Last weekend saw the Butterfly Schools National Team Event Regional Finals taking place in Blackburn, Lancashire. Representing Rotherham was Bramley Sunnyside Junior School in both the boys and girls events. First we come to the boys, Josh Wilkes, Sam Wagstaff, Lewis Ellams and Finlay Wootton, all from Rotherham Scorpions J.T.T.C. All four had a tremendous day with Finlay winning four out of his six and the other three all winning five from theirs. This joint effort proved magnificent and enough to make them the regional winners and get them through to the Butterfly National Finals on the 9th May at Hinckley, the last four teams in the country. Last year they made it to the final. Let’s hope that they can go the one step further this year.
Playing for the girls was Amy Marriott from Scorpions, Isabelle Ward, Hannah Walby and Olivia Cooper, all yet to join a local club. Unfortunately this was a step too far for the girls, despite Amy being undefeated throughout the whole competition. They could not progress any further. However, Amy will be representing England in a couple of weeks at the home internationals in Blackburn. Brilliant success for both teams despite the girls exit from the competition. All down to the youngsters hard work and their coach Mick Barlow who has spent many an hour over the last few years producing quality junior players at Bramley Sunnyside and Scorpions.
Meanwhile in the Rother Valley League Mason Arms A challenge for the title had a small setback last week. They were up against their own C team at their East Herringthorpe W.M.C. venue. John Christian, Matt Bacon and Mark Seddon had turned out to play against them. First on, Bacon against Foster, which the former won quite clinically in three games. Gary Firth hit back for the A team in five against Seddon and Mick Brookes also won his first to give the A tem 2-1 lead. The match continued in this vein to the stage where the A team had secured the first point of the night with a 5-3 lead. The penultimate match was Christian against Foster and a massive battle took place which went to the final game where Christian just sneaked the win 11-9 to take it to the deciding set of Bacon versus Firth. Bacon was just too good on the night completing his hat-trick and meaning that the spoils were shared. A good point for the C team but a crucial lost point for the A team who now languish nine points behind the top spot with only five matches left.
In the same division Phoenix B met Clifton A at their Mexborough venue. Tony Linggard, Terry Curran and Colin Scott turned out for the home team against Chris Cattell, Mick Large and Joe Addy. Cattell was in fine form as he too all three of his on the night, all in three straight games. Addy supported with a win over Scott and a vital doubles gave both teams a point.
In Division Three title challengers Scorpions G saw off their club mates in the I team 7-3 to continue the pressure on Phoenix F who also won last week. Nine year old Adam Szabo played exceptionally well to defeat Lorraine Swift and Dan Fisk and maybe should also have won against Phil Richardson but didn’t quite keep his patience long enough.
In Division Two Scorpions C sent their D team packing with a 6-4 victory. Alex Bland, Lewis Robinson and Michael Taylor all sharing the spoils. Masons E just pipped bottom placed Phoenix D 6-4. John Hallgarth put up the biggest fight for Phoenix taking two sets but Masons’ Steve Wilson, Ryan Brooks and Dave Sayner were just good enough to take the win putting them third in the division.