Once again, we made our way over to Plymouth – Plypton Academy – for the county finals of the English Table Tennis Association team championships. For several members of the team this was their first tournament and even their first competitive matches, so there all eight of our competitors were excited to be taking part and for some this was to be a completely new experience.
At the event there were three girls’ teams and six boys’ teams from across the county, including places like Okehampton and Torbay. Our four girls played exceptionally well against an array of opponents. They came second overall, being pipped to the post by a team of girls who had reached the national finals last year – of which one was England under 11 number one, and another was also ranked in the top 6. It was a great opportunity to play, and learn from, such an experienced team, and the girls took a lot away from their time in the tournament.
There were more teams in the boys’ competition which meant that they had to progress from an initial group stage to gain a place in the top 3. We had a difficult draw with our boys facing the England number 2 and a number of other talented individuals. On one of the tables a rally of almost 600 shots was played during a match! The boys came second in their group which meant that they went through to play for third or fourth position. The team rallied together in these games and in ‘best of 5’ sets, none of our team lost a single set, placing them in a very comfortable third place overall! Harry, who hadn't been to a tournament before managed to win every set he played through the day, so we'll done Harry!
Both of the teams should be very proud of their achievements, and though we didn’t manage to progress to the zone finals this year, they all had a great day and took home a medal! In 2019 we will be entering the individual tournament, so the squad will be practising very hard to be ready for that!