(photos: Tony Shapps)
Semi-finals: Costas Papantoniou (Apollo) beat Mohammad Owadally (Vagabonds) 11-2, 9-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4
Eren Gozcu (Lowlands) beat Johannes Boehme (Hillingdon) 11-5, 11-9, 11-6
Final: Costas Papantoniou beat Eren Gozcu 11-5, 11-9, 11-9
Costas Papantoniou & Lucas Papantoniou (Apollo) beat Mohammad Owadally & Mitchell Jones (Vagabonds) 9-11, 16-14, 11-6, 11-9
Winners: Sally Bax (Sudbury Hill) & Stuart Seaholme (Vagabonds) in a round robin group
Veteran men's singles
Dov Katz (Maccabi) beat Jeremy Banks (Maccabi) 11-8, 7-11, 11-4 11-9
Johannes Boehme (Hillingdon) beat Sammy Kaye (Maccabi) 11-3, 11-8, 11-8
Arjun Arora (Vagabonds) beat Rishi Bhide (Vagabonds)
Junior boys’ singles
Joe Kaye (Maccabi) beat Harry Wilcox (Hillingdon) 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 13-11
Junior girls’ singles:-
Aimey Gerald (Crest) beat Khadeejah Yasin (Crest)
Junior boys' doubles
Sammy Kaye & Joe Kaye (Maccabi) beat Harry Wilcox (Hillingdon) & Arjun Arora (Vagabonds) 10-12, 11-3, 11-7, 11-8
Junior girls' doubles
Aimey Gerald (Crest) & Tarrenai Francis-Hibbert (Capital City Academy) beat Khadeejah and Khawla Yasin(Crest)
Cadet boys’ singles
Branislav Živković (Lowlands) beat Joe Kaye (Maccabi) 11-8, 11-1 and 14-12
Cadet girls’ singles
Aimey Gerald (Crest) beat Tarrenai Francis-Hibbert (Capital City Academy)
Guests of Honour at Finals Night were Mr Gareth Thomas MP (Harrow West) and Mr Michael Close, the President of the League and Chairman of the Middlesex Table Tennis Association. The action began with the Cadet Boys’ Singles in which Branislav Živkovič beat Joe Kaye in straight sets. In the Junior Boys’ Singles Semi-Finals, Jonathan Stelzer won the first set against Harry Wilcox Harry but lost the next three. Joe Kaye beat Branislav Živkovič this time, 11-9 in the deciding fifth set. In the Intermediate Singles, Johannes Boehme proved to be a bit too strong for Sammy Kaye, taking the title in straight sets.
Joe Kaye went on to win the Junior Boys’ Singles beating Harry Wilcox by three games to one. In the first of the Men’s Singles semi-finals, Costas Papantoniou overcame Mohammad Owadally in five sets but Eren Gozcu had it much easier in the second against Johannes Boehme, winning 3-0. In the Junior Boys’ Doubles Final the Kaye brothers Joe & Sammy beat Harry Wilcox & Arjun Arora by three games to one to take the title. At the Interval, the Chairman thanked all those who helped during the Championships and on Finals Night. He made a plea for help in finding a new base venue for the league to replace Harrow Leisure Centre which was now not of the required standard that would meet the league’s needs.
The next match after the break was the Veteran Men’s Singles between Dov Katz and Jeremy Banks. Dov won his first Wembley & Harrow singles title beating Jeremy 3-1. The penultimate match of the evening was the Men’s Doubles, Mohammad Owadally & Mitchell Jones versus father and son duo, Costas & Lucas Papantoniou. In an exceptionally tactical battle, the Papantonious prevailed by three games to one. Costas then returned to the table for the Men’s Singles final against Eren Gozcu – Veteran versus Junior. Experience won the day as Costas won in three straight sets – it wasn’t easy for him but his familiarity with the occasion certainly played a part in his success. The presentation of the trophies followed and the umpires who officiated that night were also given a memento.
The Wembley & Harrow Closed Championships commenced with the junior and cadet events held on 6th February at the Crest Academy. The conditions were excellent and the matches were played to a good standard, most evident during the knock-out stages. The Cadet Boys’ Singles saw the top four seeded players advance to the knock-out stages without any problem. Branislav Živkovič beat Thevian Loganathan whilst Joe Kaye beat Arjun Arora, both in straight sets, to reach the final.
The Junior Boys’ Singles groups saw some close encounters – fourth Seed Jonathan Stelzer came from 2-0 down to beat Theon Henry Guthrie 3-2 and in other groups there were no fewer than six other five-set encounters. The upset of the day was Harry Wilcox’s 3-2 win over top seed Sammy Kaye in the quarter-finals. Jonathan Stelzer, Joe Kaye and Branislav Živkovič also qualified for the semi-finals.
In the Junior Boys’ Doubles, the seeded pairs proceeded to the knock-out stages and Joe & Sammy Kaye and Harry Wilcox & Arjun Arora were the semi-final winners. In the Cadet Girls’ Singles, Sara El Gallaf won two five-set encounters against Chelsea Madronio and Precy Alkilan. Tarenai Francis-Hibbert gave a good account of herself against Aimey Gerald losing narrowly by 3 games to 2 in the group match. Both proceeded to the finals where there was another five-setter, Aimey coming out the winner.Khadeejah Yasin caused an upset beating her elder sister Khawla in the Junior Girls’ Singles semi-finals by 3 games to 2. Aimey Gerald & Tarenai Francis-Hibbert beat the holders Khawla & Khadeejah Yasin in the Junior Girls’ Doubles.
The Senior events started with the Intermediate Singles (for payers in division 3 or below) on Monday 8th February. In Group 2, Ron Bryant had a great battle with Inti Siddiqui losing narrowly in the fifth set. In another group, Rafal Bajda beat Andrew MacAlister 3-2 after a close tussle and Joe Kaye also beat Gaurav Khera 3-2. In the knock-out stages, all matches went in favour of the seeds at the quarter-final stage. The semi-finals had the two brothers Sammy and Joe playing each other and the match went the full distance, with Sammy winning 11-5 in the final set. Johannes Boehme proved too strong for Andrew MacAlister in the other semi-final.
In the Minor Singles (divisions 6 and 7), Gaurav Khera won Group 1 with George Reidy runner-up. Rishi Bhide won Group 2 and Maurice Naughton, who won a great match against Vikas Pandey, was runner-up. Paul Kumaraswamy and Arjun Arora won Groups 3 and 4 respectively with Steve Keyes (on countback) and David Greaves runners-up. Arjun beat Steve Keyes in four sets in the quarter-finals to set up a semi-final against Gaurav. This was the match of the evening with Arjun managing to sneak in with a 12-10 win in the deciding fifth game. Rishi beat teammate David to face George in the other semi-final, whch he won in four sets. The final was another match to note going to five sets with Arjun winning the title in the decider.
At the Men’s Singles there were few surprises in the group stages. Dick Crockley had a five-set win over Bharat Malde to qualify as runner-up in group 4. Dumitru Toma upset fifth seed Jack Josephs with a 3-1 victory and Joe Kaye battled very hard to beat Mihai Buriciu, winning 15-13 in the deciding fifth game. Akash Shah nearly came a cropper against David James, narrowly winning the 5th game 11-9. Group 11 had the tightest of matches, Sullivan Morais beating Leslie Samuels and Sammy Kaye in five games whilst Sammy beat Leslie in four to finish as runner-up.
Moving on to the knock-out stages, there were notable victories for Dick Crockley, against Terun Desai, Branislav Živkovič versus Sammy Kaye and Dov Katz, who beat Radovan Živkovič 3-2. In the last 16, Branislav had a sensational win over Jeremy Banks by three games to one. Mohammad Owadally narrowly beat Stuart Seaholme 11-9 in the fifth set, Sullivan Morais beat Kiran Chidambaram and Jack Josephs beat Lucas Papantoniou also by three games to two. The quarter-final match between Sullivan Morais and Eren Gozcu was outstanding with both players producing excellent shots and rallies. Eren won, just, in the final set and similarly Johannes Boehme overcame Jack Josephs 3-2. The other quarter-final winners were Costas Papantoniou, who beat Dov Katz and Mohammad Owadally, who beat Branislav Živkovič.
The Mixed Doubles was played by five pairs on a round robin basis, with Stuart Seaholme and Sally Bax proving too strong for the rest. Kiran Chidambaram and Fanny Speck were runners-up.
In the Men’s Doubles the seeds prevailed with Mohammad Owadally & Mitchell Jones and father and son duo Costas & Lucas Papantoniou reaching the finals. Along the way, there were two notable matches: Andrew Haggar & Johannes Boehme were 2-0 down to Akash Shah & Kiran Chidambaram only for the former pair to win the next three sets and the match. The last match in the quarter-finals was an exciting one with the Kaye brothers leading 2-1 only to be pulled back to a final set by Stuart Seaholme & Tony Dias. The brothers started brightly and changed ends 5-2 in the lead which they increased to 9-2. But they then lost nine points in a row to lose the match.
In the Veteran Men’s Singles, the seeded players all won their groups despite Leslie Samuels losing a close match against Mihai Burciu 9-11 in the fifth set. In the knock-out stages Leslie had a win over team-mate Steve Leven in four sets. Ron Bryant, having scored a good win in the group against Ian Mablin, was unfortunate to lose to Paul Martin in another close encounter at deuce in the fifth game. Jeremy Banks was stretched to 4 games by Marek Kasperek. The semi-finals produced two exceptional matches. Dov Katz against Costas Papantoniou went to the deciding fifth set. Dov was ahead 5-2 at change of ends only for Costas to draw level at 5-5. Dov summoned all his energy in the rallies that followed to cause an upset and win 11-6. On the other table Jeremy Banks and Dumitru Toma also went to a decider, Jeremy winning 11-6 to set up a final against team-mate Dov.
|Website designed and produced by Waking Lion | © Wembley & Harrow Table Tennis League 2008|