The Welsh National Championships was an intense and dramatic weekend with lots of extremely strong match ups.
In the Junior Boys singles, Harri Docherty, Evan O’Connor, Rhys Hetherton and Louie Evans progressed through the groups and meet in the Semi Finals. Harry Docherty booked his place in the final by beating Evan O’Connor 3-1. Joining Harry in the final was Rhys Hetherton who won against Louie Evans. The final between Harri Docherty and Rhys Hetherton was an intense battle with the result being 3-2 to Rhys Hetherton making him the Junior Boy’s National Champion.
Next the Junior Girls singles, Anna Hursey progresses through her group to come up against Ruby Elliott in the Semi Finals, Whilst Lowri Hurd meet Lara Whitton in the other Semi Final. Anna Hursey worked her way to the final with a 3-0 win over Ruby Elliott. Lara Whitton and Lowri Hurd battled it out in a five-set match with Lara Whitton coming out victorious to book her place in the final. The final was a strong match up but, in the end, Anna Hursey came out on top winning 3-0 making her the Junior Girls National Champion.
In the Veterans Over 60’s singles John Hook and Stephen Eades faced off in the first semi-finals with John Hook coming out victorious which set his place in the final. Dennis Bromage was victorious against Mark Byles in the other semis and progresses to face John Hook in the final. The Over 60’s final was a 5-set battle with John Hook managing to win the last set to win the title 3-2. Making him the Over 60’s Mens National Champion.
The Under 13 Boys was a great competition from the groups all the way to the final. In the semi-final Jett Wong battled against Gianni Strinati with Jett Wong winning 3-1, securing his place in the final. in the other semi-final it was Diego Vilares against Finlay Williams, there were some close sets, but Diego Vilares came out on top winning 3-0. The final between Jett Wong and Diego Vilares was a strong contest with the sets being very tight, but Jett Wong came out victorious 3-1. Making him the Under 13 Boys National Champion.
The Under 13 Girls event was another well contested event. In the semi-finals Ffion Evans faced off against Penny Muil in a tight battle with Penny Muil coming out on top winning 3-1. The other semi-final was Amelie David against Jessie Daniel with some close sets, but Amelie David won with a score of 3-0. In the final there were some close sets, but Amelie David came out victorious against Penny Muil with a score of 3-0. Making her the Under 13 Girls National Champion.
The Para Class 6-10 category was a well fought competition with very close matches throughout with 2 matches being 5 set matches, two 4 set matches and two lasting 3 sets. With Jacob Wicks coming in at bronze with one victory, Daniel Mead got himself a silver with two wins under his belt. However, he lost in the fifth set to Paul Karabardak, with Paul Karabardak also winning his other two matches, making Paul Karabardak the Para Class 6-10 National Champion. This concluded the first morning of the Welsh National Championships.
To kick off the afternoon in the Cadet Girls it was a round robin group with some close sets in all games. Coming in at Bronze is Lily Walters with one win, Silver went to Eleanor Turner-Samuels with 2 wins and a close game against the winner Darcey Taylor who won 3 out of 3 games and only dropping 2 sets in all 3 games. Making Darcey Taylor the Cadet Girls National Champion.
In the Cadet Boys quarter finals Harry Street came out on top over Austin Hibbert 3-0. In the second quarter finals Oliver Jordan and Thomas Bird faced off with some very close sets but Thomas Bird came out victorious winning 3-0 booking himself a semi-final. Harry Street battled it out with Toby Harwood in the semi-finals with Toby Harwood getting his place in the final with a 3-1 win. In the other semi-final there was another close game with Thomas Bird and Daniel Mead facing off. Thomas Bird won in the end 3-1 after some close sets throughout. In the final Toby Harwood upped a gear winning the final against Thomas Bird 3-0 with some great points in the game. Making Toby Harwood the Cadet Boys National Champion.
In the Over 50’s Men’s, Craig Henton and Jeff Rigby progressed to meet each other in the semi-final clash, after a tough match Jeff Rigby won it 3-0. The other semi-final finished 3-0 with Bryan Fernandes winning against John Hook to book his place in the final. The final had some tight sets, but Jeff Rigby came out victorious with a 3-0 victory over Bryan Fernandes. Making Jeff Rigby the Over 50’s Men’s National Champion.
In the Under 11 Boys category William Parsonage and Oliver James Harvey progressed through their groups to meet in the semi-finals. Oliver James Harvey came out the winner by 3 sets to 1. The second semi-final saw Dylan Williams compete against Jenson Denton-Smith with Jenson getting the win 3-1. This set up a final between Jenson and Oliver, which proved to be a close match with some tight games throughout, but it as Oliver James Harvey who came out on top by winning 3-1 to make him the Under 11’s National Champion.
The Under 11 Girls Category saw Evelyn Turner-Samuels face off against Jessie Daniel in the Semi Finals after both progressed through their groups. Evelyn Turner-Samuels came away with a 3-0 victory and secured her place in the final. In the other semi-final there were more close sets with Gracie David and Ffion Evans competing to get their place in the final. Ffion Evans won it 3-0 to earn a place in the final. The final was an intense and well fought battle, with it going to the fifth set with the last set going to deuce. Evelyn Turner-Samuels scrapped a narrow victory by winning the final set 12-10 to be crowned the Under 11 Girls National Champion.
The mixed doubles were an intense and nail-biting competition. In Bronze was Marc Castro and Lara Whitton who managed one win which was against Harri Docherty and Lowri Hurd which was a very close 5 set match. Coming in at Sliver was Chloe Thomas Wu and Michael Marsden with 2 wins with another 5-set match against Marc Castro and Lara Whitton. There were some stand out matches throughout with the young duo of Harri Docherty and Lowri Hurd defeating the eventual champions in a 5-set thriller. It was the defending champions who came out on top, following an opening defeat, Charlotte Carey and Callum Evans won their two remaining matches to become the Mixed Doubles National Champions.
The Junior Doubles had some very closely fought matches. Toby Harwood and Lowri Hurd booked a place in the finals after defeating Ruby Elliot and Darcey Taylor 3-1 in the semi-final. The second semi-final saw Harri Docherty and Lara Whitton come out on top, defeating Eleanor Turner-Samuels and Oscar Marriot 3-0. The final was a well contested match, but Harri Docherty and Lara Whitton came out with a 3-0 win to be crowned Junior Doubles National Champions.
The final event of the day was the Veteran Doubles. In the semi-finals Jeff Rigby and John Hook went up against Mark Farrow and Mark Byles. It was Jeff Rigby and John Hook who came out victorious to book themselves a place in the final. Mark Edmunds and Andrew Ryder faced off against Tony Bartram and Craig Henton in the other semi-final, with it being a tightly contested match. Mark Edmunds and Andrew Ryder ended up winning 3-1 to progress into the final. In the final Jeff Rigby and John Hook found themselves one set down dug deep and managed to win the next three sets to secure a match 3-1 win and take the title of National Veteran Doubles Champions.
The Sunday of the Welsh National Championships was a historical and intense day of competition.
Starting with the Under 21 Men’s event, after progressing through the group stages with a fine win over the top seed, Rhys Hetherton secured a semi-final win over Evan O’Connor. The other semi-final saw top seed Louie Evans, following a set back in the group stages to finish runner up in his group, would face second seed Harri Docherty. Harri Docherty came out victorious 3-0. The final was a 5 set thriller between Harri Docherty and Rhys Hetherton. Harri Docherty won the first two sets to lead 2-0, but Rhys Hetherton fought back to win the next three sets to secure a comeback victory 3-2 to become the Under 21 Men’s National Champion.
Next up was the Under 21 Women’s event, Lowri Hurd and Anna Hursey facing off to try get themselves into the final with Anna Hursey winning 3-0 to get herself into her second final of the weekend. The next semi-final was an extremely tight contest between Danielle Kelly and Lara Whitton in a 5 set battle. Lara Whitton held on to win 3-2 to get herself into the final. The final between Anna Hursey and Lara Whitton was a tough contest but Anna Hursey came out victorious winning it 3-1, winning her second title of the weekend to add the Under 21 Women’s National title to her Junior title.
In the Veteran Men’s event, Owen Clutterbuck came through his group and took a semi-final win over Craig Henton to secure a place I the final. World Veteran Doubles Champion Michael Marsden took on Danny Harris in the other semi-final with Mike securing a 3-0 win to set up a final with last year’s Veteran Champion Owen. Michael Proved too strong in the final and took a 3-0 win to be crowned Men’s Veteran National Champion of Wales
The final event of the morning session was the Veteran Women’s event. Some great match ups in this event. Coming in at Bronze was Lynne Harrison who came away with 2 wins. Lucy Page earned the Silver medal with 3 wins. The Gold medal went to the Veteran Number 1 Catherine Jones to earn the Veteran Women’s National Crown.
In the Mens doubles, Louie and Callum Evans secured fine wins over Sam Slatter and Jack Fletcher in the Semi Finals. Morgan Siddley and Joe Clayton beat second seeds Ryan Trigg and Harri Docherty in a 5 set thriller to reach the final. Callum and Louie Evans secured a 3-0 victory in the final to see off Mogan Siddley and Joe Clayton to add another Men’s Doubles title to their family name.
The last event of the morning was the Women’s Doubles event. Charlotte Carey and Chloe Thomas Wu Zhang secured a semi-final victory over Lowri Hurd and Lucy Page. Lara Whitton and Danielle Kelly booked their place in the final following a 3-1 victory over Catherine Jones and Beth Richards. The final was a repeat of last years final, however it was Charlotte Carey and Chloe Thomas Wu Zhang who came out on top to secure the Women’s Doubles crown.
The afternoon session kicked off with Veteran Over 70 Men’s. Ray Goulding who progressed to the finals following wins over Frank Hillier in the quarter finals, followed by a straight sets win in the semi-final over Colin Price. On the other side of the draw, Dennis Bromage progressed through his group and secured a victory over Geoff Strangeway int eh Semi Finals. The final saw a closely fought game, but it was Ray Goulding who secured a 3-1 victory to take the over 70’s men’s national title.
The Men’s event through up some great matches. Welsh Veterans Champion Michael Marsden managed to upset the seedings in group 3 with a win over number 3 seed Harri Docherty to top the group. Rhys Hetherton won group 4 defeating number 4 seed Marc Castro, whilst Morgan Sidley also secured a top group finish after defeated Ryan Trigg in the group. Paul Karabardak won group 6 from an unseeded position. Danny Harris completed the group upsets by winning group 7.
Into the knockout rounds, Danny Harris continued his form from the group stages by defeated Jack Fletcher in the last 16, but fell to in form Michael Marsden in the quarter finals. Marsden secured another seeding upset victory the round before by defeating Welsh Number 4 Marc Castro. Rhys Hetherton and Harri Docherty came through their last 16 matches to set up a quarter final showdown. This time it was Harri Docherty who came out on top to book a place in the semi-finals where he would face Welsh Number 2 Louie Evans. Harri Docherty continued his fine form by taking a 4-1 victory over Louie Evans to reach the men’s final. In the opposing semi-final, Callum Evans rushed to a 3-0 lead against Michael Marsden, only for Mike to pull two sets back to set up a great end to the match. Callum managed to secure the 6th set and take a 4-2 victory to progress to the Final.
In the final Callum Evans used his experience, which proved to much as he secured a 4-0 victory over the young Harri Docherty to add a 6th consecutive men’s national title to his name.
The Women’s Singles provided some great battles all the way though the event. It was group 3 that provided upsets to the seedings. Danielle Kelly and Lara Whitton progressed through a tough group at the expense of Veteran Champion Catherine Jones.
In the quarter finals, Danielle Kelly secured a 3-0 victory over the young prospect in Darcey Taylor to set up a semi-final match against Charlotte Carey. Whilst Lara Whitton come through a thought battle against Beth Richards to set up her semi-final against Anna Hursey.
The semi finals provided some top-class table tennis, but it was the experience of the top seeds that shone through. Charlotte Carey defeated Danielle Kelly 4-1 whist Anna Hursey secured a 4-0 victory over Lara Whitton.
The final showcased the bronze medal winners from the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Charlotte Carey and Anna Hursey go up against each other to battle for the national title. Anna took the first set 11-9 only for Charlotte to respond and take the second to level the score. After a magnificent final where the sets swung back and for, it was Anna Hursey who managed to secure the next three sets to win 4-1 to take her first Senior Women’s Singles National Title.