Eissa edges to nerve-wracking victory in the final of the British Junior Open

Abd-Allah Eissa releases his emotions in the under-13 final of the British Junior Open. Picture: Steve Cubbins
Abd-Allah Eissa releases his emotions in the under-13 final of the British Junior Open. Picture: Steve Cubbins

Kenilworth’s Abd-Allah Eissa was crowned British Junior Open Boys’ under-13 champion after a sensational final at the University of Birmingham.

Having trailed 2-1,the 12-year-old had to summon all the reserves of strength and skill at his disposal in a marathon thriller to overpower Malaysian top seed Harith Danial Jefri 11-7, 9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 14-12 in 59 minutes.

His victory means the title stays in English hands for a second consecutive year after Sussex’s Jonah Bryant won it in 2018.

The emotional toll of the game was clear as the final point was won, Eissa roaring with joy and relief before collapsing into the embrace of his equally emotional parents.

“I’m feeling really happy,” he said.

“After all these years of hard training and losing, I wanted to come back in my last year and do my best and I’ve won it.

“I worked really hard. He’s a good player. I had to really push to the end.

“That’s the most exciting and nerve-wracking final I’ve ever played.”