Junior Closed Tournament 2016

Started by John Metcalfe

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John Metcalfe
Thu 21 Apr '16 @ 11:45am

Junior Closed Tournament 2016

With so many up and coming young players now competing in the league, the last two weeks have seen the long awaited revival of the Canterbury & District Table Tennis Association’s Junior Closed Tournament, which is open to all players under the age of 21. After progressing through the group stages in the first week, ten finalists were set to provide parents and spectators with a feast of superb table tennis on the finals night at Chestfield Warriors Table Tennis Club.

The first match of the night was between Dayton Carter and Jack Yates in the Under 11 Final, giving all who were watching, an insight into the qualities these two young people have, and what they may achieve in the future. With both players hitting some impressive point-winning shots, and displaying fine attacking and defensive abilities, Jack finally overcame Dayton to win the match 3-0. However, the result disguises Dayton’s competitive nature, and with Jack’s determination coming to the fore, both players should be proud of their achievement.

James Reid and Lewis Marsh faced each other for the Under 14 Cup Final in another match which was far closer than the score-line suggests. Lewis won this contest 3-0, notwithstanding some stern opposition from James, as Lewis just edged the 1st leg 11-9. Trailing 10-3 in the 2nd, Lewis staged a remarkable recovery to win 13-11, followed by another 13-11 victory in the 3rd for the result. In the humble opinion of the writer, James hit the most spectacular shot of the finals night when, driven back, and far wide to his right by some forceful attacking play from Lewis, he hit an unbelievable, fast curving loop around the net and onto the table to win the point.

The Under 14 Plate Final provides reward for the efforts of the players who came runner-up in the under 14 group stages. Jack Carter and Harry Smith had battled their way to this part of the competition, and although both players started cautiously as they probed for an opening, the match soon developed into a hard-fought contest. Harry just edged an 11-9 win in the first leg, and then eased to 11-3 in the second, but in the 3rd leg, and the longest of the evening, Jack fought back with some long rallies, before succumbing to a 15-13 loss, to give Harry a 3-0 victory.

Lewis Marsh was back in action for the Under 21 Plate Final, his adversary on this occasion being Rowan Brough. Both players seized the opportunity to display their abilities with exciting, attacking play, as Lewis just took the first leg 11-9. Rowan retaliated in the 2nd to win 11-6, and was then tested to the limit by his opponent in the 3rd before winning 12-10. Perhaps overcome by his exertions in the Under 14 final, Lewis was unable to quell Rowan who dominated in the 4th to win 11-5, for an overall 3-1 victory.

Faversham’s Ethan Braden and Harry Law were the protagonists in the closing match of the evening for the Under 21 Cup Final. Although team-mates in league competition, they found themselves facing each other at the opposite ends of the table for this match, in which both players provided some scintillating and uninhibited attacking table tennis to entertain those watching. Utilising all the available room at either end of the table, and exhibiting amazing agility, combined with lightning reactions, both players looped, smashed and spun with a variety of shots and skills. Despite being the more aggressive player, Ethan lost the 1st two legs 11-9, 11-8, thanks to Harry’s control and subtlety, but he fought back to take the 3rd, 11-5. Progressing into the 4th leg, the match continued in the same vein until Harry just managed to edge a close 13-11 win for a hotly contested 3-1 triumph.

Results:

Under 11 Cup Winner:- Jack Yates Runner Up:- Dayton Carter

Under 14 Cup Winner:- Lewis Marsh Runner Up:- James Reid

Under 14 Plate Winner:- Harry Smith Runner Up:- Jack Carter

Under 21 Plate Winner:- Rowan Brough Runner Up:- Lewis Marsh

Under 21 Cup Winner:- Harry Law Runner Up:- Ethan Braden

Mention should be made of Linda and John Wickings for their organisational expertise in arranging the competition, photography and videos, and for the use of the Chestield Warriors venue and facilities.

This competition has proved to be a testament to the contribution made by young players involved in table tennis, and there only winners and runners-up, with no losers. The non-competitive winners are the spectators, parents, relatives and friends who were privileged to witness a contest of such high quality, at a local level. The dedication of the young competitors, their coaches, trainers and parents, can only ensure and enhance the future of table tennis within the Canterbury area.

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