Junior table tennis tournament

The most successful North Herts junior table tennis tournament for years took place recently. This year s tournament attracted an entry of 38 youngsters ranging from just six through to 18 and the future of the sport in North Herts looks well assured. Ele

The most successful North Herts junior table tennis tournament for years took place recently.

This year's tournament attracted an entry of 38 youngsters ranging from just six through to 18 and the future of the sport in North Herts looks well assured.

Eleven-year-old Toby Nicholson maintained a high standard of play throughout the evening and came away winning the handicap event.

And 13-year-old Danielle Reid, also from Hitchin, overcame the odds to battle her way through to a final.


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In the under-14 boys, it was the pre-tournament favourite Stevenage's Luke Walsh (currently England ranked number 28 under-13) who came through to take the title.

Glen Verdon took him all the way in what was by far the most thrilling match of the evening with both putting on a tremendous display of attacking table tennis.

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Luke finally edged home 11-9 in the fifth leg, and it was soon to be trophy number two for him as he also triumphed in the under-19 event beating James Selby in four legs.

Sister Natasha Walsh (England ranked number 40 cadet) lived up to her pre-match favourite billing and made no mistake in winning the girls' under-14 final.

She did, however, fail in her bid to take both titles when losing a thrilling 12-10 fifth leg encounter in the under-19 event to Buntingford's Abigail Moore.

The family of the late Peter Thurman, a stalwart of table tennis in the North Herts area, were thanked for presenting the Peter Thurman memorial shields to the winners of both under-19 events. Also thanked were the English Table Tennis Association chairman Alex Murdoch and his wife Val who presented the other prizes, the organisers, and also all the juniors and their parents.

Final results

Boys' U19: Luke Walsh beat James Selby.

Girls' U19: Abigail Moore beat Natasha Walsh.

Boys' U14: Luke Walsh beat Glen Verdon.

Girls' U14: Natasha Walsh beat Danielle Reid.

Open doubles: Luke/Natasha Walsh beat James/Chris Selby.

Handicap event: Toby Nicholson beat James Selby.

* More than 40 players fought to win their divisional singles title in the Herts table tennis closed tournament.

It was played on a dozen tables at the Hitchin Boys' Sports Centre.

In the Premier, it was girls on top with Sandra Harper beating her county team-mate Sarah Hudson in the semi-final and going on to beat Reno Phyo, seeded one, in the final.

Sandra will be representing North Herts with her sister Janice Laing in the Rose Bowl finals in Derby next month.

In Division One, Ola Adegblugbe played well to beat Mark Mastalerczk to reach the final against top seed Rob Adamson where Rob showed the reason for his top seeding by winning the trophy.

Division Two, with only a difference of three per cent between them in the season end averages, Royston club members Julian Lugg took the match from Abigail Moore to get to the final where Arto Viravorian proved too strong for him on the night.

In Division Three, four juniors made it through to the quarter-finals with three going through to the semis. The final between two juniors, Glen Verdon and Charlie Baines, made for an exciting, attacking match which saw Glen triumph.

The trophies were presented by Alex Murdoch, chairman of the British Table Tennis Association.

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