Yusef Sheikh strikes gold for Essex at British Championships

 

The third and final day of the Dunlop British Junior Championships 2018 saw 10 players crowned across seven English counties as the junior tournament in Nottingham drew to a close for another year.

And Essex were one of the first counties to celebrate after Yusuf Sheikh took the BU13 title after battling from two games down to overpower third seed Abd-Allah Eissa (Warks) in a five-game thriller.

Essex’s Yusef Sheikh lunges big during his British final win over Abd-Allah Eissa

Yusef, who plays at the Connaught Club, looked to be in trouble losing the opening two games 12-14, 5-11. But with top Essex coach Dave Webster in his corner between games, Yusef re-grouped, changed his game plan and came back with to win three consecutive games 11-7 11-9 11-5 and secure his maiden BJC crown.

Dave Webster said afterwards:” Yusef showed great heart to fight back from two down. It’s a match he could easily have lost if he hadn’t listened and focused. His performance showed he has character and desire. We couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Essex’s Alice Green was denied the GU19 title by Scotland’s [2] Adderley, who added to her GU17 crown last year with an 11-4 11-8 5-11 11-7 triumph over top seed Alice.

“I’m really happy to win my second BJC title and overall, I’m really pleased with how the event went,” said Adderley.

“It was a good match today and I managed to deal with the pressure Alice was putting me under well.

“It was really great to have so much support and can’t wait for next year.”

Off The Wall Squash player Emma Bartley in her U-17 final with Torrie Malik

And Emma Bartley, who trains at the Off The Walls Squash Academy in Colchester but represents Suffolk, finished second in the Under-15’s losing to Sussex’s Torrie Malik 11-6 11-3 11-7.

In the same age group, Essex’s Eliza Sheikh, sister of Yusef, finished an impressive fifth while in the Under-17’s, Chelmsford’s Eleanor White was fourth.

And it was Warwickshire’s Anderson, last year’s BU17 champion, who pushed Yorkshire’s Nick Wall all the way in a five-game epic in the BU19, before the Yorkshireman secured his maiden BU19 title.

Wall recovered a two-game deficit – and defied a resurgent Anderson – to secure an 11-8 8-11 9-11 11-3 11-9 victory in his second appearance in as many years in the age-grade final.

The result saw Wall justify his top seeding in the tournament – and walk away with the title after finishing runner-up in last year’s tournament.

“I didn’t play my finest squash but I was happy that I still managed to get the win,” said Wall.

“It means a lot to win the Don Sanderson and I’m happy that I could gain my third British title in a match where I was behind and not playing my best, but managed to dig in and get the win.”

Elsewhere, last year’s BU15 champion Sam Todd showed little trouble in transitioning up a category in the BU17 draw, the Yorkshire teenager securing a comprehensive 11-2 11-9 11-9 victory over Lincolnshire’s [2] Ben Smith. Todd said:

“It was great to win another British Championships without conceding a game.”

“I’m pleased on my performance throughout the tournament.”

Meanwhile, Middlesex’s [2] Margot Prow stormed to the GU17 title after beating top seed Maia Pannell (Hamps) in straight games, recording a 13-11 11-7 11-7 win.

Ireland’s Denis Gilevskiy powered to an enthralling five-game triumph over Sussex’s Jonah Bryant in the BU15.

The Irishman defied a comeback from a valiant Bryant to secure a 12-10 11-5 9-11 8-11 11-9 win.

In the GU13, second seed Amelie Haworth added to the English junior title she won in March with an impressive win over current England number one and the tournament’s top seed, Meha Shah (Warks).

The result sees Hampshire hitter Howarth power to her maiden British title, after securing an 11-7 11-1 11-9 victory.

Surrey’s Ronnie Hickling claimed the BU11 title with an 11-3 11-9 11-5 win over Berkshire’s [2] Dylan Kalar, while second seed Mariam Eissa (Warks) was victorious in the GU11 final, edging out top seed Emily Coucher-Porter 11-9 8-11 11-7 11-1 to take home her maiden piece of squash silverware.

Final results

B11: [1] Ronnie Hickling 3-0 [2] Dylan Kalar 11-3, 11-9, 11-5
G11: [2] Mariam Eissa 3-1 [1] Emily Coulcher-Porter 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 11-1
B13: [1] Yusuf Sheikh 3-2 [3] Abd-Allah Eissa 12-14, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-5
G13: [1] Amelia Haworth 3-0 [2] Meha Shah 11-7, 11-1, 11-9
B15: [1] Denis Gilevskiy 3-2 [2] Jonah Bryant 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9
G15: [2] Torrie Malik 3-0 [3] Emma Bartley 11-6, 11-3, 11-7
B17: [1] Sam Todd 3-0 [2] Ben Smith 11-2, 11-9, 11-9
G17: [2] Margot Prow 3-0 [1] Maia Pannell 13-11, 11-7, 11-6
B19: [1] Nick Wall 3-0 [3] Lewis Anderson 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9
G19: [2] Georgia Adderley 3-1 [1] Alice Green 11-4, 11-8, 5-11, 11-7

Essex fielded players in most age groups.

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