National Junior League – Round 2

London Academy A continued their winning ways while Bedford MS B joined their teammates in the top division

The second round of the NJL took place at the London Academy on 27th November with teams from four clubs fighting for honours in three divisions.

Division 1

LDN Academy A1113
Brighton TTC A112
Bedford MS A11
LDN Academy B0

Division 2

Bedford MS B1113
TW Brunswick A112
Brighton TTC B11
LDN Academy C0

Division 3

Brighton TTC C111115
TW Brunswick B11114
Bedford MS C1113
LDN Academy D112
LDN Academy E11
TW Brunswick C0

London Academy A maintained their winning ways from the previous round by topping division 1. In a repeat of the first round their main challenge came from Brighton TTC A.

The division was decided in their head to head match with Lianna Shilani Tousi providing the decisive edge by winning her three matches against Lewis Austin, Luca Gerrard and a nail-biting 5 setter against the excellent Harvey Sandwell which was only decided 11-9 in the last set.

Commiserations go to London Academy B, who having won promotion to the top division in October, found themselves struggling in the top band. Despite a heroic effort against Bedford MS A, Alex Smith pushed the visitors to third place with a 4 set win over Parsa Yamin. This ensured that Bedford A remained in the top division and London Academy B were relegated.

Division 2 saw Twickenham Brunswick A look to return to the top division at the first time of asking. This meant that their very first match of the day, against Bedford MS B, would prove vital. The Brunswick players fought hard and led the tie at the half way mark with Louis McPhee, Luca Chan and Richard Zhan scoring a win each to put themselves in a strong position. However, the match turned on the sixth game. Noah Burgess came back from two sets to one down to beat Richard Zhan and level the tie.

Taking inspiration from their teammate, Genji Rao and Daniel Jeffreys won both of their next matches to reach 5 games and take the match. This eventually proved to be the deciding fixture with Bedford MS B taking the top slot and gaining promotion to the top division.

London Academy C also found that getting promoted to a division is one thing but staying in that that division is another thing entirely. Their best performance came in the final round, when facing Twickenham Brunswick A, they lead all the way until the very last set of the very last game where Devan Shah narrowly lost to Louis McPhee, 11-6 in the fifth. London Academy C will now return to the third division where they must regroup in January.

The third division saw Brighton TTC C go one better than last month and win the group outright with 5 wins out of 5.

This was only achieved with the narrowest of victories over Twickenham Brunswick B. Their match ended all square with 3 wins each, but after a count back, Brighton’s superior set score saw them safely home. The team was ably led by Spike Ward, who won all ten of his matches on the day.

Their closest encounter came with Twickenham Brunswick B, who managed a 3-3 draw in the first round, only to lose by just 3 sets after counting back.

Brighton TTC C will now join their teammates from Brighton TTC B in the second division.

The tie of the day surely was the hard fought Division One encounter between London Academy B and Bedford MS A. The match averaged over 4.5 sets per game. The whole match turned on a mammoth five set win for Ethan Calder over Parsa Yamin. This win gave the visitors a 4-2 advantage, which proved enough to decide the tie in Bedford’s favour.

The standout game in division 2 was when Genji Rao needed 14 points in the last set to see off Luke Rickett, giving Bedford MS B a valuable win against Brighton B.

The biggest comeback of the day saw Jayden Matthews claw his way from 2 sets to 1 down to take the final set 14-12 against Vithush Sivaharan.

Congratulations to everyone who took part. We look forward to seeing you all again on the 22nd of January, when London Academy will host round three.