Kettering Sports Arena was the venue for the U/10 – U/13 National Championships and Draycott had 10 players who had qualified to compete in the most prestigious and important event of the season for younger age groups. The competition was fought out over two days in four age groups for both boys and girls and a doubles event in the Under 13 age group. The competition was extremely fierce with the players having to endure scorching temperatures.
In the Under 13 Boys Sam Cooper was in tough group and was unable to progress beyond the group stage however Poww Boonyaprapa (12) and Connor Green (10) were seeded No.3 and No.9 respectively and were looking to have an impact on the tournament.
Connor progressed through his group and then won a preliminary round before losing to No.6 seed Charlie Turner (Y) in the Last 16. Poww progressed smoothly through to a semi -final spot and then faced No.2 seed Avon’s Louis Price. Poww took the initiative in tough match leading 2-1 but Louis fought back to clinch a five set victory so Poww had to settle for the Bronze medal.
In the Under 13 Girl’s singles Erin Green was seeded No.4 but never got into her stride and was beaten at the last 16 stage by an inform Angharad Beman who went on to reach the semi final.
Draycott Squad members Lucy Vernon and Helena Dicken were also in the draw but after both progressing through the group stage they had to play each other in the prelimnary round with Helena just edging home in a close 5 set match. Helena (seeded No.10) then faced No.3 Seed Anaya Patel at in the last 16 and was beaten in three very close ends
In the Under 13 Boys Doubles Poww teamed up with Lancashires Rhys Davies and as No.2 seeds swept easily through to the semi-final and then scored a 3-0 win over Ormesby duo Thomas Raynor & Ben Piggott and then faced No.1 seeds Jamie Liu and Lous Price in a final showdown
Poww came so close to the Gold medal but standing at 2 sets to nill and 10-6 quite unbelievably failed to convert six match points. The pair ultimatley went on to lose 3 - 2 and finished with the Silver medal.
In the Under 12 Girls singles Sasha Withers (12) had done extremely well to qualify for this event but despite a great effort was unable to win a match in her group but gained considerably experience competing at this level. 10-year-old Anna Green beat two players ranked above her to force her way to the quarter-final stage but was then beaten by the No.3 seed.
In the U/12 Boys Singles Draycott had the No.1 seed Poww Boonyaprapa and No.3 seed Connor Green so there was a chance for both to meet in the final as both players progressed to the semi-final stage of the draw. Poww faced No.4 seed Ben Piggott (Cv) and won in three tight ends to book his place in the final. Connor then faced No.2 seed Felix Thomis (Bk) and got off to a great start winning the first set but then at 11-10 up in the 2nd end failed to convert a game losing 13-11 and then lost 3-1 and had to settle for the bronze medal.
Poww was now hitting top form when it mattered and after a barrage of aggressive stokes took command of the final and claimed the National U/12 Boys singles title winning 11-7, 11-8, 11-7.
In the U/11 age group Draycott had two outstanding competitors in 10-year-old twins Connor and Anna Green so hopes were high for more medals.
In the U/11 Boys Connor progressed smoothly through the group stage and moved to the Quarter-final stage and then beat the unseeded Lennon Maughan from Yorkshire 3-0. In the semi-final Connor faced No.3 seed Oliver Maric-Murray but despite a close 2nd end he secured another 3-0 win.
Connor then faced No.4 seed Jacob Piwowar (Dv) who was clearly nervous of the occasion and lost the first end 11-0 but Connor kept his nerve and kept up the pressure to claim the National U/11 Boys singles title winning 11-0, 11-7, 11-8.
The pressure was now on twin sister Anna (seeded No.2) but she started very nervously in her first group match losing to unseeded Isabelle Lacourt (He) which put Anna in the tougher half of the draw. However Anna quickly got into her stride and progressed to the quarterfinal stage to face the No.4 seed Maliah Baig (E) which resulted in a 3-0 win to set up a semi-final clash with No.1 seed Katie Bates (Cv) but Anna was now in top form and demolished her opponent 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 and this set up a final against the same opponent – Isabelle Lacourt that had beaten Anna in her first group game.
This time Anna got off to a better start and took the first set 11-7. Isabelle fought back to win the 2nd set 11-7 and then they stood at 9-9 in the 3rd end before Anna produced two sparling rallies to take then end 11-9. In the 4th end Anna was now in control and took the end 11-4 and win the National U/11 Girls Singles title.
In the Under 10 Boys singles 9-year-old Joseph Cooper had qualified and was unseeded but faced No.6 seed Joseph Dennison (La) in his group matches and did not start well as Joseph lost the first two ends but then he fought back to level the match at 2-2 and then found something extra to take the final end 11-9.
At the quarter-final stage Joseph next faced No.4 seed Larry Trumpaukas (K) and this proved to be another titanic struggle with Joseph winning the first set 11-7 but then lost the next two sets 11-9, 11-9 so had to dig deep to stay in the tournament. The 4th end was again very tight which Joseph won 11-9 and so set up thrilling final end. Joseph kept up the pressure on the seeded player and took an 8-4 advantage but Larry took the next two points to claw back the lead but it was Joseph who just scraped home 11-9 to set up a semi-final meeting with No.1 seed and overwhelming favourite Oliver Maric-Murray (Sy)
Joseph caught the top seed by surprise in the opening set winning 11-8 but then Maric-Murray found his form to take a 2-1 lead but Joseph refused to give in and forced the favourite to a final end but a run of three unlucky net cords in the middle of the game gave the top seed just enough breathing space to gain the victory so Joseph took a Bronze medal which he thoroughly deserved – the 7th medal for what was an outstanding event for the Club.