Several Leamington & District League youngsters gained top-three finishes at the West Midlands regional tournament at Wood Green School in Wednesbury, guaranteeing qualification for June’s National Tournament in Sheffield.
Rugby’s Sam Cafearo took top spot in the under-14 boys’ event, winning all of his matches, including a fine victory over Staffordshire’s Luke Gittins, who was second and a 9, 11, -8, 19 win over Jack Green of Lillington Free Church.
Green also qualified for the Nationals after clinching third spot.
The under-14 girls’ singles saw Free Church’s Emily Beasley excel to grab second spot and a national place.
Beasley lost in five to eventual winner Aimee Evans (Staffordshire) but defeated England’s number 16 cadet Molly Hancock, Joanna Antoskewcz and club-mate Ciara Hancox, who also took the scalp of Hancock but slipped to fifth on countback after a three-way tie.
Free Church’s Ricardo Bolanos captured top spot in the under-13 boys’ with excellent wins over Hereford’s Kyle Day, Shropshire’s Jamie Chen, clubmate Robbie Fitchford and Warwickshire’s Aaryan Deshparde. Fitchford finished fourth but also gained qualification.
Ciara Hancox was third in the under-13 girls’ thanks to excellent wins over Ellie Blurton, the eventual winner, club-mates Emily Beasley and Milly Green and Beth Wooton and England number 37 Alice Antoskewcz (Staffordshire).
All the top three lost once with Hancox’s defeat to Hancock proving costly in the final analysis.
Beasley finished fourth to earn qualification, with Green overcoming Wooton to claim sixth.
The under-12 boys’ event was won by 11-year-old Nikit Sajiv, formerly of Surrey, but about to relocate to Warwick Gates.
Sajiv remained undefeated while Bolanos was third after defeating Aaryan Deshparde of Warwickshire and Harry Fletcher and Angus Rogers (both Staffordshire).
The combined under-11/12 girls’ event was won by Colebridge’s Sophie Rinnhofer who went through undefeated.
However, the surprise package was unranked 11-year-old Sarah Costa of Free Church who troubled all of her opponents in her debut tournament. She beat Beth Wooton and club-mate Milly Green and lost 11-9 in the fifth to Staffordshire’s Kirsty Maull.
Costa will be first reserve for the Nationals but as third highest under-11 will take her place in Sheffield. Green was fifth after beating Maull and Wooton.
Sixteen-year-old Timmy Cooper of Free Church claimed some impressive scalps at the Blackpool Senior Grand Prix on Saturday.
Playing in Band 4 he qualified from his group, defeating number one seed and eventual runner-up James Garrod.
He also beat Sean Drewry but lost 3-1 to Peter Wilkinson to finish second and then lost in the first knockout round to William Hornsey.
In Band 3, Cooper beat number two seed Sam Hitchen but finished third on countback in a three-way tie, thereby just failing to make the knockouts.