Schools compete in table tennis championship

SIXTY pupils from 12 different schools competed in the Northumberland section of the English Schools’ Table Tennis Association 2012-13 National School Championships for individuals.

The event was organised by Cramlington Table Tennis Club and held at Cramlington Learning Village.

For many of the pupils it was their first experience of such a competition.

The largest entry was in the under-16 boys, with entries from Ashington Academy, Ashington High, Bellingham Middle, Blyth Academy, Cramlington Learning Village, King Edward VI, Morpeth, Ponteland High, Prudhoe High and Richard Coates Middle, Ponteland.

The players competed in eight groups of three with the winner of each group qualifying for the quarter-finals.

The final was played out between Adam Shafiq and Arran Kent, who play for Cramlington as Cramlington Ravens in the Northumbria Table Tennis League.

Kent took the first end 11-4 with Shafiq replying in an 11-4 victory in the second.

Not to be outdone, Kent reversed that score in the third and then went on to take the fourth 11-9 for the match and event.

There were four groups of three competing in the boys’ under-13 event, which the four entrants from Richard Coates Middle School dominated as all reached the semi-final stages.

In the eventual final Andrew Potter beat Will Capps 11-5, 11-6, 9-11, 11-2.

Prudhoe High School provided three of the semi-finalists for the under-19 boys’ event – Luke Masters, Nick Hirst and Darren Graham – but Cramlington Learning Village’s Ryan Guttridge beat Graham in the final.

Seaton Sluice Middle school provided most of the competitors in the under-11 and under-13 events.

In the under-11 girls, Lilli Tiekiera was the winner gaining victory over her school friend Katie Jenkins.

In the under-11 boys, there was a three-way tie between Josh Morton (Cragside First, Cramlington), Liam McDonald and Aaran Gunn (Seaton Sluice). A count back on number of points showed Morton to be the winner with McDonald and Gunn gaining second and third place.

There was only one under-16 girl so Jessica Waugh competed with the under-13 girls to ensure she had some games and was clearly ahead of these in experience.

The under-13 girls event was won by Jasmine Ireland, who, as a first time player showed a good deal of experience in defeating Sam Hulme and Beckie Hodgson from Seaton Sluice.

Winners of each section will be eligible to compete at the national finals in Doncaster on the April 20, if they so wish.

Thanks went to Cramlington Learning Village who again provided the venue for the competition and to Cramlington Table Tennis Club forthe organisers and the equipment.

Thanks also went to the staff of the competing schools for entering their pupils and all those who played and brought their good sporting attitude to the event.

U11 boys’ Josh Morton (CF); runner-up Liam McDonald (SS); U11 girls’ Lilli Tiekiera; runner up Katie Jenkins (both SS); U13 girls’ Jasmine Ireland (CJLV); runner-up Sam Hulme (SS); U13 boys’ Andrew Potter; runner up Will Capps (both RCM); U16 boys’ Arran Kent (BM); runner up Adam Shafiq (KEVI); U16 girls’ Jessica Waugh (AH); U19 boys’ Ryan Guttridge (CLV); runner up Darren Graham (PRU).