Bournemouth 1 secured the Under 18s team event on a count-back as the South West Regional Team Championships came to a nerve-racking climax.

A huge crowd had assembled around the centre court in the very last encounter of a long days play. George Downing (Bournemouth 1) had to face Dominic Sussex (Okehampton 1) to keep Bournemouth’s team hopes alive in the very final match trailing at 4-5.  Downing had all the pressure upon his shoulders in a must-win situation to force a draw and take the championship to a count-back.

Both players fought tooth and nail in a brilliant advertisement for top class table tennis giving their all in a hugely pumped up and tense atmosphere. It was all class and positive play with these two young men opening up at every opportunity to seek a winning chance to gain every single point played. Many lightning fast exchanges graced Waterside’s playing arena with all the supporters from both camps getting behind their players.

It was nail-biting stuff for so many who had played their part in a brilliant day. George finally gained a very close result by three games to one over Dominic. After some deliberation it was announced that the Bournemouth 1 side had secured the title by just a slender two games margin. Huge credit to the Okehampton 1 side who were defending the title that they won last year and gave just about everything.

Bournemouth's winning team

The time will long be remembered as a superb day in the playing calendar of everyone who took part and also to so many coaches on the day that helped to organise the championships that were held at the Waterside Club in Totton, Southampton for all the right reasons.

Around 50 players had assembled from all parts of the area for this bi -annual team event organised by Paul Whiting, the South West’s Regional Coach, to promote table tennis in the region by providing highly competitive sport. It was a time for everyone to get together; players, coaches and parents to support and encourage each other in a very friendly yet competitive atmosphere.

Teams from Bournemouth, Okehampton, Filton, Bridgewater, Brixham and Plymouth took part in the Regional squad’s Under 18s team event plus the Region’s Development Under 13s squad team Championships.

The previous Inter-Regional Tournament was held at Filton Academy in Bristol and resulted in Bournemouth’s Under 18 team lose on count-back to Okehampton 1 in the final, so revenge was a sweet reward for the new and younger players coming through with Hugo Pang, Finn Morgann Bayliss and Jamie Trevillion joining Patrick Hurley and George Downing to form the new team.

Filton’s first team of Jack Cross, Oliver Tyndall, Jake Young and Henry Jones proved the team to beat in the Under 13 development event. They overcame Bournemouth 1 and Plymouth 6 -4 in two nail biting matches before really turning up the heat and dominate Bournemouth 2, 9 – 1 in the final match of the day and this gave them the title.

Many thanks to John Fox at Waterside for offering his superb club facilities to host these championships as well as Paul Whiting for putting it all together. On the day, everyone was a winner – there were no losers.

By Geoff Ware

Filton's Under 13 winning side

Final Placings;

Regional Squad Under 18  Team Championships;

Bournemouth 1     9      points        (on countback)

Okehampton  1     9      points

Okehampton  2     5      points

Okehampton  3     5      points

Bournemouth 3    2      points

Bournemouth 2    0      points

Development Squad Under 13 Team Championships.

Filton 1                       10 points

Plymouth 2                  8 points

Bournemouth 1           6 points

Bournemouth 2           4 points

Brixham 1                    1 point

Filton 2                         1 point