This was the third of four fixtures in the Table Tennis England National Cadet League. Our A team were in a comfortable second place in the second division and just three points away from top. Ben Strapps aged 11, Thomas Hurst aged 11, Nathan Faun aged 12 and Sam Jeffries aged 12 were the squad of players who played in the five matches on the day. It is likely that the team will lead the division after the days play because they managed to lose just five of the thirty sets played on the day. They had a comfortable 5-1 win against Wirral A who were heading the division at the start of the day. Ben Strapps lost just two sets all day and losing just two more in the first two fixture should keep him in second place or may now be leading. Ben is now comfortably in the top 100 in the National Cadet League Rankings.
Thomas Hurst was just one set adrift of Ben at the start of the day and lost just one more set so should draw level with him. Nathan Faun and Sam Jeffries played their part in the teams comfortable wins. Full results will be available before the last fixture on the 6th March. Apologies to all players for not keeping more accurate figures but it is hard splitting time between our two teams matches when two sets are being played in each match so four in total ‘on the go’ at once!
The Academy have had more new players wanting to play competitive table tennis this season and we fielded three more who have never played a ‘proper’ table tennis match before. 11 year old Corey Wild was the ‘old hand’ having played in the first two matches and had won nine out of sixteen sets so had a very respectable 60% individual average in his first season of competitive ‘TT’. Team positions in this division, three or players averages are not as important as getting used to competitive table tennis and all that goes with it. The squad of four had tuition before the match day on the ‘etiquette’, serving, scoring, recording the match results and observing their fellow team mates matches. All four conducted themselves ‘impeccably’ on the day and had our one of our coaches on hand as well as parents and Committee Officials to help with anything that arose.
Lucas Reynolds aged just 8 years old played so well on the day and had granddad Bill Thornton for encouragement at the end of each game. Bill was a valuable asset to all of the B team players and his words of wisdom went down very well with them all. Some of you will know that Bill is Dad of Lindsey Reynolds. Lindsey became at top England player before she retired just a couple of seasons ago and has found time to become a valuable asset as one of the Academy coaches with a wealth of experience to draw on from all of her playing days.
12 year old Jozef Gordon has only been playing TT for a short while and managed two great wins on the day to add to the other two won by Corey. Our last new player was Josh Perrin aged 13 and though he came away from the day’s TT without a win he had the encouragement and support of his Dad as well as our coach Dave. If Josh continues his practice it won’t be too long before he gets his ‘maiden’ win. Full individual results and league tables will be available before the last fixture on the 6th March.
There are photos of all players in action on Sunday and can be seen in the Photo section of the website or below!