(liberally extracted from this TTNZ article)

[…] the Wellington Association has had a lot to savour from the opening 3 days of the tournament. The efforts of coaches Hayden Tapp, Depak Patel and Paul Solt are showing rich dividends as their players have kept upsetting more favoured opponents.

Hui Ling Vong finished the under 15 teams event unbeaten, a huge feat, while brother Chun Kiet was also impressive [in the U18s].

In the evening session for under 18 boys, Sean Hanson was most impressive in beating National Junior Nathan Watson in straight sets.


Jonathan Li (Counties), Liam Buckrell (Wellington)
There were also some exciting and meritorious performances in the closing stages of the teams event, with one match providing our player of the day, Liam Buckrell – from Wellington of course, pictured here with his valiant opponent Jonathan Li from Counties.

These two boys were pitched together at 3-3 in a match which would decide silver in the under 13 boys B Grade. But, from the crowd gathered alongside one could have been forgiven for thinking it was the under 18 boys final. After a very tense fourth set the players shaped up for the deciding set, wondering who would keep their nerve longest.

Jonathan seemed to have prevailed when he stretched out to 10-6 after a number of long counter-hitting rallies. But Liam knuckled down to the job, returning every shot with interest and accuracy, and confounded everybody to triumph 12-10. It seemed a shame there had to be a loser in this contest.

One can only wonder what might have happened if Hayden Tapp had gone out to buy a lotto ticket instead of bench-coaching at this tournament – given the results versus the odds so far.

Berdy Fang ensured that Wellington did not have things all their way today, with two good wins over Frank Fu and Sean Hanson in under 18 boys.


Some of these juniors certainly know how to entertain and thrill!

– from this TTNZ article, thanks!