Saturday 9th and 10th of September saw the season get off to a flying start with the 2017 Avon Junior County Championships at Gordano School.

U12 and U16 Competitors cropped lower res

Above - some of the U12 and U16 competitors

Expertly organised by Bob Hammersley and supporting team, the event welcomed 77 players ranging in age from 8 to 17.  There were 137 event entries and 256 matches played across singles, doubles and mixed doubles disciplines.  The standard and spirit was excellent throughout.

Prarthana and Aarya

 

 Under 12

 Prarthana and Aarya with their Mixed Doubles Gold Medals presented by Will Mellersh

Performance of the weekend went to St Ursula’s Prarthana Reddy.  At 9 years old, fresh from helping St Ursula’s to the 2016/17 National Junior League title, and diminutive in size but not talent, the young lady swept the board with six gold medals, winning all the events she was eligible for in both the U12 and U14 age groups.  Close behind was St Ursula’s and Avon County team mate Aarya Ramachandra, who celebrated his tenth birthday of a few days before by also winning six medals, including a clean sweep of golds in the U12 events and more medals at U14.

  

    There were also excellent performances at Under 12 by Chew’s Toby Pridmore (4 medals) and Katy Whitmarsh (3 medals) including doubles golds.  Clevedon’s Paige Hodgson and Georgia Powers won Silver medals in the girls doubles, saving match point against Chew Valley’s Daisy Palmer & Izzy Watson who took bronze.  Powers also medalled in the singles. Anvith Sujay  medalled in the singles and went on take silver with Elliot Wyatt  in the boy’s doubles.  Pranav Kulkarni, and Severn Vale’s Isaac Buckingham and Joshua Parcell also had medal success.

  Under 14s

Whilst defending themselves from the onslaught of upstarts Reddy, Ramchandran and Pridmore was the main order of the day for the Under 14s, Harvey Thompson kept above it all by winning the U14 boys singles title, beating his doubles buddy Marcus Pan into silver, with Pan and Thomson then teaming up to win the doubles.  Harvey also picked up a brace of U16 doubles medals and U14 mixed silver with Rhiannon Kelley.  Chew’s Freya O’Hagen, Francesca Hope (doubles silver) and Lucy Mellersh & Abi Beech (doubles bronze) challenged the generally dominant established County squad order seen in other age groups by all taking medals.  Jenny Tofts, Will Booker, Matthew Rowlands, Leo He, Ben Edey, Tom Gilchrist and Abi Beech also saw success, with Tofts lifting the U14 girls’ doubles title with Reddy.

Under 16s

This age group was entirely dominated by established County junior players who took home all the medals, with Ben Kemp and Skye McCrimmond leading the way with 3 golds each, Kemp also collecting medals in the U18s, including the win of the day, gold in the U18 doubles with Sam Weekes, upsetting established tournament circuit pair Elliott and Halder.  Kemp having the day before borrowed the growing talents of Sam’s younger brother Jacob Weekes to win the U16 doubles.Marcie Elliott picked up a medal of each colour across the three disciplines, Om Reddy silver in the boys’ singles, and the promising Susanna Ogden silvers in both singles and doubles, partnered by Amy MellershAlex Reid, Katherine Southern, Rosie Graham-Hicks, Joe Warren, Zion Chen, Barney Pridmore and Zoe Poole also medalled. 

 Under 18s

This event featured players who have already made Senior County debuts, and an epic singles battle between Cameron Elliott and Siddarth Halder was a highlight, with Elliott keeping his calm admirably in the face of a run of unfavourable net cords to squeak home to take the men’s title.  The find of the Nottingham Inter-counties Tournament, pair Izzy Mullen and Hannah Warren duly proved dominant with gold in ladies’ doubles, with McCrimmond and Delphi Evans taking silver. Warren then also won the singles gold with the excellent McCrimmond in silver.  A strong performance from Clevedon’s Mellissa Poole, medalling in both singles and doubles. Eve Chillcott took the mixed gold with Halder, Warren completing an excellent individual day taking silver with her club partner, Will Mullaney, as Donghao Wang, Hannah Richards, and Aabhas Dhall all medalled.

Well done to all who took part, and thanks to all the volunteers who made it possible.

Ian Gorham