The postponed under 12 championships took place at Church High School recently and produced two clean sweeps for Asmita Chaudhari in the girls events and Ashraf Alam in the boys. These two have been used to playing tournaments on the national BADMINTON England circuit and were clearly the class acts: but there were several other players at this young age group who showed considerable potential for the future and impressed the visiting coaches.
In the girls singles, the deciding group was fought out between Asmita, Emily Harrison (both from the Elmfield club), AlexHoward (Hexham) and Rachel Bogan (still only 8 and from Ponteland). In the end it came down to the match between the two Elmfield girls which Asmita won by 15-5: her greater match-play experience showed as she moved Emily around before finding the gaps. The group playing off for positions 5 to 8 was won by Anna Railton of Morpeth. In the girls doubles, Asmita and Emily teamed up to win convincingly, with Rachel and Alex as runners-up.
The boys singles had an excellent entry of 16 players. The winners of the initial groups progressed into the semi finals where Ashraf (Tyne Met) beat Gabriel Rodda (Ponteland). The score of 21-3 rather belied the promise that Gabriel had shown in winning his earlier group matches. The second semi went by 21-11 to Chris Jeffrey (also Ponteland) over Anthony Lai of the Newcastle Performance Centre. Ashraf went on to win the final 21-10 but Chris, already known as a young tennis player of great promise, had shown serious potential with the smaller racket and will surely make a name for himself on the badminton court if he chooses to do so. Perhaps not surprisingly, the boys doubles produced a final between the Ashraf/Anthony and Chris/Gabriel partnerships, after these two pairs had both won their initial groups. The trophies were carried off by Ashraf and Anthony with a 21-8 victory.
Six pairs contested the mixed doubles which came down to a final in which Asmita and Ashraf played Emily and Ashraf’s younger brother, Arif. There was little fraternal mercy shown on court as the former powered to a 21-5 win to claim the victory.
The multiple wins of Asmita and Ashraf confirmed their status as the most promising players of their age within the Northumberland county area: this is shortly to be recognised by the presentation to them of awards sponsored by the Chair of North Tyneside Council.