UK School Games 2016 Loughborough

Billy Shilton (SW) beat Shae Thakker (SE) in a pulsating standing disability final, while the learning disability prize went to Hamish Friell (SE), beating Wales’ Sid Mohanty.

The last match to finish was also a thriller as Cellan Hall of Wales saved nine match points on the way to victory over Dan Bullen (Midlands) in the crucial match of the round-robin wheelchair event.

Disability

Standing

Next stop for Billy Shilton is Rio, and he leaves for the Paralympics as School Games champion after successfully defending his title.

But the South West athlete was made to fight every inch of the way in a final which had the crowd enthralled as his opponent Shae Thakker (South East) battled back from two sets down.

A lengthy final featured three deuce games, with Shilton taking the first 16-14 and Thakker the third and fourth. But Shilton had the class when it mattered and took the decider 11-5.

Bronze medals went to Tam Eastwood of Wales and Alex Bland of North East.

Results

Quarter-finals

  • Billy Shilton (ESW) – bye
  • Tam Eastwood (WAL) bt Declan Tobin (SCO) 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-5)
  • Shae Thakker (ESE) bt Joe Davies (ENW) 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-5)
  • Alex Bland (ENE) bt Thomas Spicer (EM) 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-7)

Semi-finals

  • Shilton bt Eastwood 3-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-6)
  • Thakker bt Bland 3-0 (11-9, 11-4, 11-7)

Final

  • Shilton bt Thakker 3-2 (16-14, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 11-5)

Learning

There were new medallists all round, with gold going to Hamish Friell, adding to the team gold he won alongside Shae Thakker for South East.

Friell was the stand-out performer, winning his two group matches and then a semi-final against Ben Robinson (NE) and the final against Wales’ Sid Mohanty.

The key win for Mohanty had come in the groups, when he saw off Robinson in five, twice coming from a set down and winning the decider 12-10.

Alongside Robinson, bronze went to David Morrison of Scotland.

Results

Group F

  • Hamish Friell (ESE) bt Alfie Armstrong (ESW) 3-1 (11-9, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6)
  • David Morrison (SCO) bt Armstrong 3-2 (11-13, 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5)
  • Friell bt Morrison 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-9)

Group G

  • Ben Robinson (ENE) bt Reece Barker (ENW) 3-0 (11-0, 11-1, 11-1)
  • Sid Mohanty (WAL) bt Barker 3-0 (11-0, 11-2, 11-1)
  • Mohanty bt Robinson 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 12-10)

Semi-finals

  • Mohanty bt Morrison 3-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-8)
  • Friell bt Robinson 3-0 (11-9, 11-4, 14-12)

Final

  • Friell bt Mohanty 3-1 (11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9)

Wheelchair

Cellan Hall saved no fewer than nine match points across two sets to finally get his hands on gold after appearing at seven School Games.

The player on the other side of the net, Dan Bullen of Midlands, try as he might, could just not get over the line, and the Welshman was delighted to take his own second match point.

The round-robin event had built to an exciting climax and was the last match to finish on the day, and 16-14, 15-13 scorelines in the final two games tipped the balance to Hall.

Bronze went to Andrew Green of North East.

Results

  • Cellan Hall (WAL) bt Andrew Berry (SCO) 3-0 (11-1, 12-10, 11-5)
  • Daniel Bullen (EM) bt Andrew Green (ENE) 3-0 (11-1, 11-2, 11-4)
  • Bullen bt Berry 3-0 (11-3, 11-2, 11-2)
  • Hall bt Green 3-0 (15-13, 11-4, 11-6)
  • Green bt Berry 3-0 (11-7, 11-3, 11-5)
  • Hall bt Bullen 3-2 (8-11, 11-9, 2-11, 16-14, 15-13)