Southern Area Open 2014


Louis Plevin seems to be heading out of judo cadet ranks on a high. One of three local lads at the BJA Southern Area Open at the K2 in Crawley, the Commonwealth Judo player, who is in his last year as a cadet, made the most of his last chance to improve his national ranking. But that’s just what he did by defeating both his under-90kg opponents, in doing so reversing a loss at the Southend International against a fellow national ranked player. By winning the gold medal it puts him up to fifth in the BJA rankings. Plus the added bonus of 10 more points towards his 2nd Dan, he needs only 30 more before his 18th birthday and he will then be old enough to win his second black belt.

The Southern Area Open attracted over 200 of the country’s top young judo players and Howard Joyce and Brandon Taylor were entered in the pre-cadets which is for competitors born in either 2000 or 2001.

Joyce was competing at under 55kg and he was obviously nervous at the start of his first bout and was soon down a score. However, young Joyce soon got into his full fighting mode and took his opponent to the ground and secured a hold down which his competitor was able to escape within the required 20 seconds. But the resumption saw Howard pull off an excellent counter throw to win the match. Unfortunately Joyce’s second fight was against an even tougher opponent and he lost a very close one which then put him into the fight-off for a bronze medal which he duly won with another excellent hold down and the medal.

Brandon Taylor, fighting at over-66kg, is at the lower end of the age group and this was obvious when he was standing in line for the weigh in. But he gave a good account of himself