The new season for Garstang Table Tennis Club got off to a great start with three players from the club representing the North West at the Sainsbury’s 2014 School Games held in Manchester from September 4-7.
Megan Dillon, Emily Bolton and Beth Farnworth, all from Garstang Table Tennis Club, together with Amy Hutchings from Warrington competed in the multi-sports event alongside 1,600 of the United Kingdom’s elite young athletes.
Club coach Graham Coupe also attended the games for the fourth year running as captain for the North West boys’ team.
The table tennis event took place at the Manchester Regional Tennis Centre, with 88 of the top-ranked players from around the UK taking part in team and individual competitions. The Tennis Centre was also used for the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
Both the girls’ and the boys’ team competitions consisted of two groups of four teams, all playing each other, followed by two final stage matches to determine final places.
First up in the groups, the North West girls faced Scotland. This match proved to be crucial but sadly the result went the wrong way and the girls emerged with a very close 4-3 loss. Next up came last year’s silver medallists England South West who proved far too strong.
Emily Bolton was the only North West player to record a win in the 6-1 defeat.
Finally the girls faced Wales. A win would place the North West team third in the group going into the final stages. This time the result went the right way with the team picking up a vital 4-3 win.
In the final stages the team played off against England North East and recorded a comfortable 4-1 win.
This left them with a chance of 5th place in the team event if they could overcome England Midlands. Again the team came through and finished 5th overall.
The North West boys finished fourth in what proved to be a really strong group. They went on to win the first final stage match and 6th overall in the team event.
The great start to the season continued last weekend with the Lancashire Trials being held at Garstang Community Academy sports hall for the first time, Saturday saw the trials for the Lancashire Junior team, at the end of the day four Garstang players made the grade, Alice Dillon, Megan Dillon and Chloe Ireland in the girls and Tommy Kennedy in the boys, they join two other Garstang players who were exempt due to their ranking, Emily Bolton and Beth Farnworth.
Sunday was Cadet trials day and things got even better with six of the seven available places going to Garstang players.
Tommy Kennedy, James Neal, Stefan Drljacsa, Megan Dillon, Alice Dillon and Chloe Ireland all made the team and will play In the County Championships Premier Division in January.
Tomorrow, September 18, is open evening at Garstang Community Academy from 6-8-30pm and Garstang Table Tennis Club players and coaches will be at the school in the gymnasium throughout the evening, so if you fancy having a go at table tennis then tomorrow is your chance - there are sessions available for primary school children, adults and juniors.