England step up to the EYC challenge

Author:
Russell Moore

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Three out of the four England sides at the European Youth Championships (Ostrava, CZE) advanced through to the play-off stages by winning their groups as the English players battled through some tough encounters.

With only the cadet girls side unable to muster a victory, there was plenty of promise from the other three contenders as time after time the players stepped up to the plate in important matches.

The English Junior Boys team led the charge with four successive group stage victories, but it wouldn’t have been the case had Igor Morais and Helshan Weerasinghe both won important matches in the 3-2 triumph over Ukraine. With junior no. 1 Sam Walker being defeated by Kyrylo Samokysh it was crucial that both Morais and Weerasinghe made no mistakes in their respective games. In the end both players won 3-0 and ensured of England’s berth at the top of Group E.

The Junior Girls also had to call upon their full squad to win Group G as both Maria Tsaptsinos and Emily Bolton picked up vital wins to help defeat Norway 3-2 and Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-2.

After Tin-Tin Ho’s double against Norway it was left to Tsaptsinos to win the deciding encounter with Sara Berner to bring home the victory. Despite dropping the first game 11-8, she fought back brilliantly to win the next three games comfortably and give England their first close win.

This result was then bettered upon in the next fixture against Bosnia & Herzegovina after Tin-Tin had lost in straight games to Emina Hadziahmetovic in the opening rubber. However, both Tsaptsinos (3-2 victor over Sanja Milojica) and Bolton (3-2 winner against Ajla Kovac) held their nerve to give England the upper hand and eventually the 3-2 win.

The cadet boys found their going slightly easier through the group stages with comfortable wins over Ireland and Ukraine, but they were pushed to the limit by a plucky Scottish side led by the impressive Chris Wheeler. With Wheeler beating Luke Savill and helping partner Yaser Razouk to a doubles win, his match against Tom Jarvis would prove pivotal to the result.

Just like over the rest of the weekend, the Englishman stepped up to the plate once more and won a titanic battle with the Scot in a match that went the full distance 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 16-14, 3-11, 11-6).

Unfortunately, the news was not all good as the cadet girls, for the first time without Tin-Tin, were unable to pick up a team win against Italy, Estonia or Netherlands. There were some positives, however, as Letitia McMullan showed promise in two singles victories against Anita Lissovenko (EST) and Rachel Gerarts (NED).

On Sunday the sides will battle through the knock-out stages to reach a final position and potentially, some medals.

56th European Youth Championships (12-21st July 2013) Ostrava, Czech Republic
Team Results
Junior Boys – Group E
England 3-0 Armenia

Helshan Weerasinghe bt Gevorg Abrahamyan 3-0 (11-1, 11-4, 11-4)
Sam Walker bt Ernest Apriyan 3-0 (11-2, 11-5, 11-2)
George Downing bt Sergey Simonyan 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-3)
England 3-1 Norway
Helshan Weerasinghe bt Espen Flaglien 3-2 (11-9, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8)
Sam Walker bt Eskild Jorgensen 3-1 (11-7, 10-12, 19-17, 12-10)
Marcus Waerstad bt Igor Morais 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 13-11)
Sam Walker bt Espen Flaglien 3-2 (11-6, 4-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-2)
England 3-2 Ukraine
Kyrylo Samokysh bt Helshan Weerasinghe 3-0 (11-9, 12-10, 11-4)
Sam Walker bt Bogdan Kogut 3-0 (11-8, 11-2, 11-6)
Igor Morais bt Vladyslav Totkalo 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 11-4)
Kyrylo Samokysh bt Sam Walker 3-2 (7-11, 11-4, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7)
Helshan Weerasinghe bt Bogdan Kogut 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-9)
England 3-0 Wales
George Downing bt Chris Griffiths 3-0 (11-5, 13-11, 11-8)
Igor Morais bt Ryan Oyler 3-1 (10-12, 11-6, 11-3, 13-11)
Sam Walker bt Conor Edwards 3-0 (11-8, 12-10, 11-5)

Junior Girls – Group G
England 3-0 Armenia
Maria Tsaptsinos bt Rubina Vardanyan 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-6)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Milena Gazaryan 3-0 (11-4, 11-5, 11-6)
Lois Peake bt Lusine Vardanyan 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-5)
England 3-2 Norway
Tin-Tin Ho bt Sara Berner 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-7)
Anna Grutle Aasebo bt Maria Tsaptsinos 3-1 (11-6, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7)
Stine Folkeson bt Lois Peake 3-1 (7-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-7)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Anna Grutle Aasebo 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-5)
Maria Tsaptsinos bt Sara Berner 3-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-4)
England 3-2 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Emina Hadziahmetovic bt Tin-Tin Ho 3-0 (12-10, 11-6, 11-3)
Maria Tsaptsinos bt Sanja Milojica 3-2 (9-11, 10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7)
Emily Bolton bt Ajla Kovac 3-2 (5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4)
Emina Hadziahmetovic bt Maria Tsaptsinos 3-2 (11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-7)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Sanja Milojica 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-5)
England 3-1 Austria
Tin-Tin Ho bt Valerie Tischler 3-1 (11-6, 11-4, 10-12, 11-3)
Melanie Luginger bt Emily Bolton 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-6)
Maria Tsaptsinos bt Sophia Kellerman 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-6)
Tin-Tin Ho bt Melanie Luginger 3-0 (11-9, 11-3, 11-6)

Cadet Boys – Group F
England 3-0 Ireland
Luke Savill bt Alexander Gillen 3-1 (11-4, 11-9, 11-13, 11-4)
Marcus Giles bt Zak Wilson 3-0 (11-5, 13-11, 11-9)
Savill/Jarvis bt Gillen/Wilson 3-1 (9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-5)
England 3-2 Scotland
Tom Jarvis bt Yazer Razouk 3-0 (11-3, 11-9, 11-6)
Chris Wheeler bt Luke Savill 3-1 (13-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-8)
Wheeler/Razouk bt Giles/Savill 3-1 (11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 11-6)
Tom Jarvis bt Chris Wheeler 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 16-14, 3-11, 11-6)
Luke Savill bt Yazer Razouk 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 13-11)
England 3-1 Ukraine
Tom Jarvis bt Ostap Riznychenko 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-7)
Bogdan Sinkevych bt Luke Savill 3-1 (7-11, 11-8, 11-7, 13-11)
Jarvis/Savill bt Ruznychenko/Sinkevych 3-1 (7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7)
Tom Jarvis bt Bogdan Sinkevych 3-2 (11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 5-11, 12-10)

Cadet Girls – Group H
Italy 3-0 England
Cristiana Dumitrache bt Denise Payet 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-3)
Veronica Mosconi bt Letitia McMullan 3-2 (10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4)
Dumitrache/Mosconi bt Payet/McMullan 3-1 (11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7)
Estonia 3-1 England
Letitia McMulland bt Anita Lissovenko 3-2 (6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 17-15)
Airi Avameri bt Denise Payet 3-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-1)
Avameri/Lissovenko bt McMullan/Payet 3-0 (11-9, 11-8, 11-7)
Airi Avameri bt Letitia McMullan 3-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-2, 11-7)
Netherlands 3-1 England
Vera Van Boheemen bt Denise Payet 3-0 (11-6, 11-3, 11-7)
Letitia McMullan bt Rachel Gerarts 3-1 (11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9)
Van Boheemen/Gertenbach bt Payet/McMullan 3-0 (11-6, 12-10, 11-9)
Vera Van Boheemen bt Letitia McMullan 3-1 (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-5)

Written by Russell Moore (July 14, 2013)

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