The second London Academy 2 Star of the 2017-18 season saw a large entry of 66 players (101 entries).

There weren’t so many girls this time, so the girls were merged in with the boys in mixed events for all age groups, although the girls were placed in the same group in all events and did receive trophies, medals and certificates for their girls’ age group as well.

Valerio Bucci (Mi) of the host club, London Academy repeated his impressive feat from the London Academy 2 Star held on 7th April of winning both the Boys U15s and U18s events.

Sam Gabriel (Mi) of Urban Spin, also repeated his U11s win from April. The only different winner of an age group was James Hamblett (He) in the U13s, who beat April’s winner, Joe Hunter (Mi) in the semis.


Under-11 boys
Under-11 girls

There were 22 players in the U11s. All seeds bar one, won their groups. The seed who didn’t win his group was No 4 Ben Gibson (Mi), who lost two in his group and went into the consolation after a two-way countback. Noah Hacking (Mi) won the group.

In the quarters, No 1 seed Joseph Dennison (La) beat Ben Levi (He) 3-0, George Jackson (Mi) knocked out Hacking 3-1, Aarav Shah (Mi) beat Ben Dunkley (Bd) 13-11, 13-11, 13-11 and No 2 seed Sam Gabriel (Mi) defeated Setrag Sarafian (Mi) 3-1.

In the semis, Jackson overcame Dennison 3-1 and Gabriel edged out Shah 11-8 in the fifth. Gabriel won the final three straight. Dennison won the third/fourth place match 3-1 vs Shah.

Gibson unsurprisingly won the consolation, beating Nathan Barimah (Mi) 3-1 in the final. The two girls in the event, Maliha Baig (E) and Emily Cheung (Sy) played off for the U11s girls title and Baig won 3-0.


Under-13 boys
Under-13 girls

There were 25 players in this event and no big surprises at the group stage or in Round 1. As in the U11s, there was only one seed who didn’t win the group. As it happens, it was again the No 4 seed, Scarlett Anders (Mi), who lost to her club-mate Thomas Palmer (Mi) 3-0. Palmer only just beat Thomas Nicol (Bd) 13-11 in the fifth end to win the group.

In Round 1, Anders was eliminated 3-1 by Ethan Eaketts (He). In the quarters, top seed James Hamblett (He) put paid to Eaketts in four, Joe Hunter (Mi) ended the run of Ben Barbarash (Mi) also in four, Palmer saw off Jenson Moreno (Mi) in three and second seed, Harry Yip (Sx) overcame Toby Crawcour (Mi) in four.

In the semis, Hamblett lost the first vs Hunter, but won the next three and Yip beat Palmer in straight sets. Hamblett won the final in four. Hunter beat Palmer 13-11 in the fifth in the third/fourth place play-off.

In the final of the consolation Baig had a great 3-0 victory over Gabriel, the U11s champion. Baig also beat Daniela Adam (Mi) 3-0 for the U13s girls title.


Under-15 girls

38 players took part in this age group, which was the largest of all the events. There were two seeds who didn’t win their groups. No 7 seed, Hunter, was involved in a three-way countback with Adam Dennison (La) and Daniel Oluwamayowa (Mi). Hunter missed out and went into the consolation.

No 8 seed, John Strang (Sx) lost to Jaden Aulakh (E) 3-0 and Aulakh went on to win the group. However, Strang knocked out No 6 seed Yip in three close games in Round 1. Also in Round 1, Lewis Marsh (K) had a massive win over No 2 seed, Jack Trafford (Do) in five games.

The quarter-final results were as follows: Bucci defeated Aulakh 3-0, Yacine Boubekeur scraped it vs No 4 seed Jacob Evans (Sx) 12-10 in the fifth, Mihnea Dascalu (Mi) overcame third seed Hamblett 3-1 and Strang saw off Marsh 3-0.

Bucci beat team-mate Boubekeur 3-0 in the first semi, while Strang defeated Dascalu 3-2 in the other. The final went the distance, as Bucci got over the line 11-9 in the fifth. Boubekeur won the third/fourth place match in straight games versus team-mate Dascalu.

Hunter predictably won the consolation event, beating Anders 22-20, 11-7, 12-10 in the final. Connie Reynolds (He) had a good win over Anders to win the girls event.


Under-18 boys

16 players participated in the Boys’ U18s. All of the seeds topped their groups, although Nikolas Brown (Mi) went 2-0 up versus No 2 seed, Boubekeur, before losing 11-8 in the fifth. Bucci made his way to the final with knockout wins over Evans 3-2 and Trafford 3-1, while Boubekeur achieved the same feat, overcoming Marsh 3-0 and Aulakh 3-1.

In the other quarter-finals, Trafford beat Daniel Broner (He) 3-0 and Aulakh defeated Strang for the second time that day 3-0. In the final, Bucci again beat Boubekeur three straight. Aulakh defeated Trafford in four in the third/fourth place play-off. Dascalu was victorious over Brown in four in the final of the consolation.


Main: Sam Gabriel (Mi) beat George Jackson (Mi) 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-7)
Consolation: Ben Gibson (Mi) beat Nathan Barimah (Mi) 3-1 (6-11, 11-1, 11-6, 11-6)

Main: James Hamblett (Mi) beat Harry Yip (Sx) 3-1 (11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5)
Consolation: Maliha Baig (E) beat Sam Gabriel (Mi) 3-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-8)

Main: Valerio Bucci (Mi) beat John Strang (Sx) 3-2 (11-6, 3-11, 11-4, 11-13, 11-9)
Consolation: Joe Hunter (Mi) Scarlett Anders (Mi) 3-1 (3-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6)

Main: Valerio Bucci (Mi) beat Yacine Boubekeur (Mi) 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-8)
Consolation: Mihnea Dascalu (Mi) beat Nikolas Brown (Mi) 3-2 (11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-6)