The Tees Active Stockton-on-Tees 4 Star tournament, which attracted one of the strongest entries for the Junior Boys’ Singles in recent years, was won by Helshan Weerasinghe from Sussex who swept aside all opposition at Thornaby Pavilion last weekend (October 26-27).
The Junior Boys’ Singles event attracted all the top English players plus some of the best from Scotland, Wales and Ireland. In the final Weerasinghe was dominant, beating Adam Harrison of Lincolnshire, who himself had a very good tournament, in three straight games 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 12-10). In the semi-final Weerasinghe beat Chris Griffiths of Wales in straight games, Griffiths having earlier eliminated the third seed Sam Mabey.
In the top half of the draw Harrison, who surprisingly lost in the groups to Robert Barker of Lancashire, went through in the runner-up position to play the top seed Igor Morais of Middlesex. Harrison beat the English No 1 3-1 and went through to the final by defeating the fourth seed Danny Lawrence in straight games in the semi.
The Junior Girls’ Singles was won by Emily Bolton of Cumbria who beat Scotland’s Lucy Elliott in straight games in the final. Top seed Bolton found herself in the bottom half of the draw after losing to Ireland’s Kate Whelan in the groups. Bolton went on to beat the Cadet Champion Hiba Feredj of Middlesex in the quarter-finals after the Londoner had beaten the second seed Nicola Bird of Northampton in the first round. Whelan went through to the semi-finals before losing to Elliott in five games.
The Cadet Boys was won by the top seed, Scotland international Chris Wheeler, after a close final with Cleveland’s Alec Ward. Wheeler defeated Alex Ramsden of Northampton by 3-1 in the semi final whilst Ward beat Lancashire’s Robert Barker by 11-4 in the before Wheeler recovered from 2-1 down to beat Ward 11-9 in the deciding end of a pulsating encounter.
The Cadet Girls’ winner was Hiba Feredj of Middlesex who beat Yorkshire’s Kate Nixon in straight games in the final. Nixon defeated Bhavika Mistry of Northampton in her semi-final.
The Under 13 Boys’ Singles was won by the top seed Harry Dai in a tight all-Yorkshire encounter with Shayan Siraj by 3 games to 1, whilst the Under 13 Girls’ Sinlges was won by Cleveland’s Sophie Barlow, who beat the top seed Mistry 3-0 in the final.
The team events produced some excellent matches. The Junior Boys’ winners were the Grantham College team of Adam Harrison and Danny Lawrence who defeated Greenhouse’s Igor Morais and Joseph Langham Ferreira 3-2. The match climaxed at 2-2 when Harrison beat Morais 11-7 in the fifth. In the semi-final Grantham beat the London Academy team of Gabriel Achampong and Omar Khassal 3-1 whilst Greenhouse beat the Swerve team of Paul Smith and Alec Ward 3-2 with Morais beating Smith in straight games to clinch the win.
The Junior Girls’ team event winners were the Preston team of Emily Bolton and Bethany Farnworth who beat the Welsh pairing of Sophie Jenkins and Laura Edwards by 3-0 in the final.
The Cadet Boys’ produced another excellent final as Scotland beat Draycott A 3-2. Christopher Wheeler was the star of this match, winning both his singles and the doubles with Yaser Razouk whilst Alex Ramsden and Nathan Butler both beat Razouk.
The Cadet Girls’ team event was won by the Irish team of Kerry O’Mahoney and Kate Whelan who beat Lydia John and Charlotte Slye of Wales 3-0 in the final.
The prizes were presented by the Mayor of Stockton on Tees, Councillor Kathryn Nelson, and Colin Davison, Chairman of Cleveland County Table Tennis Association.
Written by Alan Ransome (October 30, 2013)