Saturday 15th September saw the kick-off of the second Tees Sports Sussex 4 star cadet and junior tournament. With approximately 221 entries and many of the very best young players in the UK & Ireland it promised to be an exciting competition. The Saturday included six cadet boys banded events, the U13 girls, the U15 girls band 1, the Cadet Boys’ Open and the Cadet Girls’ Open.
The Cadet Boys’ Band 6 attracted 19 entries with the number 4 seed Gbolohan Hassan (Middlesex) winning the final 3-1 after being 1 game to nil down against the number 3 seed Claudiu Andrei (Middlesex) who had managed to emerge from his preliminary round, winning 12-10 in the fifth against Rory Taylor. In the Cadet Boys’ Band 4 events Nathaniel Nwafor (Middlesex) beat Artur Caltabiano (Hampshire) 12-10 in the fifth game in the group stage only to meet again in the final with a more comfortable 3-1 victory to secure the Band 4 title. In the Cadet Boys’ Band 2 event Jack Merton (Kent) secured two tough five-game victories against Marly Cross and Shaquille Web-Dixon both from Surrey en-route to the final where once again he proved his fighting spirit to win 11-5 in the fifth game against Zac Dowling (Dorest).
In the U13 Girls’ event Katie McGlone from Dublin proved too quick and consistent for all the English girls and won the event without dropping a game. Denise Payet (Middlesex) secured runners-up spot after a really close encounter with Tiana Dennison (Kent) winning 15-13 in the fifth game in the semi-final. Local Sussex star Holly Holder won the U15 Girls banded event in a hard fought match against Elayna McGlone (Dublin) living up to her no.1 ranking and turning impressive recent performances into titles.
The second session of the day saw Gbolhan Hassan reach his second final of the day, only this time to end up on the losing side, against the number 1 seed Aaron Millman (Devon). Niall Harris (Oxfordshire) won the Boys’ Band 3 with an 3-1 (11-6, 7-11, 11-8,12-10) victory over Josh Gallen (Berkshire). The Boys’ Band 1 had 31 entries, 16 of which were ranked in the top 30 in the country and ultimately saw the number 1, Tom Jarvis (Lincolnshire) meet the number 3 Marcus Giles (Surrey) in the final. Marcus had a great match and secured the victory 3-0.
The Boys’ Cadet Open event was incredibly strong with 20 of the country’s top 30 boys competing and demonstrating some excellent table tennis. Again Tom Jarvis and Marcus Giles made their way to the final but not before some nail-biting encounters. Hugo Pang (Dorgame) lost out 11-9 in the fifth to Marcus and Luke Savill (Kent) lost 12-10 in the fourth to Tom to demonstrate the quality within this age category. Ultimately Marcus once again triumphed over Tom; this time with an 11-7 in the fifth victory.
The Girls’ Cadet Open saw Tin-Tin Ho (Middlesex) begin her season’s campaign with an expected victory without dropping a game. The rest of the seeds had a hard day with Letitia McMullan (Devon) the number 2 seed succumbing to Denise Payet (Middlesex), Kate Cheer (Sussex) beating Hiba Feredj (Middlesex) the number 4 seed and Zahna Hall (Middlesex) beating the number 3 seed Jazmin Johns (Devon) to reach the final.
Sunday 16th began with Junior Boys’ Banded 1, 3 and 5 events. In band 5 Kleber Silva (Essex) secured the final against the fourth seed Kareem Bandaogo (Middlesex). In a strong band 3 consisting of 38 players ranked between 500 and 899 ranking points Olamide Wuraola (Surrey) beat his county team-mate Lobsang Lama (Surrey). Evie Foster (Kent) won the Junior Girls’ Band 3 against Kate Cheer (Sussex) and the Junior Girls’ Band 3 was won by Naomi Jackson against Ella Patel.
The Band 1 Junior Boys’ singles was highly competitive with some thrilling matches in front of a full stand at the K2 sports centre. Sam Cowan (Hertfordshire) demonstrated that his training in Hungary had paid off with superb performances against Tom Jarvis and then a 14-12 victory in the fifth game against the number 1 seed Liam McTiernan (Berkshire) after being 10-5 down.
Joseph Langham-Ferreira (Surrey) has also been training abroad in France this summer and he too showed huge improvement with victories in his group against Jack Bennett (Sussex), Gabriel Achampomg (Middlesex) and Luke Savill (Kent) plus a first round victory over the highly rated Michael Ho (Surrey). Ultimately Sam Mabey (Northamptonshire) proved too strong for Joseph which meant the final was contested between Sam Cowan and Sam Mabey. It didn’t disappoint with only two points between the players in every game which concluded with a 13-11 victory to Sam Mabey.
Not to be outdone by the boys, the Junior Girls Band 1 was also a cracker of an event with Yuki Wat (Sussex), who has been training in Hong Kong over the summer upsetting the ratings table with victories over Nicole Hall (Wales) and Maria Tsaptsinos (Berkshire) both 11-9 in the fifth.
In the afternoon session the Junior Boys’ Band 4 had 44 entries and was won by Jamie Trevillion (Dorgame) against the number 2 seed James Denyer (Essex). The Junior Boys’ Band 2 also had a very strong field which included the recently emerging 16-year-old defender from Jersey, Chris Morshead. After thrilling performances last week at the Bribar Guildford Grand Prix, which included victories against Danny Lawrence (Kent) and Sam Mabey, Chris went on to secure victory in the final of the Band 2 against Lobsang Lama.
This set the scene for the final two Open events, which had excellent fields in both the girls and the boys. In the Junior Girls’ Open Yuki Wat once again showed her superb early season form with victories in the semi-final against Tin-Tin Ho and in the final against Tressa Armitage (Hampshire).
In the Junior Boys’ Open there was also much drama as Joseph Langham-Ferreira held his nerve to pull-off a fantastic victory over the number 1 seed Helshan Weerasinghe (Sussex) 11-9 in the fifth game of the quarter-final. Meanwhile, Tom Jarvis was also upsetting the form book with a straight games victory against Liam McTiernan (Berkshire).
In the bottom half of the draw Marcus Giles had to concede a walkover due to a nose-bleed against Daniel Wright and Igor Morais the number 2 seed was steadily making his way through the rounds. The in-form pair of Tom Jarvis and Joseph Langham-Ferreira met in the semi-final and it was another match that didn’t disappoint with a brilliant come back for Tom from 2-0 down to win 12-10 in the fifth. Igor Morais beat Sam Mabey in the other semi-final to set-up a final showdown between Igor and Tom. Igor was too strong for Tom, who was in his third final of the weekend, as Igor secured a straight games victory.
Thanks go to the sponsors Tees Sports and Ray Hole Architects , George Gray and the team that game the tables up and down, the top table team and a special thanks to the umpires who worked incredibly long hours to make the tournament happen.