Britain’s best battled for national glory at the British Junior Championships this weekend in Manchester. The four day event saw nearly 300 juniors battling it out for the coveted title of British Junior Champ.
Boys Under 19
Top seed Kyle Finch (Hampshire) claimed the Boys Under 19 Don Sanderson Trophy and his fourth consecutive Championship title in style with a 3-0 victory over 5/8 seed Stuart MacGregor (Yorkshire). MacGregor had stormed his way into the final, after dispatching [5/8] Tom Walsh in a 60 minute five-game thriller, while Finch made his way through relatively untroubled without dropping a game all weekend. Finch controlled the pace of the final superbly, not giving MacGregor a chance to impose his own game, winning 11/4, 11/5, 11/4 in 27 minutes.
Girls Under 19
The Girls Under 19 event saw top seed and 2015 Under 17 champ Lucy Turmel (Suffolk) take on 3/4 seed Jasmine Hutton (Sussex) in a topsy turvy five-setter final. Turmel raced out to a 1-0 lead but Hutton replied in the second taking a tie-breaker 13-11 and proceeded to take the third. Determined not to surrender, Turmel snatched the fourth then the fifth and her second Championship title.
Top seed Nick Wall (Sheffield) justified his seeding in the Boys Under 17 with a convincing 3-0 victory over 9/16 seed Jared Carter (Hampshire) in 24 minutes, clinching his second British title. Wall was rarely tested all weekend and didn’t drop a game.
Girls Under 17
In the Girls Under 17, Elise Lazarus clinched her fifth BJC title following a clinical display against Alice Green (Essex). Taking the first game, Lazarus closed the door on a comeback at 1-1 to take her first Under 17 title 3-1.
Boys Under 15
The Boys Under 15 final was contested by the two 3/4 seeds, Max Forster (Northumbria) and Cumbria’s Adam Goad. The latter started off strong, taking the first game 11/6, however Forster was no stranger to winning from a losing position. The second game went to Forster (11/3) levelling the match 1-1 with some great rallies working his opponent around the court.
The third game again went to Forster (11/5) giving him a 2-1 lead taking him just one game away from the championship. With the momentum swinging in Max’s favour, he took the fourth game 11/2 winning the match with a powerful volley and his first British Junior Championship title.
Girls Under 15
The top two seeds in the Girls Under 15 category battled it out for the championship title. Katie Malliff (Buckinghamshire), the 2015 Under 13 champion, was looking to repeat that success and add another trophy to her collection. Meanwhile, Margot Prow (Middlesex) was aiming to go one better than the 2014 championships where she was runner up in the final of the under 13s.
Prow came out in the third game and maintained the lead throughout to take the game 11/6 and regain a foothold in the match. The ball was still in Margot’s court with her needing to claim the fourth and take the match into a deciding fifth game.At 5/1 down in the fourth, the odds were stacked against her, however she put in a strong performance taking the game 11/9 and forced the match into a decider. An intense final game with the passion from both clear to see, second seed Margot Prow won herself three match points. However, Malliff’s resilience stayed strong and she fought back to win five straight points taking the game 12/10, and the match 3-2.
Boys Under 13
Top seed Sam Osborne-Wylde (Worcs) took on 5/8 seed Jonah Bryant (Sussex) in the Boys Under 13 final. The first game was rather one-sided with Osborne-Wylde taking it 11/2 making it look like the match would be plain-sailing. However, that wasn’t the case with Bryant coming out strong in the second game winning the first five points, going on to win the game 11/8, levelling the match. The third game saw Osborne-Wylde regain his lead with a convincing 11/7 win meaning he was just one game away from going one better than the 2015 championships. The first six points of the fourth game went unanswered, in Osborne-Wylde’s favour, from which standing he went on to win the game 11/4 and the match 3-1.
Girls Under 13
Last year’s runner up in the Girls Under 13 final, Torrie Malik (Sussex), was hoping to triumph where she faltered. Her opponent was Suffolk’s Emma Bartley, the second seed in the competition who was yet to drop a game. The first game started off with points going back and forth between the pair, however Malik pulled away to take the game 11/6. The second game saw some exceptional rallies but the scoreline didn’t reflect it with Malik extending her lead to 2-0 with an 11/3 win. Malik was now in touching distance of her first championship and indeed went on to win the final 3-0, winning the third game 11/5.