Dunlop English Junior champions crowned in Hull
Ten English juniors from eight counties tasted success at the Dunlop English Junior Championships (EJC) in Hull on a remarkable finals day which saw two defending champions dethroned.
BU19 second seed Ben Smith (Lincs) secured an impressive 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 (37m) victory over Kent’s [3/4] Jack Mitterer to lift the Steve Hubbard trophy and his third consecutive championship title.
“It was quite physical as we were both battling to get to the front,” said 17-year-old Smith.
“It can be tough to play Jack as he battles really hard and pushes up high but I knew I had a chance if I could just stick with him. I was just happy to see it out in three.”
Meanwhile, GU19 top seed Katie Malliff (Bucks) raced to her second championship title in 23 minutes, powering past second seed Margot Prow (Middx) in straight games: 11-5, 11-5, 11-6.
“Margot’s a difficult player, I’ve played her a few times so I know her game. I tried to play long rallies and not hit too many errors. I was pleased to win it in three.”
Former BU15 champion [3/4] Oliver Green was denied the BU17 title by  Hassan Khalil (Warks) who secured a comprehensive 11-4, 11-8, 11-8 victory.
Yorkshire’s Asia Harris backed up her impressive semi-finals display by toppling GU17 defending champion  Sarah Ngheim in a 36-minute battle that went the distance.
15-year-old Harris produced a fine comeback at 2-1 down to claim her third championship title triumphing 11-7, 3-11, 4-11, 11-6, 11-6.
“It feels amazing to beat the top two seeds and win the under 17 title at 15,” said Harris.
The BU15 final also went the distance with top seed Jonah Bryant (Sussex) overcoming a stern test from 2020 British Junior Open runner-up Yusuf Sheikh (Essex) that lasted 50 minutes and could have gone either way: 3-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6.
“It was a tough match, Yusuf’s very steady and doesn’t make many mistakes. He’s hard to break down. I’m really happy to win my fifth title.” said an elated Bryant.
GU15 top seed Amelie Haworth (Hants) claimed her third championship title after overcoming a spirited challenge from second seed Francesca Hall, winning in straight games: 11-9, 12-10, 12-10 (24m).
“I was very nervous, there’s so much pressure as top seed but it feels great to win, I’m so happy!” said 14-year-old Haworth.
It was an all-Kent affair in the BU13 final with three-time finalist Dylan Roberts (Kent) justifying his top seeding and fending off  Jude Gibbins in three: 11-9, 11-5, 13-11 (28m) to capture his maiden title.
“It was a good competitive match, Jude’s very attacking and doesn’t give up easily so I tried to make the rallies long and tough. I was so nervous, I’ve been in three finals so it just feels amazing to finally win!” said the 2020 South East Gold champion.
In the GU13, top seed Tala Abaza (Middx) dethroned reigning champion  Charlie McCrone (Lancs) in a high quality encounter to win 11-9, 11-8, 11-6.
Abaza’s brother, Mohamed also tasted success in the BU11 following a clinical display against top seed George Griffiths (Hants), storming to his maiden EJC title in just 16 minutes: 11-5, 11-5, 11-2.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire’s  Fearne Copley lifted the GU11 title after edging out  Harriet Broadbridge in straight games: 11-6, 12-10, 15-13.
“It feels amazing to win! In the third, I just kept saying ‘stay focused, stay focused’!” said the ten-year-old.
Day Three : down to the finalists
Mitterer topples Forster to set up Dunlop English Junior final with Smith
Elizabeth Botcherby reports
Kent’s Jack Mitterer sensationally defeated top seed and defending champion Max Forster of Northumbria to advance to the BU19 final in a dramatic end to day three of the Dunlop English Junior Championships 2020 (EJC) in Hull.
Mitterer, seeded 3/4, finished third last year and overcame Forster in straight games, triumphing 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 in his bid for a maiden EJC title.
His opponent in the final is 2018 BU17 champion  Ben Smith (Lincs) who convincingly beat [5/8] Jared Carter (Hants) 11-9, 11-2, 11-6.
In the GU19, top seed Katie Malliff (Bucks) remains on course for her second EJC title after beating [3/4] Kiera Marshall (Worcs) 11-8, 11-7, 11-9 in the semis. Standing between her and the trophy is second seed Margot Prow (Middx) who edged out Yorkshire’s [3/4] Lydia Robinson in four: 11-4, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4.
The GU17s also witnessed an upset as [3/4] Asia Harris (Yorks) overcame  Torrie Malik (Sussex) in five closely fought games: 12-10, 6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6 to book a final showdown with defending champion  Saran Nghiem (Lancs) after the top seed sent home [3/4] Amy Royle (Yorks).
In the BU17, [3/4] Oliver Green (Herts) ended [17/32] Ben Beachill’s (Yorks) dream run in four games, triumphing 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5. Meanwhile, second seed Hassan Khalil (Warks) will be targeting his first National title against Green after beating [3/4] Muhammad Azham Khan (Staffs) in four games.
In his bid to defend his BU15 title, four-time EJC champion  Jonah Bryant (Sussex) powered past [3/4] Alexander Broadbridge (Hants) 11-1, 11-4, 11-2. His opponent in the final is second seed Yusuf Sheikh (Essex) who overcame [3/4] Abd-Allah Eissa (Warks) 11-8, 11-0, 11-4.
Meanwhile, in the GU15,  Francesca Hall (Yorks) set up a final clash with top seed Amelie Haworth (Hants) after defeating [9/16] Lara Newton (Essex) in straight games. Top seed, Haworth had a tougher semi-final, overcoming 13-year-old [3/4] Meha Shah (Warks) 10-12, 11-4, 11-9, 11-4.
Top seeds Dylan Roberts and Jude Gibbons set up an all-Kent final in the BU13. 2018 EJC champion Gibbons eased past [3/4] Ronnie Hickling (Surrey) in straight games but top seed Roberts had a tougher task, coming from behind to beat Warwickshire’s [3/4] Jamie Lee: 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6.
In what will be a repeat of last year’s Dunlop British Junior Championships (BJC) final, the GU13 final will feature  Tala Abaza (Middx) and  Charlie McCrone (Lancs). Abaza comfortably beat [3/4] Emily Coulcher-Porter (Bucks) 11-1, 11-5, 11-7 whilst defending champion McCrone came from 2-1 down against Warwickshire’s [3/4] Mariam Eissa to advance to the final.
Abaza’s brother, Mohammad – the BU11 second seed – defeated [3/4] Zack Greengrass (Sussex) 11-0, 11-2, 12-10 to set up a final encounter with top seed George Griffiths (Hants) after the 2019 BJC runner-up overcame Yorkshire’s [5/8] George Barker in straight games.
Finally, in the GU11, top seed Fearne Copley (Yorks) progressed to the final after dispatching [3/4] Reneta Colabella (Kent). Her opponent is last year’s BJC runner-up  Harriet Broadbridge (Hants) who staved off a comeback from [3/4] Ameerah Ismail (Warks) 11-3, 12-10, 11-3.
Note : we recommend the “condensed” view of the draws Open in new window
Top seeds advance on day two in Hull
Elizabeth Botcherby reports
Boys Under 19 defending champion Max Forster secured a spot in tomorrow’s semi-final as nine of the ten top seeds progressed on the second day of action at the Dunlop English Junior Championships (EJC) in Hull.
Top seed Forster (Nbria) overcame a spirited challenge from [9/16] Noah Meredith (Sussex) winning 11-5, 10-12, 11-3, 11-5 to set up a semi-final showdown against [3/4] Jack Mitterer (Kent) who defeated [5/8] Perry Malik (Sussex) in straight games: 12-10, 11-7, 11-7.
In the bottom half of the draw, four-time EJC champion [5/8] Jared Carter (Hants) upset Leicestershire’s [3/4] Simon Herbert to reach the last four where he will face second seed Ben Smith (Lincs) who dispatched [5/8] Ben Sockett (Yorks) in straight games.
Meanwhile in the GU19, British U23 champion  Katie Malliff (Bucks) cruised into the semi-finals after defeating [5/8] Sofia Averio-Pita in three: 11-1, 11-3, 11-4 and will face Worcestershire’s [3/4] Kiera Marshall for a spot in the final. Second seed Margot Prow (Middx) will meet two-time EJC champion [3/4] Lydia Robinson (Yorks).
The biggest upset of the day came in the BU17 where [17/32] Ben Beachill (Yorks) toppled number one seed Franklyn Smith (Sussex) to reach the quarter-finals. Smith finished fourth last year but couldn’t outlast the Yorkshireman who triumphed in five tightly contested games: 11-8, 10-12, 12-10, 7-11, 11-8.
Elsewhere, BU17 second seed Hassan Khalil (Warks) and 3/4 seeds Oliver Green (Essex) and Muhammad Azhan Khan (Staffs) came through unscathed to secure places in the last eight.
It was plain-sailing in the GU17 as all top eight seeds advanced to the quarter-finals. Defending champion  Saran Nghiem (Lancs) remains on course to meet  Torrie Malik (Sussex) on Sunday in what could be a repeat of last year’s Dunlop British Junior Championships final after both players cruised to straight game victories.
BU15 defending champion Jonah Bryant (Sussex) didn’t drop a point in his round 3 match against Palmer Deville to set up a quarter-final clash with [9/16] Jack Awuye-North as he strives for his fifth EJC title. Meanwhile,  Yusuf Sheikh (Essex) set up a last eight encounter with [9/16] Cory Harding whilst 3/4 seeds Abd-Allah Eissa (Warks) and Alexander Broadbridge (Hants) remain on track for semi-final appearances after progressing in straight games.
In the GU15, seven of the top eight seeds secured quarter-final berths including Hampshire top seed Amelie Haworth who will be seeking to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish and second seed Francesca Hall (Yorks).
An all-Kent final is on the cards in the BU13 after top seed Dylan Roberts and  Jude Gibbons booked their spots in the last eight. Roberts plays surprise quarter-finalist [17/32] Fred Vaughan-Hawkins for a semi-final berth whilst [3/4] seeds Ronnie Hickling (Surrey) and James Lee (Warks) also progressed.
Current British National GU13 champion  Tala Abaza remains on course for the GU13 final after dropping just one point in her last-16 encounter. All eight top seeds reached the quarter-finals including defending champion  Charlie McCrone (Lancs).
Finally, in the BU11 and GU11s, the top four seeds secured places in tomorrow’s quarter-finals with  George Griffiths (Hants) and  Fearne Copley (Yorks) on track for the titles.
The Dunlop English Junior Championships quarter-finals commence at 9am tomorrow with the semis scheduled for 2:20pm.
Forster and Malliff headline Dunlop English Junior Championships draws
This year’s championships will feature a record 324 juniors competing across ten age categories from the Girls and Boys Under 11s to the Under 19s.
Reigning champion Forster (Nbria) will be looking to defend the Steve Hubbard BU19 title but is likely to face a stern test from last year’s BU17 champion  Ben Smith (Lincs) who he’s seeded to meet in the final.
GU19 favourite Malliff (Bucks) is seeded to lock horns with  Margot Prow (Middlesex) in the final. Malliff, 16 will first have to navigate past [3/4] Kiera Marshall (Worcs) who she’s predicted to meet in the semis in what could be a repeat of January’s British U23 Open final in which Malliff triumphed.
England No.1 Franklyn Smith (Sussex) is favourite to lift the BU17 title but will face fierce competition from Warwickshire’s  Hassan Khalil, the 2019 British National BU17 runner-up.
Meanwhile, GU17 reigning champion  Saran Nghiem (Lancs) will be striving to defend her crown but has a formidable trio of  Torrie Malik (Sussex), [3/4] Asia Harris (Yorks) and [3/4] Amy Royle (Yorks) standing in her way.
Last year’s champion  Jonah Bryant (Sussex) tops a highly competitive BU15 draw and is seeded to do battle with  Yusuf Sheikh (Essex) – the 2020 British Junior Open finalist – in the semi-finals. Looking to mount a serious challenge is last year’s BU13 champion [3/4] Alexander Broadbridge (Hants) and 3/4 seed Abd-Allah Eissa (Warks) – the 2019 British Junior Open BU13 champion.
GU15 top seed Amelie Haworth (Hants), the England No.1, is predicted to square off with Pontefract Silver 2019 champion  Francesca Hall (Yorks) in the final.
Gunning for national glory in the BU13s is Kent duo  Dylan Roberts – the British National BU13 finalist – and second seed Jude Gibbins with Ronnie Hickling (Surrey) and James Lee (Warks) seeded 3/4.
British National GU13 winner Tala Abaza (Middlesex) tops the GU13 draw with defending champion Charlie McCrone (Lancs) seeded second.
Top seed George Griffiths (Hants) and  Mohamed Abaza (Middx) are predicted to contest the BU11 title, meanwhile, Yorkshire’s  Fearne Copley is in prime position to take the GU13 title and is seeded to meet  Harriet Broadbridge in the final.
The championships commence at 5pm on Thursday 5th March and will be played at the University of Hull, Hull and East Riding Squash Club, North Ferriby Squash Club and Haltemprice Leisure Centre with the finals scheduled for Sunday. Spectators wishing to see the country’s rising stars are welcome free of charge.