Eight of Paignton’s finest table tennis players travelled to Plymouth for the County Schools Table Tennis Championships.   The best in Devon assembled for a full day of thrilling competition, with well over 30 tables hosting matches in different age groups.  The winners were assured a spot at the National Finals later in the year.
The four PCSA U13 players faced fiercely contested group games, where only the top two could qualify for the knock out stages. Ben, Sam and John all won games, but narrowly missed out, each in third place in their respective groups.   It was left for Jamie to fly the Paignton flag, progressing as the winner of his group as he battled it out in the knock out rounds.   He met his match as a powerful forehand got the better of him one to many times in the deciding game, where he just missed out 2 games to 1.
The U16s had an even tougher task.  Three of the team have another year in the age group and the fourth player, Herbie Sage, has another two years in the age group.  Even with the ages and odds stacked against them, all four won their group games comfortably and progressed to the knock outs.
Ben Hoare was the first to falter in the second round of knock outs in a very closely contested match, losing out 2 games to 1.  Matt Cooper and Herbie Sage both progressed to the same stage as Ben but were drawn against each other!   They pushed each other to the limit, with some top class shots, until Herbie managed to edge ahead and make it to the quarter finals.   Herbie then went on to beat Ben’s victor before losing out in the semi finals.   Lenard, played some fantastic table tennis and progressed well, narrowly losing out to the eventual winner of the whole tournament in the quarter finals.
All eight players were exceptional ambassadors for the Academy and backed up their fantastic demeanour with some top class play.
The future looks bright for all of the players!

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