Lillington Free Church’s final graded tournament of the season attracted a strong entry to St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre, including several new clubs, writes Phil John.
Despite the strength of competition, the host club dominated the senior event, providing the four semi-finalists.
Lee Dorning defeated Sam Wiggins in one semi-final, with Dave Ramsey overcoming Sam Weaving in the other.
In a thrilling final, Dorning pipped Ramsey 11-8 in the fifth.
Thirteen-year-old Nikit Sajiv entered the senior event and clinched the consolation trophy when beating Free Church clubmate Michael Ho.
With the junior event depleted by school exams, it was combined with the cadet singles and it was a cadet who claimed the title.
Free Church’s Josh Yarrow overcame Lewis Waddup of the Oxfordshire-based Drayton club in his semi and took the plaudits with a win over Callum Ball of Rugby in the final.
Ball had enjoyed an excellent win over Colebridge’s Henry Belcher in the last four.
In the under-13 singles, Harry Simcox of Colebridge beat his clubmate Cyrus Harris in one semi-final, while the other one was an all-Church affair with Chris Ho defeating Erin Darwen. Ho held an 8-4 advantage over Simcox in the final only for Simcox to fight back to win.
In the afternoon, the Grade A contest saw Dorning facing and beating Ramsey for a second time, this time in the semi-final.
Hawley Ellicott of Colebridge prevented another host club domination, beating Weaving in the other last-four clash but there was no stopping Dorning who pocketed the winner’s trophy.
Boosted by his morning success, Josh Yarrow romped to the semi-final of the Grade B where he proved too potent for clubmate Emily Beasley. He then overcame Henry Belcher, who had defeated Waddup to reach the showpiece, to claim the title.
In the Grade C, Christelle Rajapaska of Kidlington edged out Ethan Morgan of Millennium in the first semi and met Church’s Joe Shrimpton who collared Simcox in the other. Newcomer Rajapaska then went on to win the final.
The improvers’ saw Richard Yomi-Fadehi beat Erin Darwen in the first semi and Zain Ali of Kidlington overcome Baptiste Lamont of Phoenix (Coventry) in the other.
In a tense final, Yomi-Fadehi was the victor.
There was an all-Church semi-final in the beginners’ event where Jun Chung came from behind to defeat Nathan Jackson.
Morris Wong of Oxford earned his place in the final by beating Rhys Raji-Lamprey of the Continental club in Birmingham but found Chung too good.
Consolation results: Junior/cadets: Rajapanska beat Morgan. Under-13 singles: Harvey Wilson (Free Church) beat Morgan Page (FC). Grade A: James Robertson (FC) beat Tom Hunt (FC). Grade B: Jerry Chung (FC) beat Katie Singleton (FC).Grade C: Cyrus Harris beat Nick Darwen (FC). Improvers: Chris Ho beat Oliver Ferguson (Rugby).Beginners: Jack Bradbury (FC) beat Ben Brady (FC).
Lillington Free Church’s Eleanor Fletcher received a late call-up to represent West Midlands’ girls under-13 team at the inter-regional tournament at RAF Cosford, sharing matches with Megan Jones of Shropshire and Anya Sompura.
The day began with a 3-2 success over North-West with Fletcher beating Charlotte Higgins. The East Midlands were swept away 4-1 with Fletcher just appearing in the doubles win alongside Jones.
In the next match against Yorkshire, Fletcher again just played the doubles with Jones and overcame Rebecca Savage and Isabella Crooks 3-0 to help her team secure a 3-2 win.
In the final group match, Fletcher lost 11-9 to the North’s Ruby Bennett in the fifth, with a deciding games doubles loss contributing to a 3-2 reverse.
The defeat resulted in a 3rd/4th play-off against the South East which was lost 4-1. However, Fletcher enjoyed an excellent victory over England number 21 Sasha O’Halloran.
Clubmates Eduardo Bolanos and Tom Yarrow were selected for the under- 13 boys’ team but found the going tough, losing to London, the South East and the South 5-0.
They did manage two points against the East Midlands with Bolanos defeating Tom Chesworth and Yarrow overcoming England number 43 Michael Spence-Durrant before losing the doubles 12-10 in the fifth.
Ricardo Bolanos represented the area in the boys’ under-15 team competition alongside Alex Lee of Staffordshire.
They beat the North East 4-1 with Bolanos getting the scalps of Hayden Gilmour and Matthew Pearson as well as combining with Lee for the doubles.
They lost 3-2 to Yorkshire, Bolanos beating Nichola Miller and 3-2 to the South West with a win for Bolanos over Herbie Sage.
The Bolanos brothers played in the individual event on the Sunday and Ricardo topped his group to get a bye to the semi-final where he lost to Ben McDonald of Cumbria 11-9 in the fifth after being 2-0 up and holding a match point in the fourth.
Eduardo was runner-up in his under-13 group and lost 3-1 to Ehsan Jawadi of Yorkshire in the last 16.