The seventh Bishop Auckland Bribar 2 Star was a popular event, with 86 of the country’s best young table tennis players participating and 12 players missing out due to oversubscription, demonstrating what a great reputation Bishop Auckland Table Tennis Club has for hosting national events.

The day began with the U11s, with top seed Gene McGhee finishing top of group 1. Group 2 however produced some surprises – second seed Leo Pontone lost to Rayhan Khan but managed to go through to the next round as second in the group.

Meeting McGhee in the semi-final, Pontone came out on top in four great games, showing great determination and passion. However, he once again lost to Khan in the final, Khan being just too strong for Pontone and winning in four games.

The U11 Girls event was a group of four which saw the girls fight for first place via round-robin. The results went as expected with top seed Lola McGhee in first, followed by her team-mate Lucy Gent. Anya Milne was third and Elise Watson fourth.

The U11 Boys’ plate final was won by Bishop player Luke Mitchell, beating Will Morris from Cleveland.

The Cadet Boys saw the seeds take control; the only one of the top four seeds to fall before the semis was Joe Cope, who lost to county team-mate Kieran Wardell in the quarter-finals before himself going down to top seed Will Ibbitson. The other semi saw fourth seed Will Dobinson take on second seed Tom Macintosh, with the latter coming out on top.

The final saw the top two seeds do battle with neither player backing down before Will took the fifth end 12-10. Bishop Auckland’s Sam Hume took home the Cadet Boys’ plate title, beating Aaron Radford from Yorkshire in the final.

The winner of the Cadet Girls was Rana Rassem from Darlington, who demonstrated great tactical advantage in the bottom half of the draw, she successfully made it to the final which saw her achieve a four-set win. Charlotte McCarty made her way to the final through the top half, taking out top seed Zoe Hewitt in the quarter-finals before a titanic battle with Katie Peacock in the semi to set up the final, losing out to Rassem. The Cadet Girls’ plate final saw Kelsey Bradley beat Catherine Balshaw.

The U13 Girls was a group of five round-robin due to a late withdrawal. The title was taken home by Cumbria’s Rebecca Rigg, going through unbeaten with u11 champion Lola McGhee finishing second with three wins.

Top Seed Thomas Rayner justified his seeding by winning the U13 Boys. The final saw him play second seed Peter Smallcombe, who beat third seed Luke Nimmo in his semi, while Rayner beat team-mate Adam Gent, who had knocked out fourth seed Charlie Tuner in the quarters. The plate event was won by u11 champion Rayhan Khan, beating Jack Hewitt.

Junior Boys' champion Sam Kwang
Junior Boys’ champion Sam Kwang

The Junior Boys also saw the seeds do the damage in the groups with the top four seeds all making it to the semi-final. Sam Kwang, the top seed, defeated third seed Will Ibbitson in four games and fourth seed Jack Cope beat second seed Frasier Riley to set up an all-Cleveland final, a final which saw Kwang come out champion. Chris Edwards picked up the Junior plate title, beating Cumbria’s Matthew Rigg in the final.

Zoe Hewitt went back to Hull as Junior Girls’ champion, beating fourth Seed Katie Peacock in the semi before beating Kelsey Bradley in three in the final. Kelsey took advantage of an open bottom half of the draw to progress to the semis, where she took out third seed Amy Webster, with clubmate Jessica Dunn winning the Junior Girls’ plate event, beating Lincolnshire’s Chloe de la Fontaine in the final.

Junior Girls' winner Zoe Hewitt
Junior Girls’ winner Zoe Hewitt

The Next Bishop Auckland Bribar 2 star is on January 31 – we hope to see you there.