ESTTA champions crowned at 50th flagship event

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Please note - this news article was published more than four years ago. Some of the information contained may no longer be correct.

The champions have been crowned at the end of a busy and high-quality day at the Butterfly School Team Championships.

A total of 33 teams from around England competed at the Hinckley Leisure Centre in what was the 50th anniversary edition of the flagship ESTTA competition.

Under-19 Girls

Harefield Academy took the title, ending the reign of champions King Edward VI Community College from Totnes, who had to settle for third.

The Harefield squad of Zahna Hall, Danielle Kelly, Rachel Stone, Beau Partridge and Riya Kaur defeated King Edward and Wickersley School and Sports College (Rotherham) both by 6-2 margins.

In the crucial match against Bradford Grammar, Harefield took a 3-0 lead and, after Bradford won two of the next three, it was Kelly’s victory over Maddy Silberberg which gave the champions an unassailable lead.

Bradford, who beat King Edward 5-3 and Wickersley 6-2, were runners-up, while King Edward beat Wickersley 6-2 to take third.

For the winners, Danielle Kelly said: “We have a really strong team and our No 4 player came out with some big wins, which really helped us.”

Under-19 Boys

London Academy were in irresistible form, dropping only one game on the way as they beat The Bushey Academy and Wickersley School and Sports College (Rotherham) 8-0 and Altrincham Grammar 7-1.

The winning squad was Omar Khassal, Eren Gozcu, Karim Khassal, Theodore Achampong and Jonathan Mainzer.

Omar said: “It was a team effort. A lot of the games were close and we had chances to lose matches but our team spirit pulled us through.”

Wickersley enjoyed 6-2 victories over Altrincham and Bushey to finish second, and it was third place for Altrincham thanks to a 5-3 win over Bushey.

Under-16 Girls

Lancaster Girls successfully defended their title as the squad of Megan Dillon, Alice Dillon, Naomi Collins, Aakanskha Trippathi and Sruthi Rajakarier won all three matches.

They beat Burlington Danes Academy (Hammersmith) and Okehampton Community College 7-1 and recorded a 6-2 scoreline against West Kirby Grammar (Wirral).

Burlington were second, beating Okehampton 5-3 and drawing 4-4 against West Kirby. Okehampton’s 5-3 win over West Kirby saw them take third.

Megan Dillon said: “We’ve got a strong team as a whole rather than one outstanding player, and that really helped.

“We won it last year and we’re pleased to win again. I think it was a little bit easier because some of the older players have moved up, but it was still tough because you never know how you’re going to play on the day.”

Under-16 Boys

St Mary’s College (Hull) beat Whitgift School (Croydon) 5-3 in the crucial match of a high-class competition.

Harry Dai’s victory over England Youth Squad colleague James Smith was integral to the victory and Dai remained unbeaten throughout the day as Hull also beat Coleridge Community College (Cambridge) and Morpeth School (Tower Hamlets) both 7-1.

Joining Dai in the winning line-up were Will Ibbitson, Liam Marsh, Liam Williamson and Nathan Smith.

Will said: “We had a good overall team – we won games in every position and it feels good to win.”

Whitgift were second, beating Morpeth and Coleridge 6-2, and Morpeth’s 6-2 win over Coleridge saw them take third.

Under-13 Girls

South Hunsley were relatively untroubled as they won all three matches at a canter to lift the trophy.

They beat Bradford Grammar and Bournemouth School for Girls 7-1, and recorded an 8-0 win over High School for Girls, Gloucester.

The winning squad was Jasmin Wong, Laura Barton, Amy Barton and Lauren Evans.

Lauren said: “It feels really good to win, I think what made the difference was how much we practised.”

Bradford finished second, beating Bournemouth 5-3 and Gloucester 8-0, while Bournemouth shaded Gloucester 5-3 to take third.

Under-13 Boys

Tanbridge House School (Horsham) took the title in a close competition.

They beat Longfield Academy (Darlington) 5-3 and St Mary’s College (Hull) 7-1 and clinched the title with a 4-4 draw against London Academy, Oli Michell beating Shikhar Pandey to tie up the scores in the last match.

Alongside Michell were Charlie Graham-Jones, Jacob Evans and Zac Hodges.

Charlie said: “It feels brilliant to win. I think we won because of our team chemistry and the support we had from each other was brilliant as well.”

London Academy were second, beating St Mary’s 7-1 and drawing 4-4 with Longfield, who were third having seen off St Mary’s 6-2).

Under-11 Girls

Great Wood Primary (Morecambe) edged out holders Fox Primary (Kensington) in a thrilling competition.

Both schools beat Enmore Academy (Somerset) 7-1, Victoria Dock (Hull) 8-0 and Barnes Primary (Richmond) 7-1.

A 4-4 draw between the two unbeaten sides meant countback was needed – and it was Great Wood who got the nod 10-8 on sets.

The Great Wood team consisted of Genevieve Holchaks, Rachel Lister, Zoe Grime, Eve Clement and Jessica Loxam.

Genevieve said: “We’re ecstatic. It needed determination and teamwork but we were nervous at the end – I was pacing around!”

Barnes were third, beating Enmore 5-3 and drawing 4-4 with Victoria Dock. Fourth went to Enmore, who beat Victoria Dock 5-3.

Under-11 Boys

One of the closest competitions saw The Park School, Bournemouth come out on top.

They beat Lincroft School (Oakley, Beds) 7-1 and Bramley Sunnyside Junior (Rotherham) 5-3, but were beaten 6-2 by Ashburnham Primary (Chelsea).

However, Ashburnham lost 5-3 to Lincroft and drew 4-4 with Sunnyside and had to settle for second place, ahead of Sunnyside – who beat Lincroft 6-2 – on countback.

The winning Park squad was Ewan Turner, Max Morgan, Sam Taylor and Hugo Jackson.

Sam said: “We were cheering on our team-mates really loudly and we didn’t get upset when we were losing.”

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