George Melvin wins at Blackpool open
Twelve year-old George Melvin secured victory in the U13s boy’s plate final at the Blackpool One Star junior table tennis open at the end of January.
‘George had to deal with several difficult, close-fought matches and played very well,’said IOMTTA Chairman Maggie Mulhern. ‘The Blackpool tournament was only the second ETTA tournament that George has played in and to come away with a plate win is a great achievement. George has been training well and is gathering valuable experience of tournament standard table tennis.’
We took five players to this event and they competed in both the Cadets (Under 15) and Under 13's age groups.
Under 15’s - SUMMARY
Harry Walters and Oliver Ashe are still only 11 and their experience had thus far been limited to the local junior league. Their opponents in this tournament were often three or four years older than them. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t win any of their Cadet group matches. Juan Moore, Nathan Evans and George Melvin are 12 and they have progressed into the adult league, so were more used to playing against older opponents.
Unfortunately, Juan didn't manage any wins in his group, but had a couple of close games. George beat Thomas Fewster, but didn't progress through to the knockout stage. Nathan was in a group of three and went through as runner up beating Harry O'Leary 11/6, 11/7, 11/9. He lost in the 1st round of the knockout stage to James Waddingham. In the Cadet plate, George met Oliver and progressed through to the quarters losing to Michael Lennon who had put out Juan in the earlier round.
Under 13's - SUMMARY
Again Oliver didn't register a win and nor did Nathan. Nathan beat Joshua Brooks in the plate preliminary round 11/8, 11/5, 11/4 but lost to C Bromley in the next round.
Juan beat Abishek Bathula in three sets and Lewis Palmer in four to go through to the knockout stage. In the preliminary round he beat Harry O'Leary 11/6, 9/11, 11/5, 11/9 and in the 1st round lost to T Chin 6, 6, & 6.
Harry and George both won one match in their groups but didn’t qualify so went into the plate where Harry beat Jack Eaton in three sets and in the quarter-final he beat Bathula 11/8, 11/7, 8/11, 11,4. In a closely fought semi-final Harry lost to Nathan Ward in four sets.
George beat Joshua Brooks 6, 5 and 4 to reach the quarter-final of the plate where he beat Billy Bailey in straight sets. In the semi-final he took out Thomas Reed in four sets. It was an anxious wait for the final and spurred on by his Manx mates George beat Nathan Ward 11/5, 11/13, 6/11, 11/5, 11/6 to take the gold medal.
Apart from George, none of the players had travelled off Island to take part in any tournaments and they all were a credit to IOM table tennis. Their confidence grew throughout the event and they all gained valuable experience ahead of the British Primary Schools event being held in Dublin over the weekend of 5-7th April where they will represent the IOM. Unfortunately, Oliver wasn’t selected, but he will still be eligible to play next year.