London Academy and Ormesby lead the girls’ and boys’ Premier Division standings respectively after weekend one of the Junior British League.

With well over 300 players in action in 15 divisions, it was a busy weekend at Derby Arena and satellite venue Draycott & Long Eaton TTC.

The Team of the Weekend awards went to Fusion (girls) and eBaTT (boys).

Girls’ Player of the Weekend was Lizzet Fazekas from Woodford Wells and the Boys’ Player of the Weekend was Joseph Dennison of Grantham Academy II.

Lizzet Fazekas receives her award from Table Tennis England Schools Committee Chairman David Maddison
Joseph Dennison with David Maddison
Premier Divisions

London Academy are unbeaten and top the Girls’ Premier by a point ahead of Grantham College.

The dropped point came in the second round of matches against Wensum, who stubbornly levelled each time after going behind on three occasions.

Sophie Barcsai beat Lara Whitton 3-2 (11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 11-7) to put London ahead, but Mari Baldwin then overcame Sienna Jetha 3-1 (11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4).

Nora Dohoczki won her two matches for London, defeating Saskia Key in five and Whitton in three, either side of Baldwin’s hard-fought 3-1 (8-11, 11-5, 13-11, 12-10) victory over Barcsai.

Key then sealed a draw for Wensum, beating Jetha 3-2 (11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9).

Grantham College lost only to London Academy, for whom Jetha’s five-set victory over Evelyn Pace clinched a 4-2 win. Grantham are themselves a point ahead of third-placed Wensum.

In the averages, Dohoczki won all six of her matches and of those who played a full set of 10, Barcsai and Grantham’s Hannah Silcock both won nine.

Ormesby have a three-point lead in the boys’ Premier Division having won four and drawn one of their five matches.

It was Fusion who took the point off Ormesby, and they were in a position to take both points as they came from 2-0 down to lead 3-2.

There were three matches which went the distance. First, Tom Rayner beat Larry Trumpauskas 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 4-11, 11-5 to make it 2-0 to Ormesby.

Yiannis Kazantzidis pulled one back for the Londoners with a 3-2 11-8, 9-11, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7) victory over Jake Haygarth, Trumpauskas beat Ben Piggott in three to level it up and Josh Bruce then beat Haygarth, again in five.

But Rayner sunk Kazantzidis in four to seal a draw and it turned out to be the only point dropped by Ormesby, although they did not have any 6-0 whitewashes.

Grantham Academy are second in the table with 6pts, one ahead of both Ackworth eBaTT and Fusion.

In the averages, Rayner leads the way with a 90% record from his 10 matches over the weekend.

Tom Rayner in action (photo by Chris Rayner)
Girls’ Divisions

Woodford Wells were perfect in Division One, winning all five of their matches to lead the way by three points from Ormesby.

With a three-point gap to third place, it looks as if the title will be between the top two on weekend two. Which means Woodford’s 5-1 win over their nearest rivals puts down a marker.

Two players have 90% records at the top of the averages – Lauren Loosemore of Next and Mabel Shute of Woodford Wells.

Division Two is tighter, as Cippenham and Ackworth both lost one match. Cippenham are just ahead on set difference.

The meeting between them was not as close as might have been expected as Cippenham won it 5-1 thanks to doubles for Rachael Iles and Mia Lakhani, including a fine 3-2 (9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8) win for Iles against Eva Eccles.

That match was in round three, with Ackworth winning all their other matches and Cippenham then losing 4-2 to Greenhouse in the final round – Jonabel Taguibao taking a double for the victors.

Iles tops the averages with an 80% win-rate from 10 matches.

In Division Three, Ormeau II lead the way and are unbeaten with four victories and one draw, to lead South Croydon by two points.

The draw was in the first round of matches when they were held by Bishop Auckland in a see-saw match which they led 1-0 and 3-2 before Auckland’s Emily Flynn secured a point with a 3-1 (12-10, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9) victory over Lily Smith.

That set Flynn on the way to a record of 8/9 to top the averages alongside Grace Looney of Ormeau.

Lillington have a 100% record at the top of Division Four and are three points ahead of Drumchapel Glasgow.

The meeting between the two was a 5-1 victory for Lillington, while Glasgow also dropped a point in a 3- 3draw with Fusion.

Esther Lam of Lillington won six out of six at the top of the averages, while team-mate Alyssa Nguyen and Fusion’s Jyothi Ghanta both won nine out of 10.

Fusion were Girls’ Team of the Weekend
Boys’ Divisions

Grantham Academy II top boys’ Division One having won four times and drawn 3-3 with Greenhouse. Grantham led three times in the that match and were pegged back each time, finally by a fine 3-2 (10-12, 11-7, 3-11, 11-4, 11-8) victory for Joel Osaghae over Joseph Dennison.

Mid Ulster are in second place with seven points, one ahead of Greenhouse, whom they defeated 4-2 in the final round of matches.

Grantham duo Harri Docherty and Sam Cooper both had 100% records from eight and six matches respectively.

Of those who played all 10 matches, Krish Chotai (Greenhouse) and Tom Colvin (Mid Ulster) both won nine.

Grantham Academy’s third team are top of Division Two but are only ahead of Nailsworth Phoenix on set difference. Both teams are unbeaten with three victories and two draws.

The victories all came on day one, and both drew in round four – Nailsworth with Draycott and Grantham against Britannia.

They then drew with each other in the final round as Grantham came from 2-0 and 3-1 down thanks to victories for Alexander Attew (in five against Samuel McIvor) and Gregory Fray over Jon Ramsbotham.

Nailsworth’s campaign was spearheaded by Bertie Kelly, and he tops the averages with a maximum 10 out of 10.

Completing a club hat-trick of sorts, Grantham Academy IV lead Division Three and are unbeaten, dropping points only in a 3-3 draw against London Academy in the final round. They had to come from behind and it was Joseph Marlor’s 11-9 fifth-set victory over Robert Ionascu which clinched the point.

Halton are second in the table a point behind Grantham – they won their other four matches including against London Academy.

Of those who played 10 matches, Grantham’s Harry Randall had the best average on 80%. Marlor won all six of his matches.

Birmingham TTA are top and unbeaten in boys’ Division Four. They won four matches and drew against Britannia II in the first round – which would turn out to be the only point Britannia won.

Lillington are second in the table having lost only to the leaders and won their other four matches.

Average-wise, Birmingham’s Chun Wai Sheung won all 10 of his matches, while Daniyal Palmer of Greenhouse II also had a 100% record, from six matches.

Division Five was ‘draw central’ as every team drew at least once and, in the case of London Academy II and Milton Keynes, four times each.

Milton Keynes find themselves bottom, having lost their other match, while London Academy are second having won theirs, illustrating how close the division is.

Top of the pile, though, are Cippenham, with two victories and three draws, putting them one clear of London Academy and two ahead of Bribar Cleeve Park.

In the context of the results, Milton Keynes’ Benjamin Dunkley can take great satisfaction from his 100% record from the full 10 matches.

eBaTT boast a 100% record to top Division Six, dropping only four individual matches across the weekend.

By contrast to the division above it, there was not a single draw. The points column reads 10-8-6-4-2-0, with Loop Dublin in second place.

Abraham Earl Sellado of eBaTT won eight out of eight and Cillian Kirby of Dublin won nine of his 10 matches.

Division Seven is headed by another team with a 100% record in the shape of South Croydon II, who lead Brighton by a point – the division has eight teams and the top two are yet to meet.

Croydon were led by Chidumebi Egbeama, who had a full house of 10/10. Vincent Ni of Loop Dublin II won eight out of eight.

Joola Plymouth beat everyone else in Division Eight to lead the table by three points from Ormeau II. The twins Hugo and Leo Nguyen both won all 10 of their matches for Plymouth.

In the five-team Division Nine, there are joint leaders. Kingfisher II are top on set difference, having won three and lost one, while Ackworth are second and unbeaten, with two wins and two draws.

The averages are headed by two players on 7/8 – Ackworth’s Jayden Keane-Thorn and Kingfisher’s Prayrit Ahluwalia.

eBaTT were Boys’ Team of the Weekend