Kent’s Shem Lejarde was a big winner in the latest Junior 1 star event at the excellent Corby Smash Table Tennis Centre, tasting victory in no fewer than three age categories and coming within one set of making all four finals before finally succumbing to a five set defeat against the number two seed Adam Wilson in the under 18 event.

Before Lejarde took over the day’s proceedings, it was Charlie Nabarro (Urban Spin) who took the chance to shine with victory in the under 11 event.  With seven entrants , this was played on a round robin basis Nabarro carried all before him as he won all six matches without dropping a set with Bedfordshire’s Thomas Nicol (Revolution TTC) finishing in second place.

In the under 12’s event, there were six entrants so this was also played on a round robin basis.  This was to be Lejarde’s first success of the day as he won four of his five matches to take the title.  The battle for second place was a tight affair with three players all finishing with three wins.  After the organisers made the relevant calculations , it was Leicestershire’s Edward Brown (George Ward TTC) who claimed the runners up spot ahead of club colleague Olive Wynne with Bedfordshire’s Leo Conway (St Neots TTC) in fourth.  Conway could take some consolation as he was the only player to beat the champion Lejarde.

Lejarde was to reign supreme in the under 13 event , dropping just one set against Yorkshire’s Cameron Leighton (YPI-Hull) on his way to taking his second title of the day with Bedfordshire’s Neelan Pillai (St Neots TTC) the losing finalist.  Kyle Aston (Revolution TTC) took the under 13 consolation title with a 3-1 victory over Barnet’s Jenson Moreno in the final.

The entrants in the girl’s event produced an excellent contest which eventually saw Amillia Baker (Wood Green TTC) tasting victory.  She won all four of her group matches 3-0 and continued this run of success with 3-0 win over Morgan Day-Davies (Cardiff TTC) at the semi final stage and another 3-0 win against Staffordshire’s Kirsty Maull (Wood Green TTC) in the final.  Scarlett Anders (Barnet TTC) defeated club colleague Connie Reynolds to take the girls consolation event.

In the under 15s event Amillia Baker, Dan Burgess, Shem Lejarde, Matthew Pryke and Kirsty Maull all took first place in their groups with Rafa Fleming, Oliver Wynne, Jacob Tattersall, Morgan Day-Davies and Cameron Leighton finishing as runner up in their respective groups.  Lejarde and Burgess (Rugby TTC) both made their way to the final without dropping a set and then proceeded to produce a classic final which ebbed first one way and then the other.  After  five excellent sets of table tennis, it was Legarde who eventually triumphed 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6 for this third title of the day.  Lewis Hillery (Corby Smash TTC) took the consolation title with a win 3-1 over Kyle Aston.

The final event of the day was the under 18’s category and this gave the opportunity for players from the host to stand on the winner’s podium.  Top seed Sam Wilson duly made his way through to the final where he would eventually face older brother Adam Wilson but only after the elder sibling had recovered from 2-0 down to Lejarde in the semi-final.  The final went with the ranking with the younger brother grabbing the family bragging rights with a 3-1 victory.  In the under 18’s consolation event Matthew Pryke (Archway Peterborough) edge out Matthew Wynne (George Ward TTC) to take the title.