The annual tournament hosted 13 events at the 17-table venue, to find out who would be crowned the UK’s Jewish Champion.
The first three competitions of the day were the junior boys singles, U12’s and Over-50’s. In the junior boys, Carl Breindel, the Number 1 Seed, sat out the early stages with a bye, but justified his seeding to the final with victories against Sam Krisman and Judah Jackson. On the other side of the draw, Number 2 seed, Matthew Gold, also made it to the final with victories over Sammy Kaye and Daniel Olsberg respectively. The final was a tense affair with the players and crowd revelling in the excitement as the match played out to a five set thriller, which was ultimately won by Matthew Gold 11-9 in the fifth.
The U12’s event was mixed between boy and girl athletes, with 12 participants in total. Jessica Abrahams had an excellent run to the final with wins against Benjamin Busse and Zachy Sagger whilst, in the bottom half of the draw, Jacob Sobel secured straight sets victories over Millie Rogove and Ollie Alexencier. However, he met his match in the final going down 3-0 to Jessica who proved the girls can be more-than-a-match for the boys in this sport.
During the first morning session, Jessica Abrahams also participated in the Junior Girls Singles in which she also ended the day as victor making it double glory for her.
In the over 50’s, Ivan Lewis demonstrated why he had hit Number 18 spot in the English National Veterans Rankings this year with impressive performances against Micky Lang, Jeremy Banks and Zorik Menashe in the final to take this year’s Over 50’s title.
The next session included veteran (Over 40’s), cadets (Under 15’s) and novice events. In the veterans event, Jeremy Banks and Dov Katz met in the semi-final and resulted in a very commendable 3-0 victory to Jeremy, who then met the winner of the Over 50’s event, Ivan Lewis, in the final. Jeremy took an early lead to secure a 1-0 advantage but Ivan once again proved his England ranking was no fluke and took the remaining three games to secure a 3-1 victory and the Double on the day.
In the novices event, it was definitely a Levy affair with father and son (Martin and Wayne) both making it to the final. Both players looked exhausted at the end with father Martin Levy proving that Wayne still has some catching up to do with a 3-0 victory. The Cadet event had 20 entries with Carl Breindel once again the Number 1 seed. However, nobody forecast the titanic battle in the semi-final where Jamie Rosen won 13-11 in the fifth game in a very exciting match, with the final stages watched by most of the players and supporters in the hall. In the final Jamie played the in-form Judah Jackson – who had put behind him a disappointing earlier exit in the Juniors. It was the latter who stormed through and won the Cadets final in straight sets.
In the women’s singles, Jo Radivan came out victor with an impressive 3-1 victory over Sally Prowen in the deciding match.
The final session of the day included the men’s singles, Over 60’s, banded, junior doubles, mixed doubles and men’s doubles.
In the Over 60’s, Graham Davies proved that he never gives up with an 11-9 win in the fifth set over David Wirth in the semi-final and a 12-10 fifth set win against Stuart Spurling in the final. The banded event saw a battle of generations with David Lazarus demonstrating the benefit of experience over the very youthful Judah Jackson in an exciting close final won by David – 11-9 in the fourth game.
The men’s doubles was won by Dov Katz and Ivan Lewis, making it a triple on the day for Ivan, and the mixed doubles was won by Sally Prowen and Dov Katz.
The men’s event had 30 entrants with some real class on show. In the quarter-finals, Adam Laws beat the very experienced and talented Matt Spero; Guy Ben-Aroya defeated Dov Katz with some real quality table tennis; Jeremy Banks had a surprise victory over Keith Lesser; and Eli Baraty halted Ivan Lewis’s impressive day with a comfortable 3-0 victory.
In the semi-finals, Adam Laws and Eli Baraty proved that they were the two top players on show – seeded 1 and 2 respectively – and both in the top 50 in England Senior rankings. It could have gone either way with some superb table tennis demonstrated but victory eventually went to Adam Laws with a 3-1 win.
The day ended with the trophy presentation to the winners. What made the day even more special was the attendance of England International Table Tennis player, Darius Knight.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
Mens Singles (Fred Gerrard Cup)
Adam Laws beat Eli Baraty: 3-1
Women Singles (Mark Raymond Cup)
Jo Radivan beat Sally Prowen: 3-1
Dov Katz/Ivan Lewis beat Keith Lesser/Daniel Spurling: 3-1
Dov Katz/Sally Prowen beat Jeremy Banks/Jo Radivan: 3-1
Jessica Abrahams beat Jacob Sobel: 3-0
Cadet Mixed Singles
Judah Jackson beat Jamie Rosen: 3-0
Junior Girls Singles Winner : Jessica Abrahams
Junior Boys Singles (Yoram Katz Cup)
Matthew Gold beat Carl Breindel: 3-2
Veteran Singles (Morris Banks Cup)
Ivan Lewis beat Jeremy Banks: 3-
Ivan Lewis beat Zorik Menashe: 3-0
Graham Davies beat Stuart Spurling: 3-2
David Lazarus beat Judah Jackson: 3-2
Martin Levy beat Wayne Levy: 3-0
Milly Superstein Cup for Outstanding Achievement
Yoram and Sylvia Katz Cup for the most promising young junior