Junior Top 12 Qualification Report 2013

Post date: Nov 13, 2013 2:19:8 PM

17 year old Joshua Butler (pictured) followed up on his impressive start to the domestic league campaign by securing top spot in the local Junior Top 12 Qualification event. Butler has not tasted defeat in the Doric Insurance Senior league since the first fixture of the season and the confidence taken from this impressive run was evident throughout the qualifiers. He raced through his first 5 matches without dropping an end against Ryan Bichard, Cleo Rosumek, Chloe Le Tissier, Jack Ives and Ben Foss. Due to his billing as the top seed for the qualifiers, the tougher encounters came during the final 4 rounds of action. First up was James Rabey, who played superbly in the opening leg to open up a surprise advantage. Butler remained composed and successfully navigated through the tricky clash in 4 games to make it 6 out of 6. An even tougher test was to come in round 7, as he came up against another player in form, Alex Robinson. Robinson, 16, had been the star performer during Deutsche Bank Guernsey I’s first round of matches in the Junior British League just 4 weeks reserved. The Sarnian side is competing in Division 3B and Robinson won all 10 of his matches during the weekend leaving him at the top of the averages. Butler did well to claw back a huge deficit in the opening leg before going down 13-11. His form in the proceeding 2 legs was scintillating as he stormed through them for the loss of just 6 points. Robinson refused to go down without a fight and he raced through the 4th to force the decider. The final end contained some lengthy exchanges with both players controlling the ball well from the backhand side. Ultimately it was Butler that had the extra consistency during the leg and he edged it 11-8 to put himself in pole position to gain top spot ahead his final 2 matches against the Stacey twins, Joshua and Lawrence. The former was first up and Butler ran out as a straight game winner, with the only real danger coming in the 3rd and final game, which he won 12-10. This win ensured that the top spot was his regardless of the outcome in his game with Lawrence in round 9. It looked like a full house was on the cards when he won the first leg convincingly, however Lawrence turned the match around and ended up winning 3-1 courtesy of close outcomes in the following 3 ends.

Despite his win against the top qualifier, Lawrence did not earn the number 2 spot, as this was taken by Robinson. Robinson needed all of his concentration to defeat Lawrence in their match which he pinched 13-11 in the 5th, an untimely fault serve from Lawrence cruelly ending proceedings in the decider. His match against twin Joshua was another hard fought encounter which also ended with a narrow victory in the winning game. Their match did not go to the decider on this occasion, it was won 14-12 in the 4th by Alex.

It was Joshua that took 3rd position as he came out on top in the battle of the twins. He reversed a 2-1 deficit to win 11-8 in the decisive 5th end. This result meant that Lawrence took 4th spot.

The 5th and 6th spots were realistically achievable by any of the remaining 6 players at the start of the night, such is the small difference in standard between the players. The younger players that cashed in on the opportunity on this occasion were 12 year old Ben Foss and 15 year old Chloe Le Tissier. Foss was 5th and only lost to the players that qualified above him. His first match was against 1st Division player Rabey and his 3-0 win over him was also the first time that he had beaten his elder and higher ranked opponent. Le Tissier had a tough start to the event as she came up against 3 of the top 4 qualifiers in her first 3 matches. She bounced back from defeats in those matches by winning her next 3. The most important of these wins came in round 6 where she defeated Alderney’s Jack Ives 11-4 in the final game. Ives was the only Ridunian present and gave a good account of himself at the event, narrowly missing out on qualification via his 7th position finish. His best win was his 5 game victory over Rabey in the final round of the evening. Le Tissier also needed the full 5 games to get past an out of sorts Rabey in 5 in a win that sealed her qualification in the penultimate round of matches.

The Channel Island event will take place on Sunday 24th November at the Guernsey Table Tennis Centre based at Hougue Du Pommier.

The annual event’s location alternates between the 2 Islands each year, with last year’s event held in Jersey being won by Caesarean Hugo Tupper.

Tupper was one of the 6 Jersey players to qualify from their respective qualification event which was held on 20th October at the Geoff Reed centre. Tupper is not the highest qualifier this time as that spot went to the rapidly improving and current form player, Jordan Wykes. Wykes has produced some good performances in the Jersey local league thus far this season where he has obtained wins over former Green Trophy players Tupper and current Jersey Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles Island champion in the form of Pole, Gregorz Frankowski.

The other Jersey players to qualify were defenders Chris Morshead and Jack Mills, Tyler Gosselin and Kelsey Le Maistre.