Sajiv continues rise with Burton final appearance

Ciara Hancox finished runner-up in her cadet girls' group.
Ciara Hancox finished runner-up in her cadet girls' group.
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There were pleasing performances from all six of the Lillington Free Church youngsters who travelled to Burton-on-Trent to play in their 2-star tournament, writes Phil John.

Nikit Sajiv enhanced his burgeoning reputation by reaching the final of the under-13 boys’ singles.

In his group he defeated Charlie Beadle and Luke Hodgson, both of Yorkshire, and Joseph Cooper.

His clubmate, Eduardo Bolanos, also qualified for the knockouts by finishing second in his group. After an excellent win over Lennon Maughan, only an 11-9 fifth-game loss to England number 22 Lewis Ellams of South Yorkshire prevented him from taking top spot.

This set-up a quarter-final clash between the Free Church pair with Sajiv winning 3-0.

England number 15 Che Goulbourne of Yorkshire was swept aside in the semis but Sajiv, now ranked at number seven, could not better Charlie Turner (6) and settled for the runners-up trophy, while Bolanos will be delighted with his best tournament performance so far.

Ciara Hancox (53) finished second in her cadets girls’ group with wins over Rebecca Savage of Cumbria, Lucy Vernon of Derbyshire (ranked 40 in England) and Alice Antoszkiewicz and a -9,-6,-7 loss to Hannah Ward of Notts who is England’s number ten.

In the quarter-final, she lost to Helena Dicken (25) from Derby.

In her group, clubmate Emily Beasley (63) also qualified despite strong opposition.

She lost 11-7 in the fifth against England number 39 Mukmanee Warburton of Yorkshire but had an outstanding win over Katie Holt of Hampshire , ranked 13, and beat Rebecca Rigg of Cumbria (57).

In the last eight, defeat came at the hands of Lara Whitton of Wales.

Neither girl qualified from their junior groups but both enjoyed excellent runs in the consolation.

In their respective semi-finals they faced Staffordshire sisters, Alice and Joannna Antoszkiewicz, Beasley losing to Joanna but Hancox beating Alice 11-8 in the fifth.

Hancox upped her game in the final to defeat Joanna in three.

Ricardo Bolanos finished as runner-up in his cadets’ group, losing to Goulbourne in five but overcoming Derby’s Sam Cooper and Ben McHoul, both in four.

He exited in the quarter-final at the hands of England number one Jamie Liu from Berkshire.

Bolanos also qualified in the juniors courtesy of wins over Matthew Rigg of Cumbria, Jeremy Hamshaw-Thomas and Rowan Jones, only to go out to Liu for a second time.

Milan Sajiv also qualified from his junior group but lost in the quarters to Max Stevens of Notts.