Hawks wing in with a selection of silverware

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Paul Stimpson

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Haworth Hawks celebrate their success

Haworth Hawks Table Tennis Club celebrated a haul of silverware at the Keighley & District AGM last week. The Haworth Hawks A team of Matthew Mellor, Martin Vickers and club coaches Andy Bray and Paul Bryant won the Division 1 title, and Paul picked up his trophies for winning the Men’s Singles and Veterans titles at the Keighley Closed competition in March.

Despite his team, the Haworth Hobbies, finishing sixth in Division Two, David Melbourne won the trophy for having the best player win average in that division, and also picked up the Jack Webber trophy from the Keighley Closed. John Sharples, of Haworth Hen Harriers who finished as Division Four runners-up, jointly won the best win average trophy for that division.

But the real stars were the club’s junior team Haworth Sparrowhawks, made up of Oliver Bryant, Ben Farrar, Josh Poulsen, Morgan Reed, Maddy Silberberg and Nicole Turton. The team won the Division Four title, the Dave Boothman Trophy handicap, and the Allan Ripley Trophy for most doubles wins in the league.

Ben Farrar received his trophy for winning the junior competition in the Keighley Closed and young Oliver age 10 received the trophy for winning the Handicap but was also named most improved player in the league.

Oliver in particular has had a fantastic first season competing for Haworth Hawks. In his first tournament he reached the final for U11s at Blackpool and became West Yorkshire Schools champion in January. He won Division Three of the local Cadet league along with team members Aliza Khaliq, Emily Mellor and Brendan Murphy. He then went on to qualify in the U11 and U12 category for the National Championship held at ponds Forge in Sheffield in June and reached the last 16 at that competition in the U11s.

Haworth Hawks had its best results ever at the U11-U14 Nationals as Aliza Khaliq, the West Yorkshire Schools U11 Girls Champion, also qualified in both the U11 and U12 age categories and reached the last 16 in the U11s.

Aliza and Oliver were joined at the tournament by Morgan Reed, the Bradford League junior plate winner, and Emily Mellor, the West Yorkshire Schools U13 Girls Champion, and Grace Fellingham-Webb in the U14 category. Morgan, Emily and Grace were unable to progress from the group stages. Head Coach Andy Bray’s pre-tournament advice had been simple ‘Play with a good attitude and try your best’, and they all five made the club proud.

Chair and coach at Haworth Hawks, Bob Yorke, said: “We are really being kept on our toes now by the juniors. We have to use all our skills to keep ahead of them. Our top junior team achieved fourth place in Division Three in just their second season. It is great that so many of our youngsters have something to celebrate.”

That team of Spencer Hurd, winner of the club’s Christmas Tournament, Nathan Ward, Grace Fellingham-Webb and Jethro Rainford were supplemented by some of the Sparrowhawks playing up a division in some matches.

The club would like to thank the adult members of the Keighley League who have helped our youngsters along the way with tips and encouragement. Table Tennis in Keighley and Yorkshire generally is really thriving.

To mark National Table Tennis Day on Thursday July 16, Haworth Hawks and Keighley Table Tennis and Recreation Centre are holding a free open session 7.30pm to 9pm open to everyone of any age who would like to give the game a go. Email [email protected]. You could enter Table Tennis England’s competitions Best Selfie, Best Trick Shot and Design a Bat (under 16s only) deadline for entry July 23.

The club won an outdoor Ping table last year in a Table Tennis Day competition with Maddy Silberberg’s bat designs. The table pictured above with many of our Haworth Hawks junior champions is now being used at Cowling Village Hall and will be in use at Cowling Primary School on National Table Tennis Day.

There will also be a couple of Table Tennis Camps operating at the Keighley Table Tennis Centre this summer for five to sixteen year olds. They will be lead by Janine Bromley, Level 2 schools coach and former England Squad player. The first camp runs July 20-25, 9am-3pm and the second August 3-7, 9am-3pm. Cost £50 for five full days or £15 per day. Contact [email protected]

Judith Silberberg
July 14, 2015

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