U13 Girls champion Anna Cole

High standards at Worcestershire Schools competition

Author:
John McKay

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The junior Worcestershire schools individual table tennis competition was held at St Egwin’s school in Evesham and the players provided some great table tennis.

The U13 Girls was contested by five players. Anna Cole from Blackminster School (Evesham) was triumphant, winning all her four matches. She was pushed all the way by twin sisters Rebecca and Sophie Arrandale from Bredon School (Evesham) who finished second and third respectively. Amy Brotherton of St Egwin’s School (Evesham) and Emily Grove of Bredon School (Evesham) are new to table tennis and put in a commendable effort.

The U11 Girls included six players. There was an early shock when the competition favourite Anna Blakely of Littleton School (Evesham) was beaten 3-2 by her school friend Matilda Neale. Robyn Davis and Brooke Wilde of Littleton and Hollie Brooke of St Egwin’s were fighting out the minor places.

When Bella Reid of St Egwin’s beat Blakley 3-2, a grandstand decider was set up between Reid and Neale. In a tremendous match Reid’s defence held firm against a continuous barrage of smashes from Neale to win 3-1. As well as her fine runners-up spot Neale went on to receive the competition ‘Sportsmanship’ trophy.

U11 champion Bella Reid
Matilda Neale with the Sportsmanship trophy

The U13 Boys drew nine boys from across Worcestershire. Group 1 included last year’s U13 winner Ben Robinson of St Egwin’s, his school mate Jamie Woodcock, Luke Fisher of Blackminster, Josh Bishop of Stourport High School and Thomas Hurley of Simon de Montfort school (Evesham).

Group 2 included Owen Bates and Rowan Snell of St Egwin’s, Johnny Blakely from Blackminster and Jamie Todd of Bishop Perowne College (Worcester).

In a fascinating competition Fisher lost his opening match against Bishop 3-2. He then went on to win his next three matches including a 3-0 defeat of Robinson. When Robinson went on to beat Bishop 3-2 the three principle players were all level on three wins each. In an agonising countback of most games won/lost, Robinson failed to qualify.

Group 2 was equally tense. Jamie Todd won the group comfortably, leaving the other three all on one win each. Blakely edged through on countback.

Fisher went through to the final with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Blakely and Todd prevailed against Bishop in an absolute cracker of a match, winning 14-12 in the deciding game of five.

Blakely claimed third spot, defeating the tired Bishop 3-1. In the final, Fisher produced some super destructive forehand drives against Todd to win a great match 3-1.

Luke Fisher, U13 champion and player of the tournament

The U11 Boys drew 17 boys from across the county. In group one Harvey Gough of Blackminster school inflicted a heavy defeat over his school friend Harry Hawkins-Pitt, winning 3-0. Both qualified for the quarter-finals.

Danny Norman (Blackminster) and Sullivan Millimono (Simon De Monfort) went through in group two which also produced the organisers ‘match of the day’ between seven-year-old Ben Fisher (Littleton) and nine-year-old Samson Belcher of Offenham school, (Evesham). Belcher went into a two-game lead (11-7, 11-9), only for the ultra determined Fisher to win the next three games 11-7, 11-9, 11-7 for the 3-2 win.

Arthur Kirby (Blackminster) topped group three, with Ben Fellows of Royal Grammar School Worcester coming second. Jack Tarran of Pinvin school (Evesham) topped group four, with David Cruz of St Egwin’s in second place.

The quarter-finals provided an immediate shock when Fellows beat competition favourite Gough 3-2, while Hawkins-Pitt beat Kirby 3-0, Tarran beat Millimono 3-0 and Norman beat Cruz 3-2.

The more experienced Fellows beat Tarran 3-0 in the first semi-final whilst Hawkins-Pitt defeated Norman 3-1. Norman claimed third place with a fantastic 3-2 win over the fast improving Tarran.

The final proved a one sided- affair. Fellows was now tiring and with his school friends providing plenty of vocal support Hawkins-Pitt cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win.

U11 Boys winner Harry Hawkins-Pitt

The ‘player of the tournament’ went to U13 Boys’ winner Luke Fisher. Having lost his opening match he showed great determination and fighting spirit to bounce back and become champion.

John McKay, WSTTA Representative, presented the trophies.

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