Jared Hon (pic from NCL).

Jared Hon was the sole Waterside player to travel to London today for the London Academy 2 Star tournament. It was a relatively civilised start for Coach Ken, Jared and his mum with a 1:30pm start time in the U13’s. This was Jared’s 2nd tournament away from home turf and his first 2 star.

The group stage was to be negotiated first and Jared started with an emphatic 3-0 win in his first match which was after 1st seed in the group Chris Ho had similarly negotiated his first match. The next match saw the two winners face each other and although Jared was competitive he was not quite firing on all cylinders and Chris was the deserved winner to take a commanding lead in the group. Jared followed that setback with a further win against the final player in the group to progress to the knockout stages.

The 1st knockout match saw Jared face an exciting young London player he had previously met and beaten at the BATTS U13 some weeks previously. The feat of the previous tournament was repeated and Jared progressed to his next knockout match.

Jared was at the top end of the draw and faced the player at the very top, number 1 seed and England No.5 James Hamblett. The first 4 points were a good indicator of the match to come as the boys shared good quality points. The first end was hard fought with James edging ahead after the initial deadlock and maintaining that to take the first end 11-8. Jared started the next end strongly with quality serving and strong opening play to establish a 3-1 lead. James as would be expected fought back but Jared opened another lead and attacked strongly to level the match at 1-1. The third end saw James get away to a “flyer” and the end was over quickly as he took it 11-3 with tenacious attacking.

The break over, both players renewed their contest with renewed energy and produced high quality play. Jared pushed hard but James was more experienced and in the end that experience showed. James completed the win with an 11-8 victory but Jared can be very happy about his performance. Regardless of what the ranking list says about the gap between the two players, James had to work hard to secure his win in a competitive match which saw both players pay each other the utmost respect.