South Yorkshire held its annual Schools individual championships at the English Institute of Sport on Tuesday organised by the English Schools Table Tennis Association South Yorkshire secretary Shaun Alvey with support from the Albert Premier table tennis club based in Sheffield. The event attracted 80 entries from across South Yorkshire.

In the under-11s boys’ championships there were 14 entries split in to four groups, with each player battling to win the each group to qualify for the semi finals.

Adam Szabo proved too strong for his opponents in Group A with a commanding display of table tennis, the pupil from St Albans Primary School, Rotherham, winning the group without dropping a game. Greystone’s Primary Pupil Deano Abdul Hussein from Sheffield proved to be the the surprise package in the group with two impressive wins to finish runner-up.

Lewis Ellams from Bramley Sunnyside Primary school dominated Group B, going through unbeaten and without dropping a set.

In Group C the winner was decided on countback with Sam Wagstaff (Bramley Sunnyside Primary), Jacopo Marshall (Greystones Primary) and Matthew Grime (Lydgate Primary) all battled hard and winning one match each. Matthew, from Sheffield, was the group winner.

In the final group, Josh Wilkes from Bramley Sunnyside Primary won the group for the Rotherham school with wins over Billy Wales and Robin Christer.

The semi-final line-up comprised Adam Szabo taking on Matthew Grimes and it was Adam who progressed with a 2-0 (11-4, 11-5) victory. The second semi-final went to the third leg as Lewis Ellams beat his school-mate Josh Wilkes 2-1 (11-8, 7-11, 11-6).

The final, over five games, was a close affair with very little between the boys. Adam won game one 12-10 and the second 11-7 but then Lewis battled hard to win game three 22-20. But Adam claimed the crown for the second year running with victory in Game four by 12-10.

The girls’ under-11s championships was played with one group of four players all from the same school in Rotherham (Bramley Sunnyside Primary). Amy Marriott dominated by winning all her three matches, scoring 66 points in her three matches but only losing 11 in total in her three matches. Isobel Ward claimed runner-up with victories over Lucy Hannigan and Georgia Dixon.

In the under-19s girls’ championship, Emily Walker from Wickersley School in Rotherham was crowned champion and progresses to the National Championships in April.

In the boys’ competition, five players battled it out in a round-robin competition with a good standard of play being witnessed by the coaches and teachers. Harry Saxton (Wickersley Rotherham) won the title with victories all through the group and only lost one leg to Edmond Lau, also from Wickersley, who finished third. Michael Taylor claimed the runner-up spot with victories over Jonathon Rawson (Birkdale), Josh Drake (Wickersley) and Lau.

In the under-13 girls’ competition, Lucie Smith from Wickersley dominated the group of three with impressive wins over Sarah George (Tapton School) and Hannah Jarvis (Wickersley). Sarah won the runner-up position with a good win over Hannah.

There were only two girls in the under-16s competition but Amy Gittings (Rossington) and Jessie Truman (Bethany) had a classic five-set final. Amy won the first time game 11-6, Jessie took the second 11-7 Amy came back to win the third but Jessie again levelled 11-8 in the fourth. But it was Amy who won leg five 11-4 to become champion.

The under-13 and under-16 boys’ championships were run as a straight knockout with over 20 entries in each. To enter in to the spirit of the game a Plate championship was also held in the respective age groups for the losing players from round one.

In the quarter-finals in the under-13s, twin brothers Will Burton and Dan Burton (Wickersley) fought out a close match with Dan progressing to the semi-finals.

In quarter final two, James Chenery (Silverdale) had a comfortable victory over Jamie Jones from (Birkdale), dropping only 11 points. Jake Chan (Birkdale) made the semis with a straight sets victory over James Blackburn and the last quarter-final saw Luke Burgess (Silverdale) beat Ben Atkinson (Tapton) in straights sets.

The semi-finals saw James Chenery beat Jake Chan 3-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-7) and Luke Burgess made it an all-Silverdale final with a 3-0 victory over Dan Burton (11-4, 11-2, 11-1).

Both Silverdale pupils battled it out for the title, with the victor certain of a place in the national championships in Wolverhampton in April. In a close-fought encounter with very little between both boys it was James who took the title, winning the final 3-0 although the scores were very close – 13-11, 11-9, 17-15.

In the under-16s the boys’ play was of a high standard. In the quarter-finals, Tom Clarke (Birkdale) beat Alex Selway (Saint Pius Rotherham) 2-0 (11-2, 11-8); Jeremy Hamshaw Thomas (Silverdale) beat Alexi Anderson 11-9, 11-5; Isaac Fraser defeated Nathan Robert 11-3, 11-9; and Barnsley boy Jake Cutts (Shafton) overcome Jamie Atkinson (Tapton, Sheffield) 11-8, 11-2.

Semi-final one brought school team-mates Jeremy Hamshaw Thomas and Tom Clarke together and both boys played with no fear and entertained the spectators with a five-set thriller. Jeremy won the final leg to claim his place in the final with a scoreline of 3-2 (11-5, 11-13, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8). Semi-final two was a straight sets win to Jake Cutts over Issac Fraser (11-5, 11-4, 11-4).

Under-16 winner Jake Cutts and runner-up Jeremy Hamshaw Thomas with Shaun Alvey
Under-16 winner Jake Cutts and runner-up Jeremy Hamshaw Thomas with Shaun Alvey

In the last final of the day between Jeremy Hamshaw Thomas and Jake Cutts saw Jake prevail in three straight sets with scores of 11-7, 11-2, 11-9. Both boys played the final in a great spirit with excellent skills.

Many thanks to all for the Help on the Day and EIS in Sheffield for hosting the event.

Roll of honour

Under-11 Boys
Champion Adam Szabo (St Albans) (Rotherham); Runner-up Lewis Ellams (Bramley Sunnyside Rotherham)
Under 13 Boys
Champion James Chenery (Silverdale (Sheffield); Runner-up Luke Burgess (Silverdale)
Under 13 Girls
Champion Lucie Smith (Wickersley); Runner-up Sarah George (Tapton)
Under 16 Boys
Champion Jake Cutts (Shafton Barnsley); Runner-up Jeremy Hamshaw Thomas (Silverdale)
Under 19 Boys
Champion Harry Saxton (Wickersley Rotherham); Runner-up Michael Taylor (Wickersley Rotherham)
Under 19 Girls
Champion Emily Walker (Wickersley Rotherham)