1st Inter Regional Finals

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Scarboroughs Frazer Ives caught in action

1st Inter Regional Finals - Kettering Arena, Northampton

Moke Warburton had a very successful first day at the inaugural inter regional finals. The competition which is being played for the first time at the Kettering Sports Arena in Northampton, excludes the top 15 in the girl’s England rankings and the top 20 in the boy’s. Warburton, herself ranked 31 in England under 13s won all five matches she played in the team event. She beat Lucy Curtis ranked 46, Samadhi Udamulla (38), Lara Gimbuta (35), Angharad Beman (24) and Daisy Boulton (22). These results will move Moke further up the rankings. Despite Moke’s efforts her Yorkshire region team could only manage third place in their group of five teams.

Sam Lowe, playing in the under 11 boys team event on Saturday made a shaky start losing to Jakub Piwowar, although the latter is ranked 17 in England compared to Lowe’s 27th position. However, in the second match he showed some of his best play in winning his two games. He beat 19th ranked Shem Lejarde 3-0 and 36th placed Harry Yip 3-2. Lowe’s next game was against number 1 seed for the tournament Harry Darecki. The serve was Sam’s main problem in this match and he lost 3-0. He made amends in his last match beating Triston Knight 3-1. Lowe won two doubles matches partnering teammate Frazer Ives.

The less experienced Ives acquitted himself well at this level. He lost in three close sets to Lejarde (19) and 3-1 to Yip (36). Later he had a very close match with Sean Berry (67) only losing 11-7 in the fifth set. Despite his three loses he impressed with his attitude and effort throughout.

Sunday Individual Championship

Moke Warburton began her under 13s singles at 1:30 on Sunday. She was in a group of three which included number two seed Erin Green. Warburton won her first match against Min Jie Guo comfortably. Then she played Green, but unfortunately it was a fairly easy win for Green 3-0. Despite this loss Warburton qualified to play in the next round where she met Sophie Rinnhofer ranked 28th in England. Warburton showed that her ranking will soon be much higher as she brushed aside her opponent. A much tougher match awaited against the number one seed and England number 9, Illyssa Lacourte. Warburton had narrowly lost 3-2 to this opponent earlier in the year in Blackpool. Although the first set was close Warburton controlled the match and won 3-0 very impressively. This put Warburton into the sem-i final, her opponent being Mari Baldwin (26), a player who unusually in the girls game uses long pimples on her bat. Although the bat caused some problems for Warburton it was the Scarborough player’s power and control that won the day 3-1. This was a great achievement for Warburton to reach a major final. Her opponent was Green whom she had played earlier in the group. Unfortunately for Warburton the result was very similar with Green winning 3-0. Even so Warburton can be very proud of her efforts and there will surely be even more successes to come in the future.

Meanwhile Sam Lowe was playing in the very competitive under eleven boys event. Lowe also lost a group match to number 20 ranked Daniel Emery. Lowe needed to win his next two matches which he did quite comfortably, 3-1 and 3-0, but then had to wait for the last match to see if he qualified. If Eduardo Bolanos beat Emery then Lowe would be out. It looked bad when Bolanos won the first set, but luckily Emery took the next three sets so Lowe made it through in second place. Lowe beat Felix Anderson 3-1 in the next round to move into the quarter finals. The problem was he met number one seed Harry Derecki who had beaten Lowe easily 3-0 the day before. Lowe did much better this time though he went 2-0 down in tight sets and then took the third. He looked like he could cause an upset for a while, but Derecki moved ahead with some great service returns and won the match 11-8 in the fourth. Lowe can look back on the tournament as a success as he didn’t lose to anyone below him in the rankings and gained some points to move him up the rankings.

Frazer Ives played Jack Taylor ranked 31 in his first group match. After a slow start Ives soon found his form and won the last three sets for a 3-1 win. Ives then played number 46 Harry Birch. He played some great table tennis and the match went one way then another until Ives eventually added a second good win to his tally. Ives then faced surprise package Edward Day who had also won his first two matches. Day’s awkward style proved to be troublesome and Ives lost his first match of the day but qualified in second place. Ives then faced Leo Pontone who was ranked 50 in England, but should be much higher. Ives played some fantastic rallies against his much more experienced opponent. Each set was very close with both boys trading forehand after forehand, but Ives lost 3-0. He will be able to do better in the future with his new bat bought at the tournament.

Pontone went on to play an amazing semi final against Derecki. Trailing 2-0 Pontone played the best table tennis of his life with some fabulous rallies away from the table. He clawed his way back and shocked Derecki by winning an enthralling fifth set. He then had some great momentum for the final and again played really well to take the title against number 30 Giorgios Geriakos. So Ives lost to the eventual winner.

All in all Scarborough table tennis club can be very proud of their young player’s efforts during the weekend.

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