Players from St. Olave’s dominate the National U13 Championships

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The National U13 Championships at St. Paul’s School
Sunday , 13th March 2016

Peter de Winton reports: With 46 competitors from nine schools, it was a healthy field of players, with all the usual competitive spirit and enthusiasm. We missed having boys from Shrewsbury House School, but welcomed St Olave’s and St Dunstan’s back and were pleased to see Bedford Modern and Colet Court for the first time. We also welcomed boys from Year Six onwards to widen the age/experience mix and give them competitive experience.

In the pool stage of the Singles, St Olave’s and Alleyn’s were to the fore, providing eleven of the sixteen seeds for the knockout stage, with St Dunstan’s and Pilgrims’ also well in evidence. Gwydion Wiseman of Alleyn’s and William Ellington of Pilgrims’ (last year’s runner up) were seeded one and two. In the games that followed, Isaac Jochim of St Olave’s, the third seed, made short work of his opponents, not dropping a point till the quarter-final. Meanwhile, Wiseman had progressed via tighter contests and overcame Yoann Bleunven of St Olave’s in 3 games to face Jochim in the final. In the end Wiseman’s technique and fluency versus Jochim’s strength and stamina provided a classic match, with Jochim winning 15-4. No Singles Plate or third/fourth place playoff was staged in the interest of sustaining boys’ energy for the Doubles.

We started the Doubles after a lunch break, with the first match losers going into the Plate. Alleyn’s demonstrated their skills at Doubles by getting 3 of the 4 semi-final places and would have crossed the line if they hadn’t come up against determined and hard hitting of Bleunven & Jochim from St Olave’s in the final. For the second year running, Pilgrims’, consisting of William Ellington & Benedict Smailes, won the Doubles Plate, this time from St Olave’s III.

My thanks to St.Paul’s for allowing us the use of the courts, to the coaches for their input into the running of the day, to all the parents who turn up to support, feed and nurture their charges, and to Bob Dolby, Frank Akerman and Bernard Atkinson for their tireless support and PR activity. Thanks also to the competitors, who demonstrated a quality of coaching evident in their skill, commitment and sportsmanship.

It is still my wish that one day we can grow the entry to include the many other schools who have players of this age group and run the championships over a weekend, but I fear this will clash with busy school timetables unless a slot is found in the holidays. This year we started 45 minutes earlier, which helped finishing sooner and will be repeated in future, but I am open to perhaps capping the number of players in total and/or the size of teams. The aim is as always to enable as many boys from as many schools to take part. I look forward to next year’s Championships with confidence, knowing that it is going to be as enjoyable as always to organise and run.

Scores

Singles
Pools
(1) Johnston and Casanova Pagola (Alleyn’s Senior), Ames (Blundell’s), Harrison (Colet Court), Dulai (Merchant Taylors’), Ellington (Pilgrims’), Surey (St. Dunstan’s), Prashra (St. Olave’s)
(2) Fong (Alleyn’s Junior), Taylor Schindler (Alleyn’s Senior), Hoaen and Brown (Blundell’s), Gunusen (Merchant Taylors’), Ellis (Pilgrims’), Blacknell (St. Dunstan’s), Adebekun (St. Olave’s)
(3) Kirwan and Nicoll (Alleyn’s Senior), Swarbrick (Blundell’s), Holden (Colet Court), Phillips (Merchant Taylors’), Beardmore-Gray (Pilgrims’), Byrne (St. Olave’s)
(4) Harrison (Alleyn’s Junior), De Brunner (Alleyn’s Senior), Rackham (Blundell’s), Mathews (Merchant Taylors’), Fowler (Pilgrims’), Penfold (St. Dunstan’s), Bleunven (St. Olave’s)
(5) Knox (Bedford Modern), Mahendran (Alleyn’s Senior), Tait (Blundell’s), Onillon (Colet Court), Harvey (Pilgrims’), Sheikh (Merchant Taylors’), Jochim (St. Olave’s)
(6) Barrow (Bedford Modern), Wiseman (Alleyn’s Senior), Mumford (Blundell’s), Hodes (St. Dunstan’s), Roberts (Colet Court), Bub (Merchant Taylors’), Ujoodia (St. Olave’s)

Knock-out
1st Round: Wiseman (Alleyn’s) bt Taylor Schindler (Alleyn’s) 15-4; Byrne (St. Olave’s) bt Casanova Pagola (Alleyn’s) 15-7; Blacknell (St. Dunstan’s) bt Hodes (St. Dunstan’s) 15-8; Bleunven (St. Olave’s) bt Nicoll (Alleyn’s) 15-2; Jochim (St. Olave’s) bt Mahendran (Alleyn’s) 15-0; Beardmore-Gray (Pilgrims’) bt Harvey (Pilgrims’) 15-11; De Brunner (Alleyn’s) bt Adebekun (St. Olave’s) 15-6; Ellington bt Ujoodia (St. Olave’s) 15-2
Quarter-finals: Wiseman bt Byrne 15-11; Bleunven bt Blacknell 15-0; Jochim bt Beardmore-Gray 15-0; Ellington bt De Brunner 15-4
Semi-finals: Wiseman bt Bleunven 11-4, 5-11, 11-5; Jochim bt Ellington 11-3, 11-2
Final: Jochim bt Wiseman 15-4

Doubles
1st Round: St. Olave’s II bt Merchant Taylors’ II 11-0; Bedford Modern bt Colet Court II 11-0; St. Dunstan’s II bt Blundell’s III 11-0; Alleyn’s Senior III bt St. Olave’s III 11-6; Pilgrims’ III bt Blundell’s II 11-4; Pilgrims’ II bt Alleyn’s Senior IV 11-5
2nd Round: Alleyn’s Senior I bt St. Olave’s II 11-7; Bedford Modern bt Blundell’s I 11-4; St. Dunstan’s II bt Merchant Taylors’ I 11-5; Alleyn’s Senior III bt Pilgrims’ I 11-6; St. Olave’s I bt Pilgrims’ III 11-1; Pilgrims’ II bt Merchant Taylors’ III 11-5; Colet Court I bt Alleyn’s Junior I 11-7; Alleyn’s Senior II bt St. Dunstan’s I 11-4
Quarter-finals: Alleyn’s Senior I bt Bedford Modern 11-6; Alleyn’s Senior III bt St. Dunstan’s II 11-6; St. Olave’s I bt Pilgrims’ II 11-1; Alleyn’s Senior II bt Colet Court 11-0
Semi-finals: Alleyn’s Senior I bt Alleyn’s Senior III 11-0; St. Olave’s I bt Alleyn’s Senior II 11-10
Final: St. Olave’s I (Bleunven & Jochim) bt Alleyn’s Senior I (Mahendran & Wiseman) 15-4
Plate: Pilgrims’ I (Ellington & Smailes) bt St. Olave’s III 11-6