Nine Lillington Free Church youngsters enhanced the club’s reputation at the West Midlands Regional tournament in Wednesbury on Saturday, writes Phil John.
The club’s youngest competitor, Dan Stone, entered the under-11 boys’ singles and finished third of six in the round-robin event.
He lost 3-0 to Siva Ghanta and 3-1 to the experienced Toby Fletcher but had satisfying wins against Adam Antoszkiewicz, Alex Setchell and Oliver Westwood.
In the under-13 boys’ singles, Eduardo Bolanos won his group with four straight-sets victories over Dominc Evans, Greg James, Adam Anderson and clubmate Tom Yarrow. Yarrow was to join him in the semi-finals after accounting for all but Bolanos.
In another group, Church’s tournament debutant George Barnes beat Reuben Yates 3-1, John Blakeley 3-1 and Sam Madhill 3-0, with his only loss coming at the hands of Toby Fletcher. This earned him a very creditable semi-final slot where he fell to Bolanos.
In the other last-four clash, Yarrow fought hard against Fletcher, going down 11-7 in the fifth.
This meant a final between Bolanos and Fletcher which the Lillington youngster won 3-0.
In the under-13 girls’ singles, Eleanor Fletcher gained a semi-final berth after defeating Sophie Arrandale of Worcester and Daya Chima, finishing second in her group after a loss to England number five Megan Jones (Shropshire).
In the other group, Erin Darwen emulated her clubmate, finishing second after a defeat to number 15 Jyorthirmayi Ghanta but accounting for Rebecca Arrandale and Anya Sompura.
Both faced strong opponents in the semis, with Darwen losing to eventual winner Jones and Fletcher bowing out at the hands of Ghanta.
Ricardo Bolanos swept to straight-set victories in his under-15 boys singles against Staffordshire’s Joshua Webb, Alex Emms and Reuben Yates.
Younger brother Eduardo just missed out on further progress when finishing third and Tom Yarrow enjoyed one win to take fourth.
In another group, Josh Yarrow lost to Harry Fletcher 11-6 in the fifth but saw off Reece Chand, Dominic Evans and Robert Tasker to take second.
Bolanos senior received a bye in the quarter-finals, while Yarrow faced Webb who he beat 3-0.
In the last four, Bolanos defeated Fletcher 3-0 and Yarrow fell at the hands of Alex Lee of Staffordshire. A thrilling final then ensued with Lee pipping the Lillington youngster 13-11 in the fifth.
Ricardo and Josh also entered the junior boys’ singles.
Ricardo clinched top spot in his group, beating Webb, Fletcher, Alistair Witheford and Josh, who finished a worthy third.
After a quarter-final bye, Bolanos exacted revenge on Lee whom he beat 3-1. This pitted him against Craig Witheford in the final which he lost in straight sets.
The ninth Lillington representative was Emily Beasley who earned a runners-up medal in the round-robin junior girls’ singles. Beasley lost to Amillia Baker of Staffordshire but conquered Colebridge’s Sophie Rinnhofer and Alice Antoszkiewicz, also of Staffordshire.