Results from the Northern Schools Championships at Durham

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Saturday, 2nd February 2024

Organiser Julie McIntyre reports: Conditions were perfect for the Northern Schools tournament of 2024, in dry, mild and sunny Durham.

Club members and parents had baked in large quantities and the Sedbergh school bus arrived bright and early.

The Under 18 Singles games were very competitive as usual, with Sedbergh throwing themselves into every game with gusto (hopefully Ollie has survived intact). However, Val and Camille were too strong for the others, and their final was the stand-out game of the tournament. Long rallies between two players of very different styles. Val is now a very strong player in Manchester, although still just 15, and Camille is on top form, having just won the Women’s national title. She won through 11-6, 11-8 in the end, but they were two top-end games, and a joy to watch. Ollie from Sedbergh won the bronze through his power and determination, beating Angus, a last-minute entry into the singles!

In the under 16 category Sedbergh had some very promising players, however Eleonora from Durham proved to be too accurate and consistent for Fernando in the final, and Toby won the bronze.

We then had an under 13 singles competition between four Durham players, which was the first competition for most. Lucas won through here, with his ambidextrous style and power, followed by Harrison and Leo, who stepped up their play, while Sofia was playing herself in.

These four then joined the rest of the Under 16s for the Doubles and did very well, with Lucas and Sofia the pairing to take the bronze. Toby and Fernando grew in confidence, and were winners of the Under 16 Doubles, while Eleonora and Emily of Durham took the silver, a great achievement for Emily in her first competition.

In the Under 18 Doubles, Val unfortunately did not have a junior partner; however Tom Wakelam and then Mr Follett stepped in to make sure there were some very high standard exhibition games against Durham 1 and Sedbergh 1 and 2 pairs. In the medals, Camille and Angus took on Ollie and Phoenix twice to take the gold, with Evan and Seb (who was actually under 16) taking bronze.

All played in a great spirit as ever, and a plan made for some neighbourly visits in the coming year.

Many thanks to those who helped and baked, to Tom for doing the draw, and to the supporting families who watched it all happen.


U18 Singles

Pool A: 1st Val Fikhter (Manchester) 30 pts; 2nd Angus Hogarth (City of Durham) 15 pts; 3rd Evan Williams (Sedbergh)
Pool B: 1st Camille Beattie (Durham) 30 pts; 2nd Ollie Griffin (Sedbergh) 21 pts; 3rd Phoenix Ogilvie-Robertson (Sedbergh)

Final: Beattie bt Fikhter 11-6, 11-8
Bronze medal: Griffin bt Hogarth 15-3

U16 Singles

Pool: 1st Eleonora Vallascas (City of Durham) 33 pts: 2nd Fernando Diez Amatriain (Sedbergh) 29 pts; 3rd Toby Follett (Sedbergh); 4th Seb Massey-Ford (Sedbergh)

Final: Vallascas bt Diez Amatriain 11-6, 11-1
Bronze medal: Follett bt Massey-Ford 15-3

U13 Singles

1st Lucas Manzi (City of Durham) 45 pts; 2nd Harrison Miller (City of Durham) 31 pts; 3rd Leo Pippet (City of Durham) 30 pts; 4th Sofia Vallascas (City of Durham) 22 pts

U18 Doubles

Pool: 1st City of Durham 1 (Beattie & Hogarth) 30 pts; 2nd Sedbergh 1 (Griffin & Ogilvie-Robertson) 16 pts; 3rd Sedbergh 2 (Massey-Ford & Williams) 

Final: City of Durham 1 bt Sedbergh 1 15-7
Bronze medal: Sedbergh 2

U16 Doubles

1st: Sedbergh 3 (Diez Amatriain & Follett) 45 pts; 2nd City of Durham 2 (Hodgson & E Vallascas) 38 pts; 3rd City of Durham 3 (Manzi & S Vallascas) 30 pts; 4th City of Durham 4 (Miller & Pippet) 15 pts

The assembled competitors

The City of Durham squad

The U18 Singles champion

U18 Doubles title for the City of Durham Club

Val flying the flag for the Manchester Y Club

Plenty of success for players from Sedbergh …

… and medals for the young City of Durham players too