Ten Leamington & District League youngsters gave good accounts of themselves at the National Schools’ Championships at Tipton Sports Academy last Saturday.
Ricardo Bolanos of St Augustine’s School came second in his initial under-11 boys’ group, with his only loss being to Dylan Tynan of Cornwall.
This took him to the knock-outs where he lost a very close match in five to Tom Rayner.
Representing Surrey but now a pupil at Sydenham School, ten-year-old Nikit Sajiv qualified third in his group after beating Black Country champion Joshua Webb , Matthew Wentworth of Lancashire and Alexander Robinson of North Yorkshire.
He then lost in the first round of the knockout stages to Naphong Boonyprapa of Nottinghamshire.
Robbie Fitchford of Warwick School narrowly missed out on finals’ qualification in the Under-13 boys’ section, finishing third. He lost -5,-11,-8 to England number one Ethan Walsh of Hertfordshire and in four to Devon’s Ben Edmunds but had eye-catching wins over Thomas Poynter of Hampshire, Kyle Day of Hereford and Worcestershire’s Alistair Witheford.
Sophie Rinnhofer of Widney Junior School in Shirley made the last 16 in the under-11 girls’ event where she had a titanic battle with England number 36 Alana Mansfield from Essex, losing in five.
Ciara Hancox of Princethorpe School played some exceptional table tennis in the under-13 girls’.
She defeated Chloe Pryke of Cambridgeshire, Loren Hutton of Cumbria and Vicky Hudson of North Yorkshire before playing England number one Charlotte Bardsley (Stafforshire).
Hancox fell 11-4 in the first, was level for a long way in the second before falling to seven and then took Bardsley to deuce in a game that she could easily have won.
However, third spot was a very creditable return.
In the afternoon, Myton’s Timmy Cooper just failed to qualify for the final stages of the under-16 boys’ but enjoyed good wins over Robert Reaton of Tyne and Wear and Naphat Boonyaprapa of Nottinghamshire.
Surrey champion Milan Sajiv, now a pupil at Myton School, showed his potential in the under-16s where he a further two seasons, while 16-year-old Lee Dorning (Southam School) posted two excellent wins in the under-19 category.
Fifteen-year-old Lisa Rinnhofer, who attends Tudor Grange Academy in Solihull, had some close tussles in the under-16 girls’ and will be eligible for the age group again next season, while 15-year-old Katie Singleton (North Leamington School) gave away a few years in the under-19 girls’ but performed well.