Joseph Hunter and Bethany Ellis took the Cadet gold medals on day two of the Mark Bates Ltd Cadet & Junior National Championships.
Londoner Hunter defeated Aaron Yuk Shing Geung in five sets to take the title at the University of Warwick, with bronze medals going to Adam Dennison and the under-13 champion from last weekend, Ralph Pattison. The bronze medallists had earlier account for the top two seeds between them in the last 16.
In the girls’ event this afternoon Ellis came through in three games against Sienna Jetha, with bronze medals going to Saskia Key and Isabelle Lacorte.
Photos by Alan Man – click here to view more from the event on our Flickr page.
Joseph Hunter, the third seed, defeated unranked Aaron Yuk Shing Geung in five pulsating sets.
The opening two were shared and the third felt pivotal as both boys missed game points before Geung took it 15-13.
As it turned out, it was Hunter who grew from losing that game and turned the momentum around, winning the fourth with plenty to spare and then keeping his opponent at arm’s length in the decider.
— Table Tennis England (@TableTennisENG) July 11, 2021
The bronze medallists were Adam Dennison, beaten 10, 7, 4 by Hunter in the semis, and Ralph Pattison, who was defeated 7, 8, 9 by Geung.
Back in the quarter-finals, Geung eliminated the fourth seed Georgios Gerakios as he withstood a spirited fightback to triumph 3-2 (11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 4-11, 11-5).
Pattison went through in four against Nathaniel Saunders, while Dennison and Hunter needed only three against, respectively, Krish Chotai and Isaac Kingham.
The top two seeds were sent packing in the first round. Second seed Harry Yip was the first to go as Pattison blitzed to a 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-3) victory.
Top-ranked Ollie Maric-Murray followed at the hands of Dennison, who twice came from a set down to complete a 3-2 (8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6) win.
Fourth seed Gerakios avoided the same fate, though it was only in the decider that he managed to assert himself against Joseph Cooper, coming through 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-0).
There was another five-setter, which saw Yuk Shing Geung shake off Tom Powlesland 11-7, 13-11, 6-11, 6-11, 11-6.
Four of the eight seeds, including top two Connor Green and Jakub Piwowar, had to pull out due to covid isolation protocols. The resulting reorganisation opened up a route into the knockout stages for the third-placed players in each group.
If you were looking for excitement and unexpected results, then Group 1 was the place to be. No fewer than six matches went to a decider, including all four of Francesco Bonato’s, while the top two seeds were knocked out and the bottom three went through.
It was No 3 Bonato who topped the group, though that seemed unlikely when he lost his opening tie to Ben Dunkley, who came from behind to triumph 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10).
Bonato then went on a run of three victories in the deciding set, first against No 2 Ty Dennis-Thompson (11-4, 8-11, 11-5, 8-11, 14-12), then Joseph Cooper (9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3) and finally top-ranked Jake Haygarth, from 2-0 down (5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8).
It was Bonato’s turn to sit out the final round. But he knew he had won the group when Cooper beat Dunkley 3-1.
Second and third was more complicated as Cooper – the group’s lowest ranked player – Dunkley and Dennis-Thompson finished on two wins apiece. Dennis-Thompson’s results included a fine 3-2 (2-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9) win over Cooper.
Haygarth was out of the picture as his only win was over No 4 Dunkley, by a 3-2 (11-4, 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8) margin.
After the abacus had been located, Cooper was found to be in second place, with Dunkley in third and the unlucky Dennis-Thompson missing out.
Top two Krish Chotai and Ralph Pattison made it safely through Group 3, and were joined in the knockouts by the group’s No 5, Isaac Kingham.
Kingham’s qualification was underpinned by his 3-2 defeat of Pattison in a repeat of their Under-13 Boys’ Singles final from last weekend. Kingham came from 2-0 down to gain his measure of revenge, winning 3-2 (9-11, 9-11, 12-10, 14-12, 11-6) and saving a couple of match points in doing so.
Kingham later beat No 3 Chris Ho 3-0 (11, 6, 8), and Ho was destined to not make it out of the group when he was subsequently defeated by No 4 Joseph Dennison, who came back from 2-1 down to win 3-2 (11-8, 3-11, 12-14, 11-9, 11-6).
Ho did finish on a high by himself recovering from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Charlie Nabarro 3-2 (11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9). Nabarro earlier enjoyed a 3-2 win of his own, staving off a comeback by Kingham to prevail 12-10, 11-6, 8-11, 10-12, 11-9.
Group 2, which had only four players after two withdrawals, went to a three-way countback as the top three – Larry Trumpauskas, Aaron Yuk Shing Geung and Yiannis Kazantzidis – all ended on two wins.
They all beat each other 3-1 – Kazantzidis overcoming Trumpauskas, who in turn beat Geung, who in turn beat Kazantzidis.
The mathematicians conferred again and Geung was declared the group winner, followed by Kazantzidis and then Trumpauskas, though all three went through to the knockouts as a result of the reorganisation following the withdrawal of four seeds.
The five-player Group 4 went as expected, but the top two fought a battle in the final round – No 1 Nathaniel Saunders coming out on top after a fine comeback against No 2 Adam Dennison, recovering to win 3-2 (10-12, 10-12, 1109, 11-6, 11-9).
Dennison had earlier been upset by fifth-ranked Henry Shaw, who triumphed 3-1 (11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 12-10), but won his other matches to go through in second, with Tom Powlesland in third.
Sixth-ranked Adam Palmer beat Shaw 3-2 (11-8, 11-3, 5-11, 6-11, 11-7).
With top two seeds Anna Green and Maliha Baig absent, the remaining six seeds all had designs on claiming a national title.
In the event, it was the next on the list, Bethany Ellis, who stepped up to take gold, overcoming Sienna Jetha in the final.
It looked like a comfortable 3-0 (7, 5, 7) triumph, though in reality it was not so one-sided as Jetha fought hard to add the title to the Under-12 and Under-13 golds she won last weekend.
Well done to Bethany Ellis for winning the Cadet title at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships!! pic.twitter.com/Nqdu2rA2PG
— Table Tennis England (@TableTennisENG) July 11, 2021
Jetha’s semi-final victory over No 4 seed Saskia Key was tense in the extreme as she powered back from 2-0 down to take her place in the final.
Perhaps it was the memory of winning those titles last weekend which helped get the younger player across the line – she certainly showed great heart as she won it 10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8). Key closed from 10-6 down to 10-10 in the fourth but could not find those two extra points.
Ellis knocked out sixth seed Lacorte in the other semi-final in a close four-setter, which Lacorte had the chance to take to a decider before Ellis crossed the finishing line at 3-1 (17-15, 1-7, 9-11, 13-11).
The quarters all went according to seeding, and all in three straight. In the clashes between seeds, No 4 Key defeated No 5 Connie Dumelow and No 3 Ellis beat No 8 Evelyn Pace. No 6 Lacorte came through against Darcy Brewer and No 7 Jetha overcame Jonabel Taguibao.
Earlier, all of the six seeds made it safely through the last 16, though Lacorte was pushed hard by Rachael Iles, who took it deep into the fifth before Lacorte got over the line 3-2 (6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8).
Groups 1 and 3 were randomly drawn to supply three players to the knockout stage rather than two, due to the main draw missing its top two seeds, Anna Green and Maliha Baig.
The five-player Group 1 was won by second-ranked Naomi Coker, who won all her matches without dropping a game, including the battle of the top two-ranked players against Kate Watkinson, which she won 11-7, 11-6, 11-7.
There was a three-way tie for second, with three players on two wins apiece – Watkinson, No 4 Mia Lakhani and No 5 Sophie Ackred – vying for two places in the draw.
Ackred’s impressive 3-0 win over Watkinson (13-11, 11-6, 11-4) helped her to secure second, while Watkinson was third. Lakhani was unlucky to miss out, having beaten No 3 Bethany Pye 3-1 (2-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-3) and also defeated Ackred 3-1 in a match which saw the second game go all the way to 21-19 in her favour.
Group 2 also had five players and was won as expected by Mabel Shute with a 100% record. But it was the No 4 Mia Longman who followed her through to the last 16 as she got above both Anna Piercey and Jessica Felton – defeating the former 3-1 (11-9, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9) and the latter in three straight (10, 5, 9).
No 5 Eva Eccles picked up a good win over No 3 Felton by a 3-2 (7-11, 13-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-4) scoreline.
Rachael Iles took Group 3 from the top ranking and won all her matches for the loss of only one game.
Behind her, the lowest-ranked played, Jonabel Taguibao, picked up a string of victories to secure second spot – losing only to Iles. Most impressive in that run was the oh-so-close victory over group No 2 Inara Ahmed, which Taguibao edged 3-2 (11-9, 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 12-10).
With a third qualifying place available in the group, there was still plenty to play for, and Darcy Brewer – who was the third-ranked player in the group – clinched that spot. She also picked up a vital victory over Ahmed, coming from 2-1 down to seal a 3-2 (11-8, 4-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8 victory).
Anaiya Ali, the fifth-ranked player in Group 4, made it into the knockout phase thanks to four victories out of five – most impressively defeating top-ranked Emily Cheung in five (12-10, 6-11, 12-10, 15-13, 11-5).
Ali went through behind the No 2 player, Ella Pashley, who was undefeated and beat Cheung in three (4, 5, 7).
Among the other matches was a fine 3-2 (4-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10) comeback win for third-ranked Chui-Que Wong over No 6 Millie Noble.