Hannah Saunders took the individual title and England girls the team gold at the British Primary Schools Championship in Guernsey. England boys won team silver and picked up three individual medals.

After a two-year break because of covid, England took on teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Jersey and hosts Guernsey.

Photos courtesy of Guernsey Table Tennis Association – click here to see more on the GTTA Flickr page

Click here for full results from the competition.

Girls’ Singles

Hannah Saunders took gold for England with a 3-1 (11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7) victory over Lily Elliott of Wales. Bronzes went to Scottish duo Nikki Mo and Nichole Lee – the latter beaten 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-7) by Saunders in the semi-finals.

Saunders defeated team-mate Amber Lemmon in the quarter-finals by a scoreline of 3-1 (10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8).

At the same stage, England’s Alyssa Nguyen was beaten 3-2 (15-13, 6-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7) by Elliott, while Charlotte Wong went out 3-0 (11-6, 14-12, 13-11) to Mo. Chantelle Leather reached the first round, where she was overcome 3-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-6) by Amelie David of Wales.

Hannah Saunders with the trophy on the girls’ podium
Boys’ Singles

There were three medals but not the gold for England as Aarif Li, Theo Kniep and Pablo Ramirez-Rioja reached the semi-finals.

Ramirez-Rioja had a lengthy battle with eventual champion Boris Bonchev of Ireland, going down 3-2 (12-14, 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-2) in the first semi-final, while in the all-England clash, Li defeated Kniep 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 11-7).

Li fought hard in the final, but Bonchev won it 3-1 (11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-9) to take the gold.

In the quarter-finals, Li had defeated team-mate Teagan Khazal in three close games (11-9, 14-12, 11-9), while Rex Ho went out in the last 16, 3-1 (8-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4) to Joe Mulhern of Scotland.

From left: Aarif Li, Boris Bonchev, Pablo Ramirez-Rioja, Theo Kniep
Girls’ Team

England started with a 10-0 victory over Guernsey and then faced Scotland in what proved to be the pivotal match.

They led 1-0 but Scotland hit back to level, but four successive England victories put them on the verge of victory. However, they had to wait as they lost the next two, including Nichole Lee beating Saunders 3-2 (11-9, 5-11, 8-11, 14-12, 11-6).

Alyssa Nguyen, who won all three of her matches including the doubles, clinched it with a 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-0) win over Padma Unnam and England won 6-4 overall.

A 10-0 victory over Jersey followed and England then faced a ‘Wales Mixed’ team which included two Welsh athletes, one from Jersey and England’s Chantelle Leather.

England went 1-0 down but won the next five. Again, they had to wait for victory as they lost the next two, before Nguyen beat Leather 3-0 (11-6, 11-2, 11-2) to seal a victory. Englsnd won 7-3, with Nguyen and Wong winning all three matches.

It meant England won gold, Scotland silver and Wales Mixed bronze.

Boys’ Team

England started with two 10-0 victories over the Guernsey A and B teams, and followd up with an 8-2 victory over Scotland – one of the defeats an eye-catching 3-1 (5-11, 11-6, 12-10, 19-17) win for Joe Mulhern over Li.

Another 10-0 win followed, against Jersey, to set up a decider against Ireland, who had won all their previous matches 10-0.

Ireland took the first match but England hit back as Li beat Peadar Sheridan 3-2 (11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 2-11, 11-8).

Ireland then took charge, winning the next five before victories for Ramirez-Rioja, Ho and Kniep. put a gloss on the scoreline, which finished 6-4. Boris Bonchev won all three for Ireland, including the doubles, beat Li 11-9 in the fifth.

Ireland took gold, with England getting the silver and Scotland the bronze.

The England contingent in Guernsey, including non-playing captains Dave Pilkington and Teresa Bennett and head of delegation Steve Burge