CI Junior Top 12 Qualification
Post date: Oct 13, 2020 10:32:2 PM
The Channel Island Top 12 events are well known in the local table tennis scene as being notoriously difficult to win but Ellis Tomlin made a good start in his last year as a junior player, topping the Guernsey list on Tuesday evening.
The qualification event pits the top 10 ranked Guernsey junior players against each other in a 9-match round robin which then determines the top 6 players who will take their results forward to face the top six from Jersey. In this Covid-19 affected season, the date to play the Caesareans is not yet scheduled, but the GTTA committee decided to play the qualification tournament in its usual October slot as it provides good competitive practice for the elite junior group, even if the full tournament cannot be completed due to travel restrictions this season.
Eighteen-year old Tomlin was in determined mood from the off, brushing past young Connor Powell and Erin Vaudin early on before dropping his first game against in-form Jayden Tucknott but recovering to win 3-1.
Meanwhile on an adjacent table, James Crocker was providing the main entertainment for the spectators as early on he found himself 0-2 behind against both Amy Wesley and Jonah Ingrouille before mounting stirring comebacks on both occasions. He then lost 3-1 to 3rd seed Caden Brouard before pulling off the shock of the night with a marvellous 3-2 win over 2nd seeded Ben Sharp. The slow left-hand side spin of Crocker caused Sharp problems and disrupted the 15-year old's usual flowing attacking game and although he went 2-1 behind, Crocker showed his increasing maturity in winning 11-6, 4-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9
Sharp and Tomlin both won their remaining matches, although Brouard provided a stern test to both, and set up an exciting winner-takes-all finale with the clock fast approaching 10pm. Tomlin attacked from the start and was clinical, despite having just played 8 matches in 3 hours. He sealed a relatively comfortable victory against his weary looking opponent 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 and with it an excellent 100% record. Sharp had done enough for 2nd place on countback over the reliable and understated Brouard, while Crocker can be delighted with his evening's work in finishing in an excellent 4th place, only losing 2 matches. Melissa Johns also has a rewarding night, and her positive playing style earned her an excellent win over fellow Ridunian Amy Wesley and eventually finishing in 7th place. Tucknott clinched the final qualification position and demonstrated his attacking prowess against his more experienced opponents, particularly in a thrilling match against Sharp in which he narrowly went down 3-2. Vaudin finished in 8th place, just ahead of Wesley, while in 10th place, Connor Powell acquitted himself well in his first major competition. His creditable performances earned him one win, attacking well on his forehand to come back from 0-2 down to defeat Vaudin in 5 games.
Final Standings (amended 15-Oct due to error in original results)
1. Ellis Tomlin
2. Ben Sharp
3. Caden Brouard
4. James Crocker
5. Jonah Ingrouille
6. Jayden Tucknott
7. Melissa Johns
8. Erin Vaudin
9. Amy Wesley
10. Connor Powell