42 junior entries from Conwy, Anglesey, Flintshire, Carmarthenshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire contested the tournament giving us some compelling badminton over the two sessions, from junior International players to players who first picked up a racket only 3 months ago.
Unfortunately there was a distinct lack of girls playing, this meant that the 5 girls who did enter all played each other giving some good games. The overall winner was Bethany Preston (Herefordshire) with Amelie Chandran (Great Orme, Conwy) as the runner-up. Within the overall event there was an U-14 event running where Evie Thomas (Llanfairfechan, Conwy) beat Ffion Williams-Frost (Llanfairfechan, Conwy) for the title and Evie Aspinall (Great Orme, Conwy) won the U-16 event. The U-12 boys singles was an all Cheshire affair with the winner being Nirek Jaglan who beat Robbi Roy in the final game 3rd was Arnav Ramavath (ex Flintshire, now Cheshire) with Rory O’Keefe 4th losing his final match in 3 ends. In the doubles all the pairs were put together but the boys and the girls both had their own final. The girls final was won by Bethany & Amelie who beat Ffion & Evie for the title and the boys event was won by Nirek & Arnav who beat Robbi & Rory for the title.
Running alongside the U-12’s was an U-16 boys singles. From group A and into the semi-finals went Oliver Harrington (Cheshire) and Isaac Dean (Stella Maris, Conwy) with James Moore (Great Orme/Stella Maris ) 3rd and Isaac Williams (Great Orme, Conwy) 4th. From group B went Eban Jones (Great Orme/Menai Bridge) and Theo Jones (Gwynedd) with Brandon Brookes (Stella Maris, Conwy) 3rd and Isaah Williams (Great Orme) 4th. The 1st semi-final was won by the top seed Oliver who beat Theo for a place in the final, with Eban overcoming Isaac for the 2nd final place. The final was won by Oliver Harrington. I would like to give some recognition to Theo Jones (Bala club) playing in his first tournament and to Isaac & Isaah Williams who only picked up a badminton racket three months ago, well done on your performances. This concluded the Saturday session as there was no doubles played.
Sunday brought the U-14 & U-18 age group boys only to play singles and doubles, again NO girls except Grace Evans. The U-14 boys started the session with 12 boys playing. From group A and into the knock-out stage went Oliver Chandran and Mackenzie Attewell (both Great Orme, Conwy). From group B went Nanditha Malaganuwa (Carmarthenshire) and Leo Parkinson (Staffordshire) and from group C went Johan Varghese and Grace Evans (both North East Wales) This gave two quarter-finals where Leo beat Grace to play against Oliver in the 1st semi-final and Johan beat Mackenzie to book his place in the 2nd semi-final to play Nanditha. Leo beat Oliver in a three set semi-final match to play Nanditha who beat Johan. The final was won by Nanditha. The boys doubles was a single group with the winners being Nanditha & Oliver who defeated Nandakishor Shanmugasigamani (Great Orme, Conwy) & Leo. 3rd playing in their 1st tournament was Alan Blankley & Bailey Davies (Amlwch, Anglesey). The
U-18 singles played alongside the U-14’s and from group A and into the knockout stage went Isaac Lof (Great Orme, Conwy) and James Maddocks (North East Wales) from group B went Shamanth Moodalbyle (North East Wales) and the U-16 runner-up Eban Jones and from group C went the
U-16 winner Oliver Harrington and the U-14 winner Nanditha Malaganuwa. This gave two quarter-finals where Nanditha the U-14 winner beat Eban the U-16 runner-up and Oliver the U-16 winner beat James. This pitched Nanditha to play Isaac, Isaac won this match in a long 2 setter with Oliver beating Shamanth, The final was won by Oliver Harrington giving him his 2nd gold medal. The tournament ended with a pulsating level doubles.
Into the semi-finals went Oliver & Matthew Swash (North East Wales) and James & Shamanth and from group B went Isaac Lof & Eban and Elis Gilks (North East Wales) & Suhas Shekar (Great Orme, Conwy) James & Shamanth beat Elis & Suhas and Oliver & Matthew beat Isaac & Eban in a long 3 set match. This gave a final between James & Shamanth and Oliver & Matthew. In an even longer 3 set final match James & Shamanth defeated Oliver & Matthew to take the title.
This was a tournament of first’s, not only was it the 1st tournament for some of the players it was also the 1st tournament for a Badminton Wales trainee umpire Lee Matthews (Anglesey). Lee umpired a lot of the matches from the quarter-finals up to 3 set finals with diligence and grace, well done Lee and I hope to see you again at the next tournament.
I would now like to thank a few people
To Andy Gibbons (Saturday) and Gina Marsh (Sunday) both from the Stella Maris club for running the cafe.
The tournament is only a vehicle in which the player can express/showcase their desire to become the best player they can become and so I thank each and everyone of the players who competed. Well done to all of you.
Without a tournament no players can play, without the players no tournament will be held, holding all this together are the parents and grandparents who give to the child time and money allowing them their dream, whatever that dream may be and so I thank all the parents and grandparents who give their time and were there over the weekend.
OVERALL well done and thank you for a great tournament.
See a lot of you in two weeks at the Great Orme Junior Open where the Welsh National Squad manager will be to see possible U-13 Celtic Challenge and U-15 Quad players in action under tournament conditions.