England boys romp to gold, but it’s silver for girls
Strength in depth was the secret of success as the ESTTA boys’ team stormed to the top of the podium at the NatWest Primary Schools’ International Champiosnhips.
The team of Freddie Osenton-Brown (West Yorkshire), Jamie Liu (Berkshire), Kai Ghazi Timms (London North), Chamika Weerasinghe (Kent) enjoyed 10-0 wins over Wales, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey at the event held at Fort Regent, Jersey.
Scotland and Ireland provided stiffer opposition but victories of 7-3 over Scotland and 6-4 over Ireland gave England the title. Ireland took silver and Scotland the bronze.
The girls’ team of Katie Holt (Hampshire), Danielle Kelly (Surrey), Molly Hancock (Staffordshire) and Mollie Paterson (Norfolk) started strongly with a 10-0 win in Session 1 over Isle of Man, but then came up against a strong Ireland team and despite a spirited performance, lost 7-3.
They bounced back from this defeat by recording a 10-0 victory over Guernsey and 9-1 win against Wales and knew that the final match against Scotland, who like them had lost only to Ireland, was crucial if they were to finish second in the event. A tightly fought match of eight singles and two doubles finished 5-5, making the two countries equal on match points. And at 19 games each, it took points difference to give England the silver by a margin of 368 to 345.
NPCs Teresa Bennett and Tim Holtam congratulated the young players upon their success.
The Individual Championships showed the strength of several players from the other Home Countries with Owen Cathcart and Mia O’Rahilly-Egan (Ireland) winning the boys’ and girls’ titles respectively. England’s Jamie Liu, Freddie Osenton-Brown and Mollie Paterson won bronze medals.
by John Arnold (9th April, 2014)