:

Band 5 consisted of two groups of 10 players. Top seed David Poole (Sx) did not live up to his seeding, finishing ninth in group 1. At this level of play though, rankings can be misleading, as it depends on how much a player has played in ranking events. Group 1 was won by another Sussex player, George Hazell with eight wins. His one loss was to Marley Cross (Sy), who came third with seven wins.

Kirsty Blundell (K) was second in the group with eight wins. George beat Kirsty in five tight games. Annabel Bridger (Sx) did very well to finish fourth in the group with six wins. Second seed Andrew Chapman (E) had better luck than David and he topped group 2, winning all nine of his matches. He did have some tough competition along the way though, coming through in five games against Jake Mitchell (Sy), who finished second in the group with eight wins and also had a five game win over Ryan Gregory (Sx).

Lee Blundell (K) finished third in the group with six wins and fourth was Ashone Hooper (K) also with six wins. The top two from each group then progressed to a top group of four players with two more matches each. Andrew Chapman again showed his quality and won both of his games to win the band. In second place was Jake Mitchell.

George Hazell was unlucky not to finish higher than third, as he lost to both Andrew and Jake in five games. Kirsty was fourth but had a five game match against Jake and two close games against Andrew. The second group was won by Marley and the runner-up was Lee.

The next Sussex Series Junior 2 Star events are on 21st April 2012, 16th June 2012 and 8th July 2012. There is also the Crawley 2 Star also in K2 on the evening of Friday 13th April. This event is for U11s, U13s, U15s, U18s, Seniors and Veterans. Of course there is also the Sussex Satellite Grand Prix on 31st March and 1st April, for which the closing date has been extended to 24th March.


Band 1:

1) Lewis Gray (K)

2) Liam McTiernan (Bk)

3) Jared Patel (E)

4) Alex Forshaw (Sx)

5) Bryan Kwan (Sx)

6) Tyrone Wells (Mi)

7) Zak Zilesnick (Mi)

8) Sam Cowan (Mi)

9) Luke Savill (K)

10) Luke Walsh (He)

11) Josh Robinson (Bd)

12) Daniel Wright (Mi)

13) Mickel Miller (Sy)

14) Ho Yin Lee (Mi)

15) Ping Ho (Mi)

16) Alex Holland (E)

Band 2:

1) Vinal Patel (Sx)

2) George Harris (Sy)

3) Brian Gray (K)

4) Shane Clark (Mi)

5) Ryan Williams (E)

6) Olamide Wuraola (Sy)

7) Daniel Pound (Sx)

8) Jimmy Yeung (Ha)

9) Alexander Gillen (Sy)

10) Finny Wilson (Sx)

11) Adam Corell (Sx)

12) Harry Gwilliam (Gs)

Band 3:

1) Yuki Wat (Sx)

2) Armagan Huseyin (E)

3) Liam Winder (WAL)

4) Jamie Diddams (K)

5) Jack Merton (K)

6) Timur Hashimi (Mi)

7) Martin Matuzevicius (Ha)

8) Natasha Walsh (He)

9) Blair Phillip (K)

10) James Arnold (Sx)

11) Geme Ryder (Sy)

12) James Mason (Ha)

13) Charlie Bates (E)

Band 4:

1) Harry Collins (Sx)

2) Michael Bridger (Sx)

3) Yochai Johnson (K)

4) Aaron Baksh (K)

5) Tommy Gritton (He)

6) Matt Van Yperen (Sx)

7) Emma Sheen (Sx)

8) Sam Lu (Sx)

9) Shaquille Webb-Dixon (Sy)

10) Charlie Savill (K)

11) Ethan Walsh (He)

12) Jordan Ingles (He)

13) Sam Wilson (Bu)

14) Kate Cheer (Sx)

15) William Goodstone (Sx)

16) Ismail Boussain (Mi)

Band 5:

1) Andrew Chapman (Sy)

2) Jake Mitchell (Mi)

3) George Hazell (Sx)

4) Kirsty Blundell (K)

5) Marley Cross (Sy)

6) Lee Blundell (K)

7) Ashone Hooper (K)

8) Annabel Bridger (Sx)

9) Ryan Gregory (Sx)

10) Ayush Gupta (K)

11) Tiana Dennison (E)

12) Michael Tunubu (Sy)

13) David Busari (Sy)

14) Luke Stewart (Sx)

15) Ben Worley (Sx)

16) Miles Kennedy (Sy)

17) David Poole (Sx)

18) Ruth Marsden (K)

19) Becky Hancock (K)

20) Kieran Bonner (Sx)