Halifax contingent dominate Blackpool

Halifax's juniors stole the show as they dominated the Blackpool 2* event this weekend.

With eleven players travelling to the seaside for one of the final events of the season, they made their presence felt in the latter stages of several competitions, with three of the major titles eventually travelling back to Halifax.

The morning events proved to be the most successful, with Halifax players claiming three of the four trophies up for grabs.

Ben Fillingham's constant improvement was on show again as he secured the Under 15 title. Seeded at two, Fillingham's route to the final saw him come up against team mates Ollie Hill and Jonny Heslop, eventually defeating both 3-1 to advance to the final. It was there that he met top seed Joey Chen, a player Fillingham had never previously beat. Yet Fillingham put in a fantastic performance of consistency and power to win convincingly 3-0, securing his first Under 15 title of the season.

Nicholas Miller's fine year ended on a high as he claimed his third Under 11 title of the season. Miller was rarely troubled on his way to the crown, beating all of those in his path to prove why he is so highly thought of. It almost got better for Miller in the Under 13's, putting in a fine display before eventually losing 3-1 to top seed Harry Watson. Youngster Rayhan Khan, who has improved dramatically over recent weeks, won the U11 plate.

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Eliza Conley's first ever tournament was an overwhelming success as she claimed the Under 11 girls trophy. Conley didn't let the event faze her as she won all her matches, and as such giving everyone another interesting prospect to keep an eye on as she develops.

Whilst the afternoon didn't deliver any trophies, it did offer a number of strong performances. Jonny Heslop and Sam Clayton made the Under 13 and 18 finals respectively, before both losing to higher ranked opponents. Heslop lost to Harry Watson 3-0, whilst Clayton partook in a tight and high-quality final against British number 19 Josh Harland, eventually losing 3-2. 

Ollie Hill performed admirably to make the semi-finals of the Under 18's. He beat Lewis Palmer in the quarter-finals, and whilst Palmer couldn't quite replicate his heroics from Darlington the day previous, he did pick up an impressive victory over fourth seed Owen Bendall.

Alex Shaw, playing in his final torunament as an Under 18, advanced through his group, whilst Cameron Sandhu and Aman Khan's improvement was on show as they were a nuisance to a number of higher ranked players.

Author: via Halifax Table Tennis League
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