Junior national champion Ethan Walsh is in a strong-looking BATTS line-up

Tough competition expected as JBL returns

Author:
Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

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

Grantham College begin the defence of their Junior British League title at Derby Arena at the weekend, with only one of last year’s winning line-up returning for what looks like a wide open competition.

Luc Miller is the only player young enough to return from last year’s squad, which was branded as Cliffedale Chandlers Grantham College.

Now simply Grantham College Boys, the squad is completed by Max Stevens, Sam Chesterman and Connor Green. It is certainly a capable collection of players, though there are other teams which perhaps present a better case for winning the title.

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The other top-four finishers last season – Fusion, Ormesby and Dublin, are all sure to be in with a shout. Ormesby have the strongest of those teams on paper as they call upon three top-12 youngsters in Cadet national champion Thomas Rayner (no 5 in the ratings), Ben Piggott (No 8) and Josh Weatherby (No 12).

Art McLaughlin and Dillon Byrne are again in Dublin’s ranks, while Fusion are spearheaded by Joseph Hee, who is second in the ratings list.

BATTS and TableTennisDaily are also sure to be in the mix. BATTS are led by Junior national champion Ethan Walsh, closely followed by Joe Cope, giving them the No 1 and No 3 in the ratings. They are backed up by David Gofton (No 10) and Dan Hearne-Potton.

Meanwhile, TableTennisDaily have the No 6 and No 7 in the ratings – Amirul Hussain and Louis Price – along with top Danish youngster Daniel Simonsen.

The Premier Division line-up is completed by Swerve and Draycott & Long Eaton, both of whom are capable of picking up results – the latter have Rhys Davies, No 4 in the ratings, at the top of their order.

The Girls’ Premier Division does not include last season’s champions London Academy, who are now in Division One with a much younger line-up than last season – though the Ianau sisters Natalia and Patricia do return.

Grantham College Girls will have designs on emulating the boys champions from last year and are have the highest-rated player in Megan Gidney (No 3), backed up by top-20 players Danielle Kelly and Raquel Sao Pedro, alongside Gracie Edwards.

Ackworth School boast Ruby Chan and Jasmin Wong, respectively at No 4 and No 5 in the ratings, while the No 6 player Anaya Patel is part of a strong-looking Kingfisher team alongside No 10 Darcie Proud, Ireland’s Mia O’Rahilly Egan and Norway’s Katarina Wetzel.

Wensum can call upon Cadet national champion Mari Baldwin, No 8 in the ratings list, and the player one place above her, Millie Rogove.

Cardiff City are also more than capable, with two players from just outside the top 10 in the shape of Beth Richards and Lara Whitton.

The division is completed by Draycott & Long Eaton, Fusion and Joola Plymouth, all of whom have solid line-ups capable of picking up points.

It promises to be as keenly contested as ever. In all, there are eight boys’ and four girls’ divisions, with 40 tables in operation at Derby Arena.

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