Junior British League
Draycott Teams Head for Promotion
Last weekend saw many of Britain’s top junior table tennis talent converge on Derby for the first round of Table Tennis England’s Junior British League. Derby Arena hosted this prestigious event where 74 teams played on 36 tables amidst the spectacular velodrome setting where over 250 players from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Jersey, and Guernsey battled in out for the honours as the teams were arranged in 11 Divisons of 6 teams and one Division of 8 teams.
Derby’s top table tennis Club - Draycott & Long Eaton based at the Draycott Table Tennis Centre fielded 2 boy’s teams and 3 girl’s teams. The Boys ‘A’ were in Division 1 and faced tough opposition in their 5 matches over the weekend and were led by Nottinghamshire’s Naphat Boonyaprapa (14) who won 8/10 matches. Teammate Addi Duhan (Yorkshire) won 4/10 but an outstanding performance from new signing Ugur Sglik, a student from Turkey won 7/10 matches and saw the team finish joint top of the league with 3wins, a draw and a loss
The boys 2nd team had recently qualified to play in Division 4 and proved to be the dominant team winning all five of their matches with 10-year-old Poww Boonyaprapa (Ranked No.1 at U/11 in England) winning all 10 of his matches but was backed up by teammates 17-year-old Joe Abbott and Jack Finney (15) who won 9 and 6 matches respectively and if all goes well in the next round of matches in February the team should progress up to Division 3.
Draycott Head Coach Phil Vickers commented “It was a terrific effort from both of our boy’s teams who are in contention to gain promotion – The venue and facilities are fantastic and it would be great to see more table tennis events being held at the Derby Arena”
The Girls section saw Draycott’s ‘A’ team compete in the Premier Division and were dealt an early blow as Nottingham’s Amy Humphreys ranked No.10 had to withdraw after suffering an arm injury in last weekend’s Womens’ British League but her team fought really hard and currently lie in 3rd place behind London Club Ellenborough and Burton Uxbridge after two wins, two losses and one draw.
The team’s top performer was England No.4 Junior – Kate Cheer who won 7-10 matches and beat England No.2 Junior Emily Bolton but only suffered defeats to England No.3 Denise Payet, Burtons’ Letitia McMullen (ranked 5) and a incredibly close 21-19 in the 5th game defeat to Germany’s Gina Reick.
The Girls ‘B’ team were in Division 1 but were without the services of their No. 1 – Megan Dillon but the team still managed 4 wins and 1 defeat where Lauren Evans and Bhavika Mistry both won 7/10 matches and 3rd player Grace Potter won 6/10 and put the team in a close 2nd place two points behind league leaders Warrington.
The 3rd team comprising 13-year-old Alice Dillon, Aimee Evans (14) and 16-year-old Lucie Hancock were in Division 2 and found the going tough recording one win, one draw and 3 defeats so will be looking to fight off relegation when the final round of British League matches return back at the Derby Arena next February.