Not a win to be seen on the last day

Author:
Malcolm Macfarlane

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The Junior Girls did well to reach the top 16

Day 5 of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality European Youth Championships, the final day of team competition and a win could not be found anywhere.

The Junior Boys faced Germany in the third/fourth place match. The stars were rested for the rigours of the individuals to come, both Liam Pitchford for England and Patrick Franziska for Germany were absent. England started with Richard Andrews facing Florian Wagner who was just too good taking the match in three comfortable games. Sean Cullen followed against Niklas Matthias, Sean always had the edge in this match although he dropped the third game he came through in the fourth game to level the match at 1-1.

David McBeath was playing at no 3 and faced Arne Holter, the German started better, David took the third game but could do nothing to stop the German winning the fourth for a 2-1 lead. Sean Cullen returned to the fray against Florian Wagner, the first three games were all 12-10 but the German took two of them and proceeded to take third place for Germany in the fourth game.

Fourth place for the Junior Boys has to be considered a triumph, there has been a tremendous team spirit in the Junior Boys and players have fed off the successes of others in the team.

The Cadet Girls faced home team Turkey and some very noisy supporters in the 9th/10th playoff match, the first match was Tin Tin Ho against Ipek Karahan, the usual Tin Tin battle ensued but the Turkish Girl took the fifth game 11-8 and England were one down. Tressa Armitage then contested three very close games with Gokcenur Gungor the Turk taking two of them and proceeded to take a comfortable fourth game, Turkey two up and the home crowd got noiser. The usual Doubles pair Emily Bates and Tressa Armitage faced the two Turks. Again the Turks always had the edge on although Emily and Tressa took the second game the Turks took the next two to win the match 3-1. Turkey take 9th place in the Cadet Girls which was a great delight for many watching.

The Cadet Girls performed superbly to take 10th place having been promoted from level 2 at the last championships. Emily Bates, Tressa Armitage and Tin Tin Ho have all contributed with some astonishing wins at times.  In particular Tin Tin Ho at only 11 years of age was very impressive.

The Junior Girls continued the journey in the higher reaches as they had before, the opponents this time were Sweden in the match for 15th/16th place, the loser starting the next Championships in Level 2. The Swedes were again just too good, Jennifer Jonsson started proceedings for Sweden against Lucy Davidson winning in four well contested games but the Swede always had the edge. Lucy took the first but the Swedish coach changed things slightly and then it was all Sweden. Karina Le Fevre had similar problems with Daniela Moskovits, the first two games were shared but there was only going to be one winner of the third and fourth games. Chloe Whyte fared no better against Huda Mustafa, a girl with a super crosscourt drive on both wings. Try as Chloe might that big hit went on time after time after time and the Swede won in three straight games.

The Junior Girls did very well to qualify for the top 16, when they got there however it became very obvious that they could not compete at this level, 4 successive 3-0 defeats testify to that but 16th is an improvement and the girls need to think back to the first couple of days where they did very well.

The Cadet Boys continued the dismal trend of the day, they had two matches in the 17th – 20th knockout and lost both of them to admittedly better sides. The first match was against Croatia. Sam Walker started proceedings well with a three straight game win over Filip Zlejko. Second match and Igor Morais had a real five game battle with Tomislav Pucar which went to the Croatian 11-4 in the fifth game. The usual doubles of Sam Walker and Helshan Weerasinghe then lost a very tight four game contest with the two Croats, 2-1 to Croatia.

Sam Walker returned to the fray against Tomislav Pucar but although he took the second game 11-6, the third game deuce went to the Croat and he took charge of the fourth game as well. Match to Croatia 3-1 and the England Cadets can now finish only 19th or 20th.

The second match of the day would decide that against Belgium. It all went the Belgians way, a fifth game deuce win over Igor Morais by Florent Lambiet was followed by a fifth game win by 11-4 for Martin Allegro over Helshan Weerasinghe. Sam Walker was rested in this match so the doubles of Igor and Helshan faced the two Belgians, they took the first game but after that the Belgian pair dominated winning by three 3 games to one. 19th place for Belgium and 20th for England.

Once again good performances from the Cadet Boys to challenge for a level 1 slot but fail, to challenge again for the 17th place that would mean a second chance, they failed again but not due in any way to the English boys except that the opponents were just stronger in many departments. Those of them that will probably be back next year will have learnt from the experience.

Photo: The England Junior Girls who will hopefully have learned a lot from two unhappy days – Courtesy Henk Hommes

Results

Junior Boys

Germany 3 England 1

WAGNER, Florian (GER) beat ANDREWS, Richard (ENG)  11:5 11:3 11:6
MATTHIAS, Niklas (GER) lost to CULLEN, Sean (ENG)  8:11 9:11 11:6 9:11
HOLTER, Arne (GER) beat McBEATH, David (ENG)  11:4 11:7 8:11 11:9
WAGNER, Florian (GER) beat CULLEN, Sean (ENG)   12:10 10:12 12:10 11:5

Junior Boys finish 4th

Cadet Girls

England 0 Turkey  3

HO, Tin Tin (ENG) lost to KARAHAN, Ipek (TUR)    11:8 4:11 11:6 9:11 8:11
ARMITAGE, Tressa (ENG) lost to  GUNGOR, Gokcenur (TUR)   9:11 11:8 10:12 2:11
BATES, Emily/ARMITAGE, Tressa (ENG) lost to
KARAHAN, Ipek/GUNGOR, Gokcenur (TUR)   8:11 11:5 5:11 11:13

Cadet Girls finish 10th

Junior Girls

Sweden 3 England  0

JONSSON, Jennifer (SWE) beat DAVIDSON, Lucy (ENG)  8:11 11:9 12:10 11:7
MOSKOVITS, Daniela (SWE) beat LE FEVRE, Karina (ENG)  11:7 7:11 11:6 11:6
MUSTAFA, Huda (SWE) beat WHYTE, Chloe (ENG)   11:7 11:9 11:9

Junior Girls finish 16th

Cadet Boys

England 1 Croatia 3

WALKER, Sam (ENG) beat ZELJKO, Filip (HRV)   12:10 11:7 11:7
MORAIS, Igor (ENG) lost to PUCAR, Tomislav (HRV)   4:11 11:7 3:11 11:6 4:11
WALKER, Sam/WEERASINGHE, Helshan (ENG)  lost to
ZELJKO, Filip/PUCAR, Tomislav (HRV)   11:9 7:11 8:11 11:13
WALKER, Sam (ENG)lost to PUCAR, Tomislav (HRV)    8:11 11:6 10:12 7:11

Belgium 3 England  0

LAMBIET, Florent (BEL) beat MORAIS, Igor (ENG)   6:11 11:7 7:11 11:8 12:10
ALLEGRO, Martin (BEL) beat WEERASINGHE, Helshan (ENG)  9:11 4:11 11:4 11:7 11:4
LAMBIET, Florent/ALLEGRO, Martin (BEL) beat
MORAIS, Igor/WEERASINGHE, Helshan (ENG) 9:11 11:7 11:3 11:5

Cadet Boys finish 20th

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