Siraj and Payet are champs in Sheffield

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Paul Stimpson

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Shayan Siraj and Denise Payet are the Under-14 National champions, while Ethan Walsh and Jasmin Wong took the Under-13 crowns.

Siraj added a second title in the doubles, alongside James Smith, coming from 2-0 down to beat Walsh & Harry Dai in the final.

The girls’ doubles was won by Mollie Patterson & Danielle Kelly, beating Charlotte Bardsley & Alice Dillon.

It was a marathon day’s play at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, with more than 12 hours of play.

Under-14 Boys

Shayan Siraj in action in Sheffield. Picture by Andy Chubb

Shayan Siraj won three successive five-setters to lift his first national title – saving two match points in the final to deny opponent and U13 champ Ethan Walsh a double.

Having seen off Theo Achampong 3-2 in a topsy-turvy quarter (8-11, 11-3, 11-4, 10-12, 11-5), next up for Siraj was second seed Harry Dai.

Dai himself had been taken to five in his last-eight clash by Jonny McMullan, coming from 7-4 down in the decider, with the help of a big edge at 8-8, to take it 11-7, 13-15, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9.

It was Dai who looked favourite at 2-1 up, only for Siraj to storm back and take the next two for a net loss of nine points.

The Leeds youngster even managed to play a winning shot from a virtually sitting position, slipping as he returned but managing to right himself and get the next ball back – to the evident shock of Dai, who failed to hit the table.

Walsh meanwhile enjoyed a 3-0 victory over Jack Leader in the quarters and then face top seed James Smith, another 3-0 victory in the last eight, against Reece Chamdal.

Walsh looked in charge at 2-0 up, but Orpington’s Smith levelled in two close sets. Walsh received a yellow card in the fourth but regained his composure and was generally ahead in the fifth, eventually taking it to nine.

And so to a classic final, never more than four points between them and with both going for their shots. At 0-2 and 8-10, Siraj was staring at a final defeat at these championships for the second year in succession.

But he unfurled a series of booming shots to reel off the next four points, and then won the next on deuce. He got his nose in front in the decider and stayed there, the 11-7 margin being the widest of the five sets.

“I’m so relieved,” said the champion. “In my last three matches, I was so close to losing them all.

“I just kept fighting and going for my shots and tried not to think about losing. If you lose playing the right way, that’s still a good thing to come away with.”

On the ‘miracle’ shot against Dai, he added: “I just slipped. I thought I had missed but I saw the ball come back so I just put my bat there. I don’t think he was expecting it.”

Under-14 Girls

Denise Payet on her way to the Under-14 title. Picture by Andy Chubb

Denise Payet regained the title she won in 2013, beating Mollie Patterson 3-0.

With the BBC Newsround cameras in attendance – and Denise acting at times as a ‘roving reporter’ for the legendary children’s TV programme, she was never really troubled on her way to the title, although Charlotte Bardsley did take the first against her in the semi-finals.

Payet came back to win that one in four, while in the other semi Patterson saw off Under-13 champion-to-be Jasmin Wong in five sets.

Wong had created a big talking point, defeating second seed Sophie Barlow in five in the quarter-finals (12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7).

The other quarter-finals saw Patterson notch a victory over Gauri Duhan in four (11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 13-11), Bardsley defeat Tiana Dennis in four (11-9, 11-5, 9-11, 11-2) and Payet beat Megan Gidney in three (4, 6, 7).

In the final, Payet just had too many facets to her game for Patterson to contend with.

The champion said: “I feel really happy, I believe my training has paid off. I really wanted it and gave it my all because it’s my last year (at this level) and I wanted to win it and feel proud of myself.”

The Newsround report will be shown on CBBC this week – keep an eye on our website and social media for a confirmed day and time.

Under-13 Boys

Ethan Walsh celebrates another victory on a day when he reached three finals, winning one. Picture by Andy Chubb

Top seed Ethan Walsh was the first champion crowned on the day as he defeated fourth seed Amir Hussain in the final.

In a battle between last year’s under-11 and under-12 champions, the younger winner took first blood on deuce, but Walsh upped his game and, after levelling, was always in charge as he completed a 3-1 (10-12, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8) victory.

The champion, adding to his under-11 and under-12 crowns from previous years, said he felt both happy and disappointed by his day’s work.

“I should have won the under-14s, but winning the under-13s is still good,” he said.

“I did a bit better than I was supposed to in the under-14s (he was seeded third), but I was 2-0 up and I could have beaten him. He played some really good points when I had match points.

“But it feels good to win my third title because not many people have won all the titles.”

Beaten finalist Hussain will be back on Sunday, as will second seed Jamie Liu, who was a casualty in the quarter-finals, beaten by fifth seed Will Ibbitson.

But the other three of the top four seeds went through – Walsh beating Josh Weatherby in four, Sam Chesterman seeing off Freddie Osenton-Brown in three and Hussain needing five to overcome Tom McIntosh.

The semi-finals were both dealt with in three, though there were not one-sided. Hussain defeated Ibbitson 11-7, 11-8, 12-10, while Walsh took out Chesterman 11-7, 12-10, 13-11.

Under-13 Girls

Jasmin Wong is making a happy habit of upsetting higher-ranked seeds. Having ended No 2 seed Sophie Barlow’s hopes in the Under-14s, she toppled the top seed in the younger age group.

That was in the semi-finals, and Charlotte Bardsley was her victim in a pulsating five-setter which saw Wong come from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 and then kick on again after Bardsley had levelled.

The Hull youngster, who also defeated Kate Cheer at the Cadet Nationals in November, went on to meet Katie Holt in the final and this time only needed three straight against an opponent who had got further than her fourth seeding had predicted.

Holt was a three-set winner over Amelia Chan in the semi-finals – her opponent having ended second seed Mollie Patterson’s interest in the competition in a protracted five-set clash in the quarters, eventually winning a tight match 12-10, 7-11, 5-11, 15-13, 12-10.

The other last-eight matches saw Wong beat Megan Gidney 3-1 (6-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5), Bardsley defeat Danielle Kelly 3-0 (11-7, 11-2, 14-12) and Holt prevail against Gracie Edwards 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-8).

Wong, last year’s under-11 champion, will be hoping to add the under-12 crown to her collection on Sunday.

Doubles

Shayan SIraj continued to be the five-set king as he and partner James Smith came from 2-0 down to snatch the title from the grasp of Harry Dai & Ethan Walsh.

It meant Smith retained his title, having partnered Alex Ramsden to glory in Doncaster last year.

Siraj joked: “I love going 2-0 down and fighting back but I probably shouldn’t make it a habit!”

In the girls’ event, there was a big shock in the quarter-finals as top seeds Denise Payet & Sophie Barlow were dumped out in the quarter-finals by eventual champions Mollie Patterson & Danielle Kelly.

Not that it got any easier for Patterson & Kelly as they had to twice come from behind to beat Amelia Chan & Katie Holt in the semis.

That set up a final against second seeds Charlotte Bardsley & Alice Dillon, who had defeated Jasmin Wong & Charlotte Weatherby in their last-four tie.

In the last match of the day, one sensed the first set was crucial. It went 13-11 to Patterson & Dillon, who strengthened from that point to take it in three.

Kelly said: “It’s my first National title, it feels really good, awesome.

“To be honest, I thought we would win our first match but then against the No 1 seeds I didn’t think we would do as well as we did, so beating them was really positive for our confidence.”

Patterson added: “We played really well against them. We lifted each other and built each other up and it gave us a boost.”

We resume at 9am on Sunday with the Under-11s and Under-12s – Click here to link to our LIVE YouTube coverage

Keep an eye on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates – follow @TableTennisEng and keep an eye out for the #TTNationals hashtag.

Click here to read the programme and check out the draw

Results
Under-14 Boys’ Singles
Semi-finals

Shayan Siraj bt Harry Dai 3-2 (11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-3)
Ethan Walsh bt James Smith 3-2 (11-4, 13-11, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9)
Final
Siraj bt Walsh 3-2 (9-11, 11-13, 12-10, 12-10, 11-7)

Under-14 Girls’ Singles
Semi-finals

Denise Payet bt Charlotte Bardsley 3-1 (10-12, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7)
Mollie Patterson bt Jasmin Wong 3-2 (11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 12-14, 11-9)
Final
Payet bt Patterson 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 11-5)

Under-14 Boys’ Doubles
Semi-finals

James Smith & Shayan Siraj bt Joe Saxton & Jake Cutts 3-1 (11-5, 16-18, 11-3, 11-4)
Harry Dai & Ethan Walsh bt Josh Weatherby & Ben Fillingham 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-6)
Final
Smith & Siraj bt Dai & Walsh 3-2 (4-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-3)

Under-14 Girls’ Doubles
Semi-finals

Mollie Patterson & Danielle Kelly bt Katie Holt & Amelia Chan 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3)
Charlotte Bardsley & Alice Dillon bt Jasmin Wong & Charlotte Weatherby 3-0 (11-8, 11-3, 11-9)
Final
Patterson & Kelly bt Bardsley & Dillon 3-0 (13-11, 11-6, 11-6)

Under-13 Boys’ Singles
Semi-finals

Amirul Hussain bt Will Ibbitson 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 12-10)
Ethan Walsh bt Sam Chesterman 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 13-11)
Final
Walsh bt Hussain 3-1 (10-12, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8)

Under-13 Girls’ Singles
Semi-finals

Katie Holt bt Amelia Chan 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-6)
Jasmin Wong bt Charlotte Bardsley 3-2 (6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7)
Final
Jasmin Wong bt Katie Holt 3-0 (11-9, 11-3, 11-7)

Joseph Saxton in action at Ponds Forge today. Picture by Andy Chubb

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