U14 Schools Championships
The U14 Schools championships took place at Sewell Park Sports Centre and Open Academy on 25th January. The number of entries in the boys’ events was relatively low but what was lacking in quantity was made up for in quality, with a high standard of play evident throughout the day.
Boys events and Mixed at Sewell Park
In the boys singles event early rounds were played in groups and there were a number of close encounters. At the semi-final stage Aidan Parfitt (Hethersett HS) came up against Nina Moghaddas (Thorpe) .The first set was close at With Aidan winning in two 15-12 15-7. The second semi was a cracker. It with was nip and tuck all the way. Joe Rolfe (Downham Academy) finally triumphed over Callum Cox (Thorpe St Andrew) 15-10, 6-15, 21-19, the result always in doubt until the last point.
The final was a repeat of an earlier group game and proved to be a close 3–set encounter. After a relatively nervous start Aidan Parfitt got stronger as the game went on coming out on top after many good rallies, beating Joe Rolfe 10-15, 15-11, 15-8. A first championship win for Aidan.
The boys doubles was a similarly hard-fought competition played as a round robin event with six strong pairs. In the final round the two hitherto unbeaten pairs played off for first and second place. Joe Rolfe came out on top this time, playing with Nima Moghaddas. Theirs was a convincing win against runners-up Aidan Parfitt and his partner Daniel Hughes (Downham) 15-7, 15-11. Daniel had previously taken 5th/6th place in the singles event.
The mixed doubles event was extremely well contested by 5 very good pairs. The majority of the matches went to three sets! Winners were Callum Cox (Thorpe) and Atlanta Harrison (Framingham Earl); second place went to George Underwood (Thorpe) and Abi Davis (Norwich High School for Girls) who narrowly beat Daniel Hughes and Rachel Copley (Sprowston) with West Norfolk pair Joe Rolfe and Jess Alder (Terrington High) coming fourth having lost three close three setters!
Girls events at Open Academy
11 girls contested the singles events. It was good to see a number of girls for whom this was their first competition. They played with enthusiasm and enjoyed the experience. In the first of the semi-finals Atlanta Harrison played Tomasin Ainsworth-Harrold (Norwich Steiner). Both girls played very well but Tomasin’s excellent overhead shots and very good court skills gave her the edge, winning the game 21-15. The second semi-final between Rachel Copley and Amy Hayhoe (Thorpe) was another closely contested match with Amy winning 21-15.
The final between Tomasin and Amy was a very hard-fought game with both players working hard for all of the points. It was Tomasin who had the slight edge to win 21-18.
The doubles event saw the established pair of Rachel Copley and Abi Davis winning all of their games to become champions, with Atlanta Harrison and Amy Hayhoe as runners-up.