The overall winners from England South East

South East edge out North East in fight for title

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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England South East were the overall champions at the end of three days of passionate competition at the School Games.

Their triumphs in the Girls’ event, added to Shae Thakker’s victory in the Para competition and bronze in the Boys’ competition, were enough to give them the overall title at Loughborough University.

England North East took the Boys’ title ahead of Scotland in silver and North East girls also pushed the South East all the way before having to settle for second, with England Midlands in third. The Para silver medallist was Elliot Medland of Scotland, with Wales’ Tam Eastwood claiming bronze.

Click here to view a selection photos on our Flickr page.

There was also a special award to North West’s Megan Dillon, who was one of only three athletes in the entire Games to be awarded a Spirit of the Games Award by the Youth Sport Trust and UK Anti-Doping having been nominated for her commitment to the values of the 100% Me initiative and being a good role model.

Megan Dillon with her certificate

Overall final standings: 1 South East, 2 North East, 3 Scotland, 4 Wales, 5 Midlands, 6 South West, 7 Northern Ireland, 8 North West.

Click here for the full results on the School Games website.

The final standings in the three events

Boys

A thrilling finish to the competition saw three teams head into the last round of fixtures level on five victories each.

Scotland, South East and North East could all win gold, depending on their rivals’ results in the last round, plus the head-to-head records.

But North East were in the strongest position, knowing a win over South East would seal gold, regardless of the Scotland result.

They quickly laid down their marker as Shayan Siraj – unbeaten in singles – defeated Israel Awolaja and Joe Clark beat George Hazell.

It meant Siraj and Josh Weatherby could seal it in the doubles and they duly obliged in four games against Awolaja and James Smith.

Clark then overcame Awolaja in five but there was still a noteworthy end to proceedings as Siraj lost his 100% record at the hands of Hazell in a thriller, fighting back from 2-0 down only to lose on deuce in the fifth (11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 14-12).

Scotland’s result against South West would determine the minor medals and there were twists and turns aplenty before Scotland came out 3-2 in front thanks to Calum Morrison’s defeat of Artur Caltabiano in a deciding set. That left Scotland with silver and South East with bronze.

The top three had entered the last round level thanks to Scotland defeating South East – the only team unbeaten overnight.

Dylan Curry made the key contribution, withstanding a fightback from Awolaja in the first match to win 3-2 (11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 12-14, 11-9) and later defeating Smith in three to put Scotland into an unassailable 3-1 lead.

North East meanwhile ended any hopes of South West striking gold by defeating them 4-1, Siraj taking his unbeaten singles record to 10 matches, while Clark also win his two singles.

The other round 6 ties saw North West notch their first win with a 4-1 scoreline against Northern Ireland, led by Amirul Hussain’s two singles victories, while Joshua Stacey also had a double to help Wales to a 4-1 triumph over Midlands.

In round 7, Midlands defeated North West 4-1, Naphat Boonyaprapa winning his singles matches, while Wales finished with a 5-0 scoreline against Northern Ireland.

Winners’ reaction – Josh Weatherby:

It feels good. We had a good team but Shayan’s performance was key. I thought we were unlucky to lose to Wales but we knew we had to win all the matches after that.

Joe Clark:

We had a good team spirit and we were still confident we could win it after losing to Wales, but it was a bit of a hiccup. I’m happy to win gold after getting team silver last year, and it’s the first North East gold for a while.

Shayan Siraj:

We knew it would be difficult but we managed to come through. Scotland was the crucial match, that’s what gave us the energy and confidence to win today.

Shayan Siraj leads up North East to receive their gold medals

Today’s results
Round 6
England North West 4 Northern Ireland 1
Amirul Hussain bt James Skelton 3-0 (11-1, 11-7, 11-6)
Harry Watson bt Julian Kelly 3-1 (5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8)
Hussain & Watson bt Skelton & Kelly 3-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6)
Hussain bt Kelly 3-1 (11-4, 12-14, 11-4, 11-6)
Skelton bt Watson 3-0 (11-4, 16-14, 11-4)

Wales 4 Midlands 1
Joshua Stacey bt Naphat Noonyaprapa 3-1 (11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8)
Benedict Watson bt Tom McIntosh 3-2 (11-13, 11-6, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7)
Stacey & Joseph Roberts bt Boonyaprapa & Sam Chesterman 3-1 (11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 13-11)
Stacey bt McIntosh 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-6)
Boonyaprapa bt Watson 3-2 (11-8, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7)

England North East 4 England South West 1
Shayan Siraj bt Olly Tyndall 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-7)
Joe Clark bt Matt Daish 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-7)
Tyndall & Artur Caltabiano bt Siraj & Josh Weatherby 3-2 (11-4, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10)
Clark bt Tyndall 3-1 (15-17, 11-9, 11-3, 11-6)
Siraj bt Daish 3-1 (11-3, 11-4, 11-13, 11-8)

Scotland 3 England South East 2
Dylan Curry bt Israel Awolaja 3-2 (11-5, 11-9, 7-11, 12-14, 11-9)
Calum Morrison bt James Smith 3-2 (11-1, 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4)
Awolaja & Smith bt Curry & Keir Morton 3-1 (11-8, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9)
Curry bt Smith 3-0 (11-9, 12-10, 11-9)
Awolaja bt Morrison 3-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-7)

Round 7
Wales 5 Northern Ireland 0
Joshua Stacey bt James McGrath 3-0 (11-4, 11-4, 11-7)
Joseph Roberts bt James Skelton 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 11-8)
Stacey & Benedict Watson bt Skelton & Julian Kelly 3-1 (11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 11-2)
Stacey bt Skelton 3-0 (11-1, 11-9, 11-7)
Roberts bt McGrath 3-1 (11-2, 10-12, 11-6, 11-5)

England Midlands 4 England North West 1
Naphat Boonyaprapa bt Connor Whitehead 3-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-4)
Harry Watson bt Sam Chesterman 3-1 (11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8)
Chesterman & Boonyaprapa bt Watson & Amirul Hussain 3-1 (7-11, 14-12, 14-12, 11-9)
Boonyaprapa bt Watson 3-2 (7-11, 11-3, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10)
Chesterman bt Whitehead 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-2)

England North East 4 England South East 1
Shayan Siraj bt Israel Awolaja 3-1 (11-7, 11-4, 7-11, 11-9)
Joe Clark bt George Hazell 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-7)
Siraj & Josh Weatherby bt Awolaja & James Smith 3-1 (11-8, 11-5, 12-14, 11-3)
Clark bt Awolaja 3-2 (11-8, 2-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-6)
Hazell bt Siraj 3-2 (11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 14-12)

Scotland 3 England South West 2
Artur Caltabiano bt Dylan Curry 3-1 (11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9)
Calum Morrison bt Olly Tyndall 3-1 (11-3, 11-1, 9-11, 13-11)
Morrison & Keir Morton bt Caltabiano & Tyndall 3-2 (6-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9)
Tyndall bt Curry 3-2 (11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 10-12, 12-10)
Morrison bt Caltabiano 3-2 (6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7)

Girls

South East won the winner-take-all clash in the final round to seal the gold medal ahead of North East.

The match begun with Kate Cheer (SE) and Gauri Duhan (NE) boasting 100% records in singles matches over the three-day event, with the clash between them being potentially pivotal.

As it turned out, both lost their records before they met – Jasmin Wong overcoming Cheer in five sets in match one and then Sarah Menghistab levelling for South East by defeating Duhan.

The doubles also went to five, South East’s Cheer and Isabelle Joubeily leading 2-0 and eventually winning 3-2. It was then left to Cheer to bring home the gold in another five-setter, this time overcoming Duhan from 2-1 down. The concession of the final match by South East due to Menghistab’s ankle injury, made it 3-2 in the final reckoning.

Bronze medallists Midlands ended with a 4-1 win over South West, with Northern Ireland and Wales also victorious in their final matches.

North East and South East had both won their round 6 matches to set up the winner-take-all final meeting, but the victories were contrasting in magnitude.

South East were 5-0 winners over South West, though Joubeily was taken to five by Amy Blagbrough, but it was a lot closer for North East who finally overcame Midlands 3-2.

They went 2-0 up as both Duhan and Wong kept up their 100% singles records against Mollie Patterson and Darcie Proud respectively – the latter match going to a decider.

Proud and Bhavika Mistry took the doubles to reduce the deficit and Patterson then brought Wong’s unbeaten run to an end to level the overall score.

It was left to Duhan and Proud to fight for the crucial final point, and it was Duhan’s eighth win out of eight singles matches which ensure North East were still going for gold.

Also in round 6, Nicole Scott’s two singles wins led Northern Ireland to a 4-1 victory over North West, while Wales defeated Scotland 3-2, Jamie-Lee Harley taking her two singles matches.

Winners’ reaction – Kate Cheer:

I was happy to beat Gauri to clinch it, but it was a team effort. We wanted to win it again after getting the gold last year.

Isabelle Joubeily:

The doubles was really important, I think we only lost one of them and it makes a real difference because it can take a bit of pressure off the singles. We had a good team spirit and a loud bench and that made it more enjoyable.

Sarah Menghistab:

We had a good spirit in the team. I was a little bit nervous after Kate lost the first match but I gave it my all. I think we were expecting a medal, but not necessarily gold, so it’s good to get that.

The gold medallists from South East

Today results
Round 6
Northern Ireland 4 England North West 1
Rebecca Finn bt Robyn Cosgrove 3-0 (11-9, 12-10, 11-8)
Nicole Scott bt Alice Dillon 3-1 (11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7)
Finn & Scott bt Cosgrove & Dillon 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-8)
Dillon bt Finn 3-1 (6-11, 11-3, 11-7, 12-10)
Scott bt Cosgrove 3-0 (11-6, 11-3, 11-6)

Wales 3 Scotland 2
Jamie-Lee Harley bt Jennie Yang 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-9)
Faye Leggett bt Lara Whitton 3-0 (11-8, 13-11, 15-13)
Harley & Beth Richards bt Yang & Leggett 3-1 (11-8, 11-5, 8-11, 13-11)
Yang bt Whitton 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-2)
Harley bt Leggett 3-1 (3-11, 14-12, 11-5, 13-11)

England South East 5 England South West 0
Kate Cheer bt Amy Blagbrough 3-1 (12-10, 14-12, 9-11, 11-8)
Isabelle Joubeily bt Gemma Kerr 3-1 (8-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4)
Cheer & Joubeily bt Blagbrough & Katie Holt 3-1 (11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9)
Joubeily bt Blagbrough 3-2 (11-5, 7-11, 14-12, 6-11, 11-9)
Cheer bt Kerr 3-1 (11-6, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6)

England North East 3 England Midlands 2
Gauri Duhan bt Mollie Patterson 3-1 (11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3)
Jasmin Wong bt Darcie Proud 3-2 (11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 10-12, 11-6)
Proud & Bhavika Mistry bt Duhan & Sophie Barlow 3-1 (11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8)
Patterson bt Wong 3-1 (11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5)
Duhan bt Proud 3-1 (11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8)

Round 7
England Midlands 4 England South West 1
Mollie Patterson bt Gemma Kerr 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-9)
Katie Holt bt Bhavika Mistry 3-0 (11-9, 11-9, 12-10)
Mistry & Darcie Proud bt Kerr & Holt 3-1 (11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3)
Patterson bt Holt 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-6)
Mistry bt Kerr 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-4)

Northern Ireland 3 Scotland 2
Rebecca Finn bt Tessa Yau 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-4)
Lucy Craig bt Jennie Yang 3-0 (11-6, 11-2, 11-9)
Finn & Nicole Scott bt Yau & Faye Leggett 3-2 (6-11, 8-11, 11-8, 14-12, 11-8)
Craig bt Yau 3-1 (11-6, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6)
Yang bt Finn 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-6)

Wales 5 England North West 0
Beth Richards bt Megan Dillon 3-1 (11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9)
Jamie-Lee Harley bt Robyn Cosgrove 3-2 (11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7)
Richards & Harley bt Dillon & Cosgrove 3-2 (9-11, 17-15, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7)
Richards bt Cosgrove 3-2 (11-8, 11-9, 12-14, 12-14, 11-5)
Harley bt Dillon 3-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-9)

South East 3 North East 2
Jasmin Wong bt Kate Cheer 3-2 (7-11, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8)
Sarah Menghistab bt Gauri Duhan 3-1 (9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8)
Cheer & Isabelle Joubeily bt Wong & Sophie Barlow 3-2 (11-6, 11-2, 4-11, 10-12, 11-8)
Cheer bt Duhan 3-2 (12-10, 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5)
Wong bt Menghistab w/o

Para (standing)

Shae Thakker completed the perfect tournament with two more wins today to make it seven out of seven and take the gold medal for South East.

Silver went to Elliot Medland of Scotland and bronze to Tam Eastwood of Wales, who both won their two matches on day three.

Eastwood put himself back in medal contention with a defeat of North East’s Alex Bland in round 6, edging a close three-setter (10, 8, 11), while Joe Davies (NW) made Medland fight hard for his 3-0 win (6, 11, 10).

Thakker was always in charge against Tom Spicer (Midlands) and Dylan Tynan of the South West picked up his second win of the competition against Northern Ireland’s David McCaughern.

Thakker was unable to be overtaken going into the final match, but he made sure of the 100% record despite losing the opening game to Bland. Medland and Eastwood guaranteed their medals by respectively seeing off McCaughern and Spicer, while Tynan also made it a double on the day by defeating Davies.

Winner’s reaction – Shae Thakker:

I’m happy with how I played and it showed me what I need to work on. I really enjoyed the tournament.

The Para medallists (from left) Elliot Medland, Shae Thakker and Tam Eastwood

Today’s results
Round 6
Tam Eastwood (WAL) bt Alex Bland (NE) 3-0 (12-10, 11-8, 13-11)
Shae Thakker (SE) bt Tom Spicer (MID) 3-0 (11-7, 11-4, 11-3)
Dylan Tynan (SW) bt David McCaughern (NIR) 3-0 (11-6, 11-7, 11-9)
Elliot Medland (SCO) bt Joe Davies (NW) 3-0 (11-6, 13-11, 12-10)

Round 7
Medland bt McCaughern 3-1 (9-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-7)
Eastwood bt Spicer 3-0 (11-8, 11-4, 12-10)
Tynan bt Davies 3-0 (13-11, 11-6, 11-5)
Thakker bt Bland 3-1 (9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4)

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