England’s teams finished out of the medals at the ISF World Schools’ Championships in Israel.

Playing against school and selected teams from the likes of China, Chinese Taipei, Belgium, Greece, Germany and France shows competitors from other countries, including those from England, the standard for which they need to aim.

Following group matches, all teams moved on to play-off fixtures. London Academy, following losses to teams from Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic, moved to the play-off for 13th to 17th positions. A good 4-1 win against Armenia, with Theo Achampong, Omar Khassal and Eren Gozcu all contributing, led them to a 13th/14th play-off against Brazil which was won by the South American team 4-1, leaving the Academy in 14th place overall.

Grantham College, playing in the Girls’ School Championships, have been ably led by Emily Bolton who was the only player in her group to take a match from Chinese Taipei. In spite of her efforts and the team’s win of 6-1 against Israel (2), they moved into the 9th to 15th play-offs. A 4-1 win against Georgia followed by defeats against India (4-2) and Bulgaria (4-2) left them finally in 12th place. Beth Cook and Grace Potter were the other team members.

The Girls' National Team
The Girls’ National Team

The England Girls’ National Team of Kate Cheer, Gauri Duhan, Letitia McMullan and Denise Payet will look back at their group results knowing their 4-3 defeat by the hosts Israel led to their third-place finish and a move to the play-offs for the minor places.  A win would have put them in the mix for a medal. In the 5th to 8th play-offs they defeated Guatemala 4-1, which was then followed by a loss of 4-0 to India, giving them a sixth-place finish.

The Boys’ National Team (Billy Forster, Tom Jarvis, Alex Ramsden and Alec Ward) also finished third in their group of five. The 4-3 loss to Brazil in their first match proved to be their undoing, particularly as Brazil edged a 4-3 victory over Israel, who England had easily defeated 6-1. In the 5th/8th place play-offs, a 4-0 win against India and a repeat performance against Israel (4-1) gave them a respectable fifth place.

The ISF Championship programme continues today with cultural visits in and around Eilat followed by a ‘Night of the Nations’ celebration. Tomorrow sees the Individual Championship knockout with losers moving into a ‘Friendship Doubles’. The Closing Ceremony is to be held in Herod’s Amphitheatre in Eilat.