The first of our BE Junior Circuit events took place recently with the Under 15 and Under 19 Bronzes being held at TBC and, although the main singles medals went elsewhere, there was success for our players in several of the doubles.
The Under 19 mixed saw Sarah Bambrick team up again with Marc Graham from West of Scotland to take the gold medals. As a scratch pairing in last year’s Under 17 Silver, they had come through as surprise winners and they reunited to take this season’s Bronze event convincingly, their nearest challengers being Yorkshire’s Hannah Clarke and Owen Walker. Marc Graham also took the singles with a 21-15, 21-15 win over fellow Scot, Callum Stokes. Earlier, Stokes had been given a fright by Northumberland’s Under 16 Tim Bodani: Tim took the first end to 18 but Stokes fought back to win 11 and 4. Several of our players featured well in the group games, with Arif Alam and Melvin Cherian getting close, but not close enough, to progressing into the knock-out rounds.
In the girls’ events, Annie Zhu from Teesside took the gold medal in the girls’ singles, with Lucy Walker from Beverley as runner-up. Walker and Clarke were also runners-up in the doubles which went to Yorkshire’s Lucy Fowler and Emily Stephenson.
In the Under 15 competition, it was Northumberland’s Charlotte Graham who came away with two gold medals.
Partnering Amy Ward in a very tightly-contested group of five pairs, they emerged as winners by virtue of a close victory over fellow Northumbrian’s Ellen Davison and Lucy Dodd. In the mixed doubles, Charlotte partnered Jack Tilbury to take three good wins in the group games. The other group, which featured two local pairs (Amy Ward & Hugh Twelves and Lucy Dodd & Ollie Edmondson) and a Lincolnshire duo, ended in remarkable fashion with all three pairs dead equal, having scored a 21-20 win and a 20-21 loss each. The group was decided by a shuttle-nearest-the-bucket shootout, which was won by Hugh. In the final, Charlotte and Jack took the honours 21-14.
In the Under 15 singles events, Jack scored three good wins but could not quite take the fourth to win his group. However, Ollie played strongly winning all four matches, including a 21-19 win over the second seed, to move into the semi-final, where he lost 10-21 to Cameron Clarke of Notts. The gold medal was won by Cheshire’s Akshat Sharma. The girls’ singles also featured a very close group. Charlotte and Ellen had four wins apiece, as did Anushka Acharya of Cheshire, but it was points difference that took the latter into the final, where she lost to Yorkshire’s Angie Zhu 21-12.