CI Junior Top 12
Post date: Dec 05, 2017 9:20:42 PM
Ben Foss became the first Guernsey player to clinch the CI Junior Top 12 title since the 2011/12 season this weekend, after a perfect record from the action held at the Guernsey Table Tennis Centre on Sunday morning.
Foss fell just short this time last year at the FB fields in Jersey by virtue of a single loss to the eventual Jersey champion Luc Miller over 4 ends. There would be no repeat of that result on this occasion and backed by the strong local support, he came through in the winner takes all clash with Miller over 5 sets. The match itself came during the 6th and final round of fixtures and was also aptly the final match to conclude the action. Things could well have been very different, as Miller looked to be in control having taken the opener 11-7 and having had multiple game point opportunities to open a 2 game advantage. Foss dug deep in the pivotal 2nd end though and crucially came through 15-13. Momentum was firmly with the Sarnian as he romped through the 3rd 11-6, but Miller was not going to let the title slip from his grasp without a fight and he replied by storming through the 4th 11-4. Foss had a superb start to the decider and held a comprehensive 5-1 lead at the change of ends. A time-out for Miller enabled him to make the game competitive, but a costly fault serve at 4-7 was the beginning of the end and Foss played well to close out proceedings and clinch the title 11-6.
Earlier in the day, Foss was untroubled in his other 5 matches. Thomas Cotillard, Max Roche, Tanguy Billet-Masters, Alfie Sutherland and Leon Pierre all offered very little resistance and Foss’ extra class shone through for the loss of just 73 points over the 15 ends contested. Guernsey were unfortunate not to also take the 3rd spot on the day, as Ryan Bichard lost out on countback to Jersey’s Pierre. They both lost the same amount of matches, however it was Pierre who had defeated Bichard 11-8 in the 5 th set of their encounter.
Matthew Casey may have only finished in 6th position, but he was the best performer on the day after Foss, with just the single defeat to Miller in the process. What was surely a key factor to his overall success was due to the battle he had in his opener with Sutherland. He looked to be in cruise control towards the win when leading 4-0 in the decider, but in no time at all he found himself 9-5 in arrears. A crucial time-out took place at this stage from the GTTA development officer Otilia Badescu and helped Casey to restore parity at 10-10. The game could have gone either way from here, but Casey managed to eventually close it out 16-14. He followed up immediately on that win with an impressive straight sets win over Pierre and other than the expected defeat to Miller, he won his other 4 matches without loss. Bichard and Dan Collenette took spots 4 and 5 and both lost out to just Miller and Pierre on the day.
Youngsters Ellis Tomlin and Corey Brouard also acquitted themselves well and finished in 7th and 8th respectively. Brouard was the pick of the bunch due to his record of 4 victories from 6 matches. Tomlin was very close to mirroring this, but fell to a surprise 5 set defeat to Cotillard, who finished last overall. It will be the turn of the Senior Top 12 on Tuesday evening when the local Guernsey qualification event is taking place. Foss, Bichard and Collenette will all be vying for a spot in the event, to be culminated in Jersey at the end of January.
Luc Miller, Ben Foss & Leon Pierre.