Under-15 top two Valerio Bucci and Owen Brown

Valiant Valerio vanquishes opposition

Rory Scott

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The first London Academy 2 Star of the season took place on 7th April in Edgware. There was a very large entry of 95 players. The day belonged to Valerio Bucci (Mi), who used home advantage to win both the Boys’ U15s and U18s events.

Boys U11s

There were 14 players in the Boys U11s. At the group stage No 1 seed Sam Gabriel (Mi) overcame Lewis Austin (Sx) 3-2. In the quarters Gabriel defeated Ben Dunkley 3-1, Rahil Rehman-Furs (Sx) knocked out Dev Malde (Mi) 3-0, Noah Hacking (Mi) overcame Raphael Zakaim (Mi) 3-1 and George Jackson (Mi) beat No 2 seed, Ralph Pattison (E), a close 3-1.

Gabriel then beat Rehman-Furs in four in the semis and in the other half Jackson beat Hacking in three. The final went the distance, with Gabriel coming through 11-8 in the fifth, all five games being close.

Hacking beat Rehman-Furs 3-1 in the third/fourth place play off. Max Radiven (Mi) beat Alex Lyons (Mi) 3-0 in the consolation final, having lost to him 2-3 at the group stage.

The under-11 top two

Boys U13s

There were 29 players in this event. Sajad Ali (Mi) had a very good win at the group stage over Charlie Nabarro (Mi), the No 5 seed and Jamie Barlow (Bk) overcame the slightly higher ranked No 8 seed, Max Wilson (Sx) in five.

Top seed Joe Hunter (Mi) did prove his ranking is correct, but boy did he do it the hard way! In Round 1 he defeated club mate Nabarro 11-9 in the fifth, in the quarter-final he beat Octavian Aparaschivei (Mi) 3-2, in the semi-final he overcame Benjamin Barbarash (Mi) 3-2 from 0-2 down in games and of course the final also went to five, as Hunter pulled through vs No 2 seed Toby Crawcour (Mi), who had also performed to his seeding.

In contrast to Hunter, Crawcour’s progress had been serene, with 3-0 victories over Tommy Lyons (Mi), then Pattison and finally Joel Osaghae (Mi), before losing out to Hunter. In the other quarters Barbarash had defeated No 3 seed, Thomas Palmer (Mi) 3-1 and Osaghae had knocked out Ali 3-0.

Osaghae then beat Barbarash in four to get third place. In the consolation event final Aniket Bhanushali (K) was victorious over Danny Klinger (Ha) in four close games.

Boys U15s

54 players took part in this age group, which was the largest of all the events. In Group 2, No 2 seed, Nahom Goitom (Sy), beat third highest ranked player, Josh Bruce (K) 3-1. In Group 6, Jeremiah Prempeh (Mi) went 2-0 up vs No 7 seed, Angus Norman (Sy), but couldn’t close out the match, while in Group 10 Jamar McGlashan (Sx) took No 11 seed, Jack Trafford (Do) to five sets. Also in Group 12 Henry Maric-Murray (Sy) beat the higher ranked 13th seed, Mihnea Dascalu (Mi) in straight sets.

In the knockout stages, No 1 seed Owen Brown (Sx) of Horsham Spinners TTC, made it to the final with wins over Crawcour (3-0), Yacine Boubekeur (Mi) (3-2) and Norman (3-1). In the lower half of the draw, No 4 seed, Valerio Bucci (Mi) of London Academy TTC waltzed his way to the final with straight sets wins over John Strang (Sx), Adam Benmohamed (Sy) and Goitom in the semis. In the final Bucci continued his good form and ran out a 3-0 winner.

Fourth seed Joe Newman had fallen prey to Bruce in Round 2, while the other quarter-finals were Norman beating Bruce 3-1 and Goitom defeating Jaden Aulakh (E) 3-0.

Goitom defeated Norman 12-10 in the fifth set in the third/fourth place match. Daniel Broner (He) was victorious in the consolation event, beating Daniel Oluwamayowa (Mi) 3-0 in the final.

Boys U18s

40 players participated in the Boys U18s. In Group 1, low ranked scratch entry Brandon Bennett (Sx) had two good wins over Benmohamed, who is about 200 points above him and most impressively over top seed Carl Briendel (Mi), who is about 450 points above him!

In Group 3 Marco Plate (He) had a good win over No 4 seed and his club mate, Newman, who is over 200 points above him, while in Group 8, Maric-Murray beat the slightly higher ranked Billy Keegan (Sx) 3-0. No 6 seed, Bruce went out at the group stage in a group-of-death, losing to Norman in four and to Trafford 11-9 in the fifth. Norman beat Trafford 3-1.

Newman fell in the preliminary round to scratch entry Darius Xavier (K) 11-8 in the fifth. Xavier then continued his giant-killing spree, with another good win, this time 3-0 over fifth-seeded Brown.

Bennett’s form continued into Round 1, where he defeated the higher ranked Strang 3-2, before eventually losing 3-2 in the quarters to ninth seed Zion Boumpoutou (Mi). The Round 1 matches are all worthy of mention, to show the strength in depth of the event. Boumpoutou had knocked out Maric-Murray 3-2, before playing Bennett and the other Round 1 results were as follows: Howard Onweng (Sy) beat Norman, Breindel beat Plate, Goitom beat third seed, Murhad Hussain (Mi), Boubekeur beat Keegan and Bucci beat Trafford, all 3-0.

In the remaining quarters, Onweng took out Xavier in four, Goitom overcame Breindel in four very close games and Bucci beat team-mate Boubekeur in three.

In the semis, Boumpoutou beat Onweng 3-1 and Bucci beat Goitom 3-1. In the final, Bucci was consistent in winning 11-7, 11-7, 11-7. He played 14 matches in the day and impressively only lost three ends, two of which were at the group stages against two opponents, who finished third in the groups.

In a very strong consolation event, Jacob Evans (Sx) came through in the final in four ends vs Benmohamed. Strong players Bruce and Jake Grayson (Mi) lost out at the semi-final stage.

Zion Boumpoutou and Valerio Bucci receive their awards

Girls U11s

There were just two players in the Girls U11s, so they played each other and Sienna Jetha (Mi) beat Emily Cheung (Sy) 11-9, 11-3, 11-9. To give them more matches, the U11s girls were also put into the U15s.

Girls U13s

There were just four players in this category in a round-robin group. Top seed Scarlett Anders (He) proved her ranking was correct, winning all three of her matches. She dropped just one end to runner-up Anna Piercey (Bk). Piercey beat both Jetha and Halle Toulon (Mi) 3-1. Toulon beat Jetha 3-1 for third place.

Girls U15s

There were 10 players in this age group, including the two U11s Girls, in two groups of five. Top seed, Raquel Sao Pedro (Mi) won Group 1 with ease, just dropping one end to Connie Reynolds (He). Yasna Hawbush (Mi) overcame Reynolds to come second in the group in a titanic struggle 12-10 in the fifth, having lost the fourth end 18-20!

In Group 2, Jodie Morris (Sx) won all four of her matches to win the group, like Sao Pedro only conceding one end, which was to Anders.

In the semis, Sao Pedro beat Anders in four and Morris defeated Hawbush also in four. Sao Pedro won the final in straight sets. Anders won the third/fourth place play-off 3-1. Reynolds beat Piercey 3-0 in the consolation final.

Girls U18s

There were six players in this event in one group. Top seed Sao Pedro was unperturbed in her march to first place, only dropping one end to eventual runner-up Anders. Anders overcame second seed Morris in a well contested match 11-8 in the fifth. Morris came third and Hawbush fourth. Catherine Banks (K) beat Ellesse Trangmar (Sx) 3-0 to get fifth place.

Summary of results

Boys U11s
Main: Sam Gabriel (Mi) beat George Jackson (Mi) 3-2 (11-13, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8)
Consolation: Max Radiven (Mi) beat Alec Lyons (Mi) 3-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-6)

Boys U13s
Main: Joe Hunter (Mi) beat Toby Crawcour (Mi) 3-2 (8-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-5)
Consolation: Aniket Bhanushali (K) beat Danny Klinger (Ha) 3-1 (11-8, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10)

Boys U15s
Main: Valerio Bucci (Mi) beat Owen Brown (Sx) 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-5)
Consolation: Daniel Broner (He) beat Daniel Oluwamayowa (Mi) 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-9)

Boys U18s
Main: Valerio Bucci (Mi) beat Zion Boumpoutou (Sy) 3-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-7)
Consolation: Jacob Evans (Sx) beat Adam Benmohamed 3-1 (11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8)

Girls U11s
Sienna Jetha (Mi) beat Emily Cheung (Sy) 3-0 (11-9, 11-3, 11-9)

Girls U13s
Round Robin: 1st: Scarlett Anders (He), 2nd: Anna Piercey (Bk)

Girls U15s
Main: Raquel Sao Pedro (Mi) beat Jodie Morris (Sx) 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-7)
Consolation: Connie Reynolds (He) beat Anna Piercey (Bk) 3-0 (11-4, 11-3, 11-6)

Girls U18s
Round Robin: 1st: Raquel Sao Pedro (Mi), 2nd: Scarlett Anders (He)

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