Horsham Spinners 2*: Ahl-conquering Alexander

Author:
Rory Scott

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Alexander Ahl had a great tournament, winning both of his age groups (U14s & U15s), despite not even being seeded for one of them.

Under-11

There were two groups of three and one group of four in this age group. The top two seeds, Jake Grayson (Mi) and Mikaeel Toosy (Sy) won their groups, but third seed Marco Plate (He) lost to fourth highest ranked player Ollie Maric-Murray (Sy) in the group. This meant Plate ended up meeting club mate Grayson in the semi-final, but Plate defied the rankings to win in five games.

The other semi-final also consisted of club-mates, Maric-Murray and Toosy, however in this case the higher ranked Toosy won in four close games. In the final slim favourite Toosy won in four over Plate. In the bronze medal match it was Grayson, who overcame Maric-Murray in four.

Shem Lejarde (K) won the consolation event at the expense of Damien Mutch (Mi) in the final in straight sets.

The under-11 medallists

The under-11 medallists

Under-12

There were two groups of four and three groups of three in this category. All of the five seeds won their groups and the quarter-final results were as follows: Top seed Mahmood Kelani (K) defeated Lejarde 3-0, Toosy again overcame Maric-Murray 3-1, Plate knocked out James Henry (Mi) 3-1 and Grayson saw off Max Chowdhury (Mi) 3-0.

In the semis Kelani ended Toosy’s run of victories in three sets and Plate again put paid to Grayson’s chances, this time in three sets. Kelani ensured Plate was restricted to a second silver medal by winning in four sets in the final. Grayson picked up his second bronze medal of the day, by getting the better of U11s winner Toosy in four. Charlie Nabarro (Mi) beat Henry Maric-Murray (Sy) in the final of the consolation 3-0.

The U12 winners

The U12 winners

Under-13

There were three groups of four and two groups of three in this event. The top four seeds topped their respective groups, but as is often the case the lowest seed, in this case fifth seed Max Shah (Mi), lost to the highest ranked unseeded player, in this case Owen Brown (Sx-Horsham Spinners TTC).

Shah was always playing catch-up, as Brown won the three odd numbered games, but scraped over the line in the fifth set 12-10. Shah was knocked out 3-0 in the preliminary round by Alex Pascalau (Mi), who went on to defeat the second seed, Charlie Cunningham (Sy) in the quarter final 11-7 in the 5th.

Oliver Gray (Sy), who had a good win in the group, beating the higher-ranked Jacob Evans (Sx-Horsham TTC), continued his good form, knocking out fourth seed Joe Newman (Mi) in the quarters in four. The other two quarter-finals went in favour of the higher-ranked players, with top seed Kelani overcoming Daniel Broner (He) and third seed Jaden Aulakh (E) preventing Brown’s progression, both matches being decided in three.

In the semis Aulakh was victorious over the higher ranked Kelani in 15-13 in the fourth, while unseeded players Gray and Pascalau fought it out for a coveted place in the final, with the higher ranked Pascalau coming out on top 3-2. In the final Aulakh was successful in four, despite dropping the first end. Kelani was back on form in the bronze medal match, not giving Gray an inch.

Evans unsurprisingly won the consolation event, but was given a good game by Ed Cozens (Sx-Horsham Spinners TTC), eventually winning a close fourth end.

The Under-13 prize-winners

The Under-13 prize-winners

Under-14

There were four groups of four and one group of three in this age group. Only one of the seeds failed to win his group. Second seed Timmy Walters (K) lost 0-3 to in-form Louis Rogove (Mi).

In the quarter-finals, Walters overcame top seed Charlie Graham-Adams (Sx-Horsham Spinners TTC) 3-1, having earlier lost to him in the U15s. Walters went on to beat team-mate and third seed Thomas Arnott (K) in the semis 3-0 to reach the final. Arnott had beaten Ajay Potavadoo (Sy) in the quarters 3-2.

In the bottom half of the draw, fourth seed Alexander Ahl (Mi) ended Rogove’s run in a close four-setter in the quarters and then defeated Evan Delage (Mi) 3-2 in the semi-final. Delage had overcome Joe Newman (Mi) in the quarters also 3-2. In the final Ahl proved too strong for Walters, winning in straight sets. Delage defeated Arnott for the bronze medal also in straight sets.

Adit Gandhi (Sy) won three consecutive five-set matches to win the consolation event, with his final opponent being Arlo Young (Mi).

The winning under-14s with their medals

The winning under-14s with their medals

Under-15

There were two groups of four and four groups of three in the category. Only half of the six seeds won their group and indeed second seed Ali Malloch (Do) failed to win either of his matches in his three-player group, as he lost in the fifth set vs Potavadoo and 3-1 to the in-form Ahl. Arnott pushed third seed Graham-Adams into second place in their group with a 3-0 victory, while fifth seed, Damien Gray (Sy) was defeated by Rogove in four, Rogove also beating the higher ranked Kyle Day (He) in the group.

In the quarter-finals, Graham-Adams just lost out to top seed Kai Major (Do) by 14-12 in the fifth, fourth seed Robert Pelc (Sy) prevented Rogove from advancing by winning 3-0, sixth seed Walmsley ended Arnott’s run 3-0 and unseeded Ahl beat Gray 3-0.

In the semi-finals Major overcame Pelc 3-1 and Ahl got another good win over Walmsley 3-2. In the final Ahl beat his much higher ranked opponent Major in four sets. Walmsley conceded the bronze medal match to Pelc.

Delage won the consolation event with a final 3-0 win over Nathan White (Sx-Arundel TTC).

The Under-15 medallists

The Under-15 medallists

Under-18

The under-18 winners

The under-18 winners

This consisted of four groups of four players. The four seeds all won their groups, although Arnott gave fourth seed Ollie Guile (Sx-Brighton City TTC) a good game, losing in five and Matt Johnson (Sx-Brighton City TTC) also extended second seed Major to five.

In the quarters top seed Abdur-Rahman-Kelani (K) beat Johnson 3-0, Guile beat Graham-Adams 3-1, Malloch beat Arnott 3-0 and Pelc had a good win over second seed Major 12-10 in the deciding game.

In the first semi-final, Guile overcame the higher ranked Kelani in the fifth set and in the second semi Pelc defeated another higher ranked player, Malloch also 3-2. Guile won the final comfortably 3-0. Kelani denied Malloch the bronze medal by winning in three games.

Following an unexpected loss in the group to Graham-Adams 13-11 in the fifth), Billy Keegan (Sx-Brighton City TTC) ended up in the consolation event, which he duly won, overcoming Mohammed Raqueeb (E) in the final in three close games.

The next Horsham Spinners 2 Star tournaments at Collyers are on April 3 and July 3 and there will be Burgess Hill 2 Stars in the Triangle, Burgess Hill on May 1 and 29. The forms are available on the Table Tennis England website.

Results:

Under-11
Main: Mikaeel Toosy (Sy) beat Marco Plate (He) 3-1 (11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8)
Consolation: Shem Lejarde (K) beat Damien Mutch (Mi) 3-0 (11-3, 11-2, 11-5)
Under-12
Main: Mahmood Kelani (K) beat Marco Plate (He) 3-1 (11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10)
Consolation: Charlie Nabarro (Mi) beat Henry Maric-Murray (Sy) 3-0 (11-3, 11-6, 11-4)
Under-13
Main: Jaden Aulakh (E) beat Alex Pascalau (Mi) 3-1 (10-12, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7)
Consolation: Jacob Evans (Sx) beat Ed Cozens (Sx) 3-1 (6-11, 11-6, 12-10, 12-10)
Under-14
Main: Alexander Ahl (Mi) beat Timmy Walters (K) 3-0 (15-13, 11-8, 11-4)
Consolation: Adit Gandhi (Sy) beat Arlo Young (Mi) 3-2 (11-5, 13-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9)
Under-15
Main: Alexander Ahl (Mi) beat Kai Major (Do) 3-1 (11-5, 11-6, 3-11, 12-10)
Consolation: Evan Delage (Mi) beat Nathan White (Sx) 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-5)
Under-18
Main: Ollie Guile (Sx) beat Robert Pelc (Sy) 3-0 (11-5, 11-3, 11-8)
Consolation: Billy Keegan (Sx) beat Mohammed Raqueeb (E) 3-0 (11-8, 13-11, 11-9)

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