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arrow pointing leftBack 09 February 24 - by England Squash

Top seeds advance to English Junior Championships quarters

Amelie Haworth
The English Junior Championships (EJC) top seeds kicked off their 2024 campaign in style in London today, but there was a major upset in the BU17 competition.

Defending BU19 champion Bryant needed just 16 minutes to book his spot in the quarter-finals, producing a ruthless display to oust [13/16] Matthew Hartley (Hants) in straight games.

Things were not quite so straightforward for BU19 No.2 seed Abd-Allah Eissa (Warks), who had to contend with an energetic [13/16] Michael Chak (Surrey) in round two. Eissa was made to work hard for his last eight berth with Chak showing off his speed with some impressive retrievals.

Chak and Eissa

Meanwhile four-time EJC champion Haworth made the perfect start to her campaign with a dominant straight games victory over Renitha Srindran (Essex), losing just eight points.

She took the first game 11-1, and despite finding herself locked at 5-5 in the second, she soon regained control, moving Srindran around the court and hitting winners at will, winning 17 of the next 19 points to wrap up victory.

It was a similar tale for GU19 second seed Mariam Eissa (Warks), who lost eight points in her win over Sachi Vats (Middx), keeping alive the potential for a rematch of October’s British Junior Championships final between her and Haworth.

Those results all followed a shock defeat for BU17 top seed Ismail Khalil (Warks), who went down in five games to [33/44] Jake Johnston (Surrey), who then went on to beat [17/20] Damian Duckett (Middx) later in the day.

Khahil and Johnston

Khalil, who captured last year’s BU15 title, just fell short despite an impressive comeback. From two games down, Khalil forced a decider by winning games three and four, saving a match ball in the fourth when Johnston hit the tin.

A third straight game would be a step too far, though, with Johnston bringing up three match balls at 10-7 up, clinching his first opportunity with a crisp backhand kill to end a 33-shot rally.

There was no such drama in the GU17 competition, with [3/4] Reka Kemecsei (Sussex) and [3/4] Emma Logan (Suffolk) both progressing safely through. Kemecsei produced a sensational display, losing only one point in the entire match against [13/14] Nika Handjani (Warks), while Logan beat [13/14] Maryam Hussein (Berks) 11-2, 11-3, 11-4.

Tomorrow will see GU17 top seeds [1] Emily Coulcher-Porter (Oxon) and [2] Elizabeth Dicker (Hants) in action.

In the BU15 competition, top seed George Griffiths (Hants) underlined his title credentials with three impressive wins in the day, never dropping more than six points in any of the nine games he played.

GU15 top seed Harriet Broadbridge (Hants) also won convincingly in what was her only match of the day, beating [13/16] Harriet Langley (Yorks) 11-3, 11-3, 11-2 to book her spot in the quarters.

Oscar Brown (Leics), top seed in the BU13 category, eased through both of his matches, and he will be joined in the last eight by his twin brother [5/8] Finley Brown (Leics).

In the GU13 draw, [1] Esther Chak (Surrey) and [2] Nadiya Ismail (Warks) both recorded comfortable wins, remaining on course for a final showdown.

BU11 top seeds [1] Ben Lamond (Hants) and [2] Logan Willstrop (Yorks) - who met in the British Junior Championships final in October - got their campaigns off to winning start, while the GU11 event kicks off on Saturday, along with the Mixed U9s.

The quarter-finals commence at 9am on Saturday with matches streamed live on the official tournament website and England Squash’s You Tube channel. Follow England Squash on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and X for the latest news from the event.