The County Championships Cadet Premier Division unfolded at Wood Green Academy, with eight teams in contention – Cheshire, Derbyshire, Essex, Lancashire, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex, and Warwickshire. The two-day event featured intense competition, exceptional performances, and thrilling encounters.

Day 1 Highlights: In the opening round, Essex defeated Surrey 7-3, Middlesex triumphed over Sussex 7-3, Warwickshire dominated a weakened Cheshire 10-0, and Derbyshire secured a 6-4 victory against Lancashire.

Round 2 witnessed Middlesex and Essex overpowering Cheshire and Lancashire with convincing 9-1 victories. Warwickshire faced resistance from Surrey but emerged victorious with a 6-4 score, while Sussex edged past Derbyshire by the same margin.

In Round 3, Warwickshire claimed the table lead on sets difference by beating Lancashire 8-2. Essex moved into second place with a similar 8-2 win against Derbyshire. Middlesex secured a 6-4 victory over Surrey, and Sussex continued their winning streak by defeating Cheshire 9-1.

Notable performances on the first day included Ryan Goodier (Sussex), Janak Shah (Middlesex), Evie Knaapen (Essex), and other standout players who showcased their skills and determination.

Day 2: Day 2 kicked off with an early start at 9.30am, featuring four rounds of intense matches. Surrey dominated Cheshire 10-0, Essex defeated Sussex 7-3, and Middlesex secured an 8-2 win against Lancashire. Warwickshire faced resistance from Derbyshire but clinched a 7-3 victory. Notable matches included Eesah Jamaluddin’s thrilling five-set win for Surrey and Charles Donald’s impressive performances for Essex.

In Round 5, Essex topped the table by set difference over Middlesex after a hard-fought 7-3 victory against Warwickshire. Middlesex overcame Derbyshire 6-4, while other teams battled fiercely with numerous five-setters and four-setters.

The penultimate round saw Essex and Middlesex facing each other, resulting in a draw, with Essex topping the table on sets difference. Warwickshire drew with Sussex, diminishing their hopes of a silver or gold medal. Surrey defeated Lancashire 8-3, and Cheshire secured their second draw, this time against Derbyshire.

Final Round and Conclusion: In the final round, Essex thumped Cheshire 9-1 to clinch the trophy, while Middlesex finished as runners-up after a 7-3 victory over Warwickshire. Surrey beat Derbyshire 8-2, and Sussex secured a 7-3 win against Lancashire.

The winning Essex line-up

The weekend showcased outstanding match play from young talents, providing a glimpse into the future stars of English table tennis.

The organisers commended the efforts of all participants and celebrated the eventful weekend, acknowledging the potential of the young players. The County Championships Cadet Premier Division not only delivered exciting table tennis but also emphasised the skill development and competitive spirit within the cadet category. Congratulations to all the teams for their exemplary performances.