Harry Dai clinches the Boys' Singles title (picture by Trevor Parsons)

Dai and Payet take the Cadet crowns

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Harry Dai took his maiden Cadet Boys’ Singles crown and Denise Payet retained her Cadet Girls’ Singles title as the Cadet & Junior Nationals came to an end in Huddersfield.

Dai took out the top two seeds – Ethan Walsh in the semis and top seed James Smith in the final – to add the title to those he had previously won at Under-11, Under-12 and Under-13 levels.

Payet had to fight to overcome second seed Charlotte Bardsley to end her Cadet career still in possession of the trophy she won last season.

Click here to read yesterday’s Junior report

Full results

Boys’ Singles

Harry Dai came from 2-1 down to defeat top seed James Smith, who had beaten him in yesterday’s Junior event, to lift the title.

It was a front-foot performance from Dai which eventually overpowered his opponent 4-2 (12-10, 6-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6).

Dai said: “I lost in the final last year and I really wanted to come back and win it this year. Now that I’ve finally done it, it proves all the work pays off. I’m really happy that I’ve done it.”

Dai had earlier recovered from a poor start to turn around his semi against Ethan Walsh and then staved off a late comeback by his opponent to win 4-3 (8-11, 1-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10).

Smith defeated Jonny McMullan 4-1 (11-8, 11-4, 7-11, 11-4, 11-9) in the semi-finals, with help from a big net cord on his third match point.

Three of the top four seeds made it through the quarters, though Smith, Walsh and Dai all needed five to do so.

The exception was Shayan Siraj, beaten in six by McMullan (13-11, 5-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10).

Two seeds fell in the last 16 – McMullan beating Josh Weatherby – who finished second in his group – 4-1 and Joe Cope seeing off No 5 Jamie Liu in seven pulsating games – 6-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8.

In the earlier group stage there had been a number of minor upsets.

In Group 2, Freddie Osenton-Brown progressed alongside Walsh thanks to a three-set win over Tom McIntosh, ranked second in the group, plus a comeback 3-2 victory over Thomas Rayner (6-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9).

Group 6 saw Reece Chamdal second behind Liu, beating second-ranked player James Kelly and Louis Price. Kelly had earlier saved several match points in the third and fifth games to defeat Price 3-2 (3-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-6, 14-12).

Ben Fillingham upset eight seed Josh Weatherby in Group 8, beating him 3-2 (11-9, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7), but both boys advanced.

In Group 5, third-ranked Joe Cope went through at the expense of Will Ibbitson thanks to a 3-2 victory (11-7, 11-8, 11-13, 11-13, 12-10). The seed, Amirul Hussain, also needed five to overcome Ibbitson and top the group.

Another third-ranked player went through in Group 3 as Kian Burgess beat Joe Walker having earlier overcome the fourth player, Kieran Wardell, 3-2 (14-16, 12-14, 13-11, 11-9, 11-6). Seed Siraj won all three matches.

Heslop earned his place in the knockout stage with a 3-2 win over Max Stevens in a Group 1 that was only three-strong after Theo Achampong scratched. He came from 2-1 down to win 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-6.

Girls’ Singles

Girls' singles medallists (from left) Mollie Patterson, Gauri Duhan, Denise Payet and Charlotte Bardsley (picture by Trevor Parsons)

Girls’ singles medallists (from left) Mollie Patterson, Gauri Duhan, Denise Payet and Charlotte Bardsley (picture by Trevor Parsons)

Denise Payet said winning the final made up for a disappointing Junior event, when she was eliminated in the group stage.

She had to dig in to get the better of Charlotte Bardsley 4-2 (11-6, 3-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8) in a match characterised by some long rallies.

“It’s good to win in my last year of Under-15s; I wanted to get the job done,” said Payet.

“Yesterday was tough. I was disappointed because I didn’t show what I can do and I wanted to show everyone – and myself – what I can do today. I’m proud that I did.

“We train every day to achieve things like this.”

Bardsley said: “I thought it was quite close but Denise played really well. Maybe I can win it next year.”

Bardsley had reached the final with a routine 4-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-6, 11-5) victory over fourth seed Gauri Duhan, while Payet found yesterday’s Junior Girls finalist Mollie Patterson a little more troublesome before prevailing 4-1 (11-6, 11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9).

The four top seeds had all come through the quarter-finals with few alarms, with Sophie Barlow, Amelia Chan, Jasmin Wong and Bhavika Mistry exiting at that stage.

Earlier, countback was needed in two of the girls’ groups, with a dramatic verdict in Group 3.

There, the day started with a 3-2 defeat for Patterson at the hands of Megan Gidney.

Wong then beat Gidney 3-0 (15-13, 14-12, 11-6) and Patterson turned on the power to overcome Wong 3-0 (3, 2, 10), all of which put Patterson and Wong through.

Countback was also needed to decide the runner-up in Group 1 behind top seed Payet, who won all three matches.

Mistry, Tiana Dennison and Danielle Kelly all took a match off each other – Kelly with a marathon 3-2 (15-13, 12-14, -11, 11-9, 11-6) over Mistry – but it was Mistry who got the verdict.

Boys’ Doubles

Second seeds Harry Dai & Shayan Siraj had just too much firepower for surprise finalists Amirul Hussain & Sam Chesterman.

Hussain & Chesterman had got to the final with a brilliant 3-0 triumph over top seeds James Smith & Ethan Walsh (11-9, 12-10, 11-8) but there was to be no repeat against the Yorkshire pair, who triumphed 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 – though they did have to come from 8-2 down in the third.

It completed a good weekend for the winning pair, who also reached the Junior semi-finals yesterday.

Siraj said: “After getting knocked out of the singles, it’s good to win the doubles. After yesterday we thought we had a good chance.

“We were expecting to play Ethan and James but it was a shock result and it always puts more pressure on when you’re expected to win.”

The losing finalists had not played as a pair before but gelled quickly.

Chesterman said: “When we went into our first match we were quite confident and after we won the first set we just clicked and carried on doing well.

“We weren’t expected to get a medal so it feels really good and it was good to get a win against the top seeds – we were aggressive and didn’t have any pressure on us in that match.”

Hussain added: “It feels good but we didn’t keep it tight enough in the final.”

Dai & Siraj had ended the interest of Jonny McMullan & Jamie Liu in the semi-finals.

Earlier, the first (preliminary) round saw all three ties go to five, with Heslop & Wong earning plaudits by staging a comeback from 2-0 down to defeat Thomas Rayner & Kieran Wardell.

Girls’ Doubles

Performance of the day? Possibly. Darcie Proud & Hannah Ward’s run to the final of the girls’ doubles was certainly unexpected.

They started by coming from 2-0 down to topple top seeds Denise Payet & Sophie Barlow in the first round.

It was an amazing turnaround as the older and higher-ranked girls looked comfortable with their lead – but they capitulated as Proud & Ward took it 3-2 (9-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8).

The young pair then saved two match points against Charlotte Bardsley & Danielle Kelly as they staved off a fightback to win another five-gamer 11-6, 11-3, 4-11, 8-11, 12-10.

It sent them into the final against Mollie Patterson & Gauri Duhan, who had advanced past Jasmin Wong & Charlotte Weatherby in the first round and Amelia Chan & Katie Holt in the semi-finals.

There was to be no fairytale ending, though, as the older girls took it 11-7, 11-8, 11-2.

Duhan, who had to pull out of the Junior events with illness, said: “It feels good to get two medals including winning the doubles. I was in my bed yesterday thinking ‘I’m not going to be able to play’, so to get two medals is good because I was feeling quite sick.

Patterson, also part of the winning Burton Uxbridge squad in the team event, said: “To be a double national champion today feels really good. We’ve never played doubles together but I think our styles suit each other.”

The beaten finalists were not too downbeat, though. Proud was exactly that as she said: “It’s good. At the start of the day we just wanted to enjoy it and just hope. In the first match we were losing to the No 1s but there was still a bit of us that said we could do it.”

Ward added: “We just came to enjoy it but when we won against Denise and Sophie we were really shocked and happy. That was the best win because they were the top seeds.”

Boys’ Team

Alex Ramsden book-ended the E-BATT winning performance with two victories as they resisted a Grantham comeback from 2-0 down.

Ramsden notched the first point, defeating Matt Leete 6, 9, 3 and it became 2-0 when Josh Bennett defeated Shaquille Webb-Dixon 3-1 (11-8, 15-13, 9-11, 11-5).

But James Garrod held off James Smith 9, 9, 8 and Leete levelled in a rollcoaster five-setter against Bennett (11-9, 10-12, 11-2, 5-11, 12-10).

It was left to Ramsden to dismantle Webb-Dixon 7, 6, 2 to clinch the medals for a squad which also included James Chappell.

Chappell played in the semi-final when E-BATT saw off the Halton TTC side of Ryan Lunn, Connor Whitehead and Harry Watson 3-0, while Grantham beat BATTS (Ethan Walsh, Sam Chesterman and Joe Walker) 3-1 – Walsh beating Webb-Dixon for BATTS’ point.

BATTS took third place with a 3-0 victory over Halton, though Walker was made to work by Whitehead, how came back from 2-0 to force a decider.

From the winning team, Chappell said: “I think it’s a really good idea and adds a new element to the Nationals.

“It’s a very good feeling to win a national title and a lot of credit has to go to Eli (Baraty, coach) who works very hard with the team.”

Bennett added: “I think we performed well as a team. It went right to the end but thankfully Alex performed and finished it off.”

Girls’ Team

Burton Uxbridge overcame Grantham to win the test event as Emily Bolton’s double proved in vain for the beaten finalists.

Bolton put her side in front in a close match against Letitia McMullan, winning it 3-0 (11-7, 14-12, 13-11), but Mollie Patterson levelled against Darcie Proud (8, 8, 3).

Charlotte Bardsley then defeated Grace Potter 5, 7, 4 to put Burton ahead, answered by Bolton’s 3-0 (3, 9, 3) victory over Patterson – some measure of revenge for her defeat in the Junior Girls’ Singles yesterday.

It was McMullan who sealed the medals by beating Proud 3-1 (11-3, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8). The Burton team also featured Katie Holt.

Grantham had made it through a marathon semi-final against Halton 3-2.

Bolton put them in front by beating Alice Dillon in three (8, 8, 11), but Halton levelled thanks to Beth Farnworth’s 3-1 defeat of Proud (11-13, 11-7, 11-8, 15-13) and then moved 2-1 ahead when Amy Hutchings beat Potter 3-1 (11-5, 16-14, 11-13, 12-10).

Bolton’s 3-1 victory over Farnworth (11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-3) paved the way for the decider, and Proud sealed it for Grantham by overcoming Dillon 3-0 (11-4, 16-14, 11-6).

The other semi-final was far more routine as Burton defeated the Bishop Auckland team of Amy Gittings, Ffion Myers and Ruby Chan 3-0, with Holt playing her part as Bardsley sat out.

Third place went to Halton thanks to a 3-0 win over Bishop Auckland, though Chan took Hutchings to five.

The winning team were enthusiastic about the event. McMullan said: “It’s good to have a team element to the Nationals and it’s a chance to play more people and different people.”

Patterson: “It gives some of the younger players a chance to play against Juniors.”

Holt: “It’s a good idea because it means the Nationals aren’t all about individuals.”

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