All five of the school’s competitive Table Tennis Players (Max & Rhys Davies, Nick & Chris Moustaka and Harry Griffiths) were nominated by the Southport Table Tennis League to compete in the Lancashire County Trials held recently in Garstang.
All five played in the U/18 category against the best players in Lancashire and Cumbria with the objective of being selected to represent Lancashire in the County Championships. Lancashire have two Junior Teams competing in the Premier Division for the top eight counties with the 2nd team competing in Division 2! There would be up to seven places for boys’ and five for the girls’ to fight for. The contestants play in a series of round robin matches which then result in a county ranking from 1 to 30!
Top seed Rhys got off to a good start by winning his original group (including a win against Harry) to ensure that he remained in the battle to rank the top twelve. Only the top two in each of the six groups make this phase while all the 3rd, 4th and 5th placed players play off for places 13-30. Unfortunately, and despite some good wins, the four other players did not make the top twelve.
The second phase saw three groups of four play to reach the final part of the selection process. The three group winners would play off for positions 1-3, the runner’s-up for places 4-6 and so on. The draw had produced a particularly tough group for Rhys with all four players having previously represented Lancashire. Despite this he continued to excel, winning all three matches without dropping a set to make it through to the top group, where he continued to dominate and winning 3-1 & 3-0 to top the rankings.
This means that Rhys will represent Lancashire for the 3nd year in a row at U/18 level and this time he will lead the 1st team in the premier division against Sussex, Nottinghamshire, Kent, Middlesex, Yorkshire, Hampshire & Glamorgan.
Harry returned the next day to start the process again in the U/15s with Rhys automatically selected and ranked at No.1 due to his high national ranking. Harry gained valuable experience and notched up his 1st win at this level which augurs well for the coming season.