Harry Watson in action in Kettering (all pictures by Michael Loveder)

Double gold? It’s elementary for Watson

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Please note - this news article was published more than three years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

Harry Watson added individual gold to team success and there was an overall title for East Midlands at the Inter-Regional Finals in Kettering.

East Midlands finished just two points ahead of South West in the overall picture once team and individual points had been added up.

As in the team events, there were six categories – Cadet, Under-13 and Under-11 for both boys and girls, with both losing semi-finalists getting bronze medals.

Overall finishing positions: 1 East Midlands, 2 South West, 3 North West, 4 East 5 South East, 6 West Midlands, 7 Yorkshire, 8= London & North East, 10 Southern.

Click here to view pictures from the event on Flickr.

Cadet Boys

Top seed Harry Watson added the individual title to the team crown he took with the North West, and to complete that region’s dominance, it was team-mate Rhys Davies, seeded three who he beat in the final.

It was a real tussle too as Davies, two years Watson’s junior, twice levelled the score before finally going down 3-2 (11-3, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9).

Watson said:

I’m very happy because it’s my last Cadet tournament (before moving up to Junior) and I’ve won two gold medals.

I didn’t really feel any pressure as top seed, I just focused the whole way through.

It’s good to win the team because we didn’t get out of the group last year.

Both finalists needed four games in the last four, Watson defeating Adam Gent (NE) 16-14, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3 and Davies overcoming second seed Robert Pelc (SE) 5-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-4.

Davies had defeated Jamie Blair (SW) to clinch victory in the team final and he repeated the feat in the first round of the singles, coming from two down to win 3-2 (8-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-9).

Cadet Girls

Mari Baldwin

Mari Baldwin lived up to her top seeding by defeating South West team-mate Emily Haskell in the final.

It was a 3-1 scoreline (11-3, 12-10, 7-11, 11-3) in favour of the winner, who had also needed four to defeat Lois Perryman (SE) in the semi-finals – 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9.

Baldwin said:

I didn’t want to play my team-mate in the final, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. We’ve played each other so many times and we know each other’s games inside-out, plus we are friends.

I was a bit disappointed with how things turned out yesterday, finishing third in the team, so it’s good to win this today.

Haskell’s semi-final was harder-won as she overturned a 2-0 deficit to defeat Federica Bonato (L) 3-2 (9-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-4, 15-13).

Earlier in the event, fourth seed Erin Greensmith was a surprise casualty in the group stage, finishing third in her group behind Ilyssa Lacorte and Nikka Zareh – the latter booking her place in the main draw with a 3-2 (10-12, 11-7, 6-11, 14-12, 11-8) win over Greensmith in the last match of the group, saving a match point in the fourth.

Under-13 Boys

Connor Green

Connor Green won the battle of the top two seeds in a thriller against South West’s Bertie Kelly.

And the East Midlands player’s victory was crucial in sealing the overall triumph for his region – in fact, had the result gone the other way, South West would have been celebrating winning the trophy for best region.

Kelly fought hard, saving match point in the fourth before Green managed to prevail in another tight game in the decider, the final score 3-2 (9-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-13, 13-11).

Green said:

It’s been nerve-wracking because I’ve done it before but it’s whether you can do it again, and there’s so many good players here who I haven’t played before.

As the score suggests, it was very close. I had one match point in the fourth game, so I had some frustration, but I managed to pull it back in the fifth.

Green reached the final courtesy of a 3-1 (11-4, 11-4, 11-13, 12-10) defeat of Luke Nimmo (EM), while Kelly had seen off Toby Ellis (NW) in three (7, 8, 7).

There were a couple of five-set Yorkshire victories in the first round, Oliver Bryant defeating Harry Derecki (L) 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-2, 11-8 and Lewis Ellams overcoming Todd Stanmore (S) 11-9, 11-3, 12-14, 6-11, 11-8.

Under-13 Girls

Moke Warburton

Moke Warburton of Yorkshire did it the hard way as she won her quarter-final and semi-final in five games to set up a final with Samadhi Udamulla of the East region.

The final was comparatively easier as Warburton won in four (7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9).

Her quarter saw her fend off a comeback from Eve Witterick (NE), who saved three match points in the third before eventually being overcome 11-8, 13-11, 10-12, 6-11, 11-6.

The semi-final was a different match entirely as Warburton staged the comeback, shading a close one against Anghara Beman (SW) 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9.

Warburton said:

I won in five in the quarter-finals and in the semi-finals. It’s a good job it didn’t go to five in the final or I’ll have been all out.

I was a bit nervous at the start of the competition and felt a lot of pressure, so I was rushing things a bit, but I managed to keep calm and clear my mind and win it, so I’m happy.

Udamulla’s path to the final was relatively calmer, though she had one marathon set in the semi-final, beating second seed Kirsty Maull (WM) 3-1 (11-9, 17-15, 3-11, 11-5).

Under-11 Boys

Jake Hewitt

Unseeded Jake Hewitt from Yorkshire saw off all the others to win the title, sinking fourth seed Joseph Cooper in the final by a 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-1) scoreline.

Hewitt had come through from third position in his group, getting above Francesco Bonato (L) and Henry Shaw (East). It earned him a bye through the first round and he then beat Toby Fletcher (WM) 3-1 (11-5, 5-11, 11-6, 11-3) in the quarter-finals and Cameron Driver (EM) by a 3-0 (11-1, 12-10, 12-10) scoreline in the last four.

Hewitt said:

I’m happy. I thought I could do it if I worked hard. It was difficult and the encouragement of my family and friends helped me to win it.

Cooper had stopped top seed Larry Trumpauskas (SE) in the semi-finals and he did so in style, coming from 2-0 down to claim a five-set win (9-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3).

Trumpauskas himself had needed five in the quarter-finals, getting the better of Adam Dennison 3-2 (7-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-4, 11-5).

There were three five-set matches in the first round. Joseph Dennison (NW) saw off Edward Gooze-Zijl (SE) 11-6, 4-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, Toby Fletcher (WM) edged Ptolemy Beman (SW) 11-7, 11-13, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5, and Driver had an even closer one against Eduard Lakatos (S), coming through 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 13-11.

Under-11 Girls

Sophie Richardson

Sophie Richardson took the gold medal for North East by defeating East region’s Constance Dumelow in the final.

It was a four-set triumph, thanks to a scoreline of 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9.

Richardson said:

I’m very happy and shocked because I’ve never won anything before. I think my concentration helped me. It’s a good event, it’s been a nice trip!

Dumelow had beaten Darcy Brewer (E) 3-1 (9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-4) in the semi-finals, while Richardson ended the hopes of second seed Roma Morjaria in three straight (6, 4, 7).

Brewer earlier defeated top seed and part of the winning team, Jyothi Ghanta, 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8) in the quarter-finals.

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