The last few weeks have seen several of our young players spreading their wings to play in a number of the age group events run for Cumbria and Tees Valley. Pride of place should go to Melvin Cherian who overcame a 28-strong field to win the boys singles at the Tees Valley Under 17. He took the gold medal with an excellent 21-19 victory over Yorkshire’s Thomas King. Our pair of Finlay Smith and Jai Nayyar took bronze medals in the boys doubles.
Melvin’s success followed his recent win in partnership with Arif Alam to take the level doubles title in the Cumbria Under 17 event. The scoreline was another 21-19, this time over Adam Ashraf (Lancashire) and Oliver Stapleton (Yorkshire), and came after Arif and Melvin had stormed through their group winning all five matches. In the singles competition, they had both reached the semi-finals but suffered the same 16-21 losses.
At the younger age group of Under 15 over in Cumbria, Tim Bodani had performed strongly to reach two finals. He lost the singles final to number one seed Karthik Ajith of Lancashire. He then partnered Matthew Short making it through to the boys doubles final but then came up against Ajith again, losing 17-21. But that experience obviously stood Tim in good stead in preparation for our own Under 17 tournament.
Finally, another mention must go to Lucy Dodd who took the title in the Tees Valley Under 13 tournament. The final was a tough match but Lucy held her nerve to take the gold medal with a 22-20 win over Cheshire’s Anushka Acharya.