This season’s Junior Table Tennis Tournament took place at Elmhurst last Friday with 10 youngsters competing for the trophy. With last year’s winner, Aaron Taylor and previous winner, Rose Luscombe both absent, we would herald a new champion.

Players were split into three ‘round robin’ groups, which included seeded players, Matt Bradbury (Bucks CC), Joe Gerrans (Elmhurst) and Georgina Lark (Tring). Quainton based Matt, whose Dad, Phil, had won this trophy in 1979, faced Nathan Ball and Ethan Luck both representing Elmhurst. He progressed smoothly as expected, with Ethan taking the runners-up spot in this group with a five game victory against Nathan.

In the second group Will Shackleton, Cadet Champion from 2010, upset the odds with a fine victory against Georgina Lark and won the group with strong wins over Dominico Palmigiano and Richard Lu. Georgina took second place. Joe Gerrans won the third group after coming back from 0-2 to beat Jake Davis in five games whilst also beating new Elmhurst player, Jake Finch.

This produced two semi-final groups, the winners of which would face each other in the final. Group One featured Matt Bradbury, Jake Davis and Will Shackleton. Jake played patient defensive table tennis in an attempt to frustrate his attacking opponents but they persevered to play each other for the final spot. Will was spectacular in his variation of hitting to take a 2-0 lead but Matt gathered strength from his focused attack and ran out winner in the fifth game 11-9.

In the second group Ethan Luck did his best to upset the odds against Georgina and Joe. He had little success but will fare better in the future with his left-handed stroke play. Joe won a close battle with Georgina to face Matt in the final.

Both youngsters have enjoyed success in the Aylesbury and District League this year and have represented the Vale in The Carter Cup. Matt arguably has faced tougher opposition in Division Two but Joe is a quick learner from Division Three. However, Matt was a step ahead in this encounter and won in three games showing some clever spin attack. Congratulations go to new champ, Matt Bradbury and commiserations to runner-up, Joe Gerrans.

Many thanks go to the Organiser, Brian Whitehead and also to the parents and supporters who made this a thoroughly enjoyable event.

View the full results here