Berkshire County School Champs Report

Russell Moore

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Berkshire County Schools Championships Report

Katie Shepperd (left) and under-13 runner-up Ellena Collins (right) with Maria Tsaptsinos

The Royal County of Berkshire Schools Individual Championships took place at the Kingfisher Table Tennis Club in Woodley on 5 January.

Following a full days play and some entertaining matches featuring players from schools in Central Reading, Caversham, Tilehurst, Woodley, Earley, Wokingham, Bracknell, Newbury, Thatcham, Langley, Slough and Sunningdale, four new champions were crowned, namely: Jamie Lui (The Hill); Katie Shepherd (The Abbey); Chris Johnson & Daniel McTiernan (both Waingels College).

In the Boys Under 11 there were three entries and after a round robin group, eight-year-old Jamie Liu was pronounced the winner having won both his matches, with Damon Critchlow (Caversham Primary) runner-up.

Twelve players competed in each of the Boys Under 13 and Under 16 events, with two groups of six formed and the top two players going through to the semi finals.

After winning all their group matches in the Boys Under 16 Event, top seeds Daniel McTiernan and Leo Long (St Barts) won their semi-finals against Michael McAllister (Maiden Erleigh) and James Ellicot (Kennet) respectively. In the final, it was McTiernan who triumphed with a straight sets victory but only after a close opening set which went to deuce.

Leo Long (left) and Dan McTiernan (right) are presented their award by Maria Tsaptsinos

The Under 13 Event looked to be the most unpredictable with no clear favourite. However the much improved Chris Jonnson was in unstoppable form as he beat Reeshabh Hamal (Beechwood) in a battle of the left handers to take his place in the final. There he met Alex Squire (The Forest) who had beaten Ben Dylan (Little Heath) in the other semi-final. Johnson proved too strong for Squire as he made good use of his blistering forehand to record a 3-0 win.

Chris Johnson and Alex Squire are presented their medals by Maria and Dimitris Tsaptsinos

The Girls Under 13 Event featured two promising young players and it was the more experienced Katie Shepherd who won through against a plucky Ellena Collins (Charters) by three sets to nil to represent the County at the finals.

The Girls Under 16 and Boys Under 19 Events only had one entry each so Maria Tsaptsinos (The Abbey) and Liam McTiernan (Waingels College) automatically qualify for the national finals, which take place in Doncaster in April. Both will be among the top seeds and Liam will be hoping to repeat last season’s title winning performance.

Much thanks to Berkshire Schools TTA Secretary Dimitris Tsaptsinos for organising and running the tournament and to his daughter Maria and Adam McTiernan for their considerable assistance. Lastly, the Committee at Kingfisher TTC for the use of the venue free of charge for the second consecutive year.

Final Results:

Boys Under 11 – Jamie Liu (The Hill) beat Damon Critchlow (Caversham Primary) 3-0
Boys Under 13 – Christopher Johnson (Waingels College) beat Alex Squire (The Forest) 3-0
Boys Under 16 – Daniel McTiernan (Waingels College) beat Leo Long (St Barts) 3-0
Girls Under 13 – Katie Shepherd (Abbey School) beat Ellena Collins (Charters) 3-0

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