After being crowned Lancashire champions in November, the Garstang Community Primary School team of Tom Ruston, Tommy Kennedy, Ben Keay and Owen Bendall were in action again on Saturday in the next round of the Butterfly National School Team Championships.
This time they were facing the winners from Cumbria, Shropshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire, the winner to be crowned champions of the whole North West of England.
In the group stages the teams were split into two groups, in their group the Garstang team first met Askam Village School from Cumbria who they defeated 5-3, Tom won 2 matches, Ben won 2 and Tommy chipped in with the remaining point to secure the victory.
Nevill Road Junior School from Stockport were next and the scoreline was the same, a 5-3 victory for the Garstang team, Tom again won 2, Ben won 1, and Tommy stepped up his game to win 2
After winning their group the team were then through to a semi-final against St. Columba RC Primary School from Barrow In Furness, who finished runners-up in the other group. The match was a tense affair swinging one way and then the other, Tom Ruston scored two fantastic victories for Garstang and Ben and Tommy one won each to give the Garstang team a 4-2 lead with two matches remaining. However the opposition fought back, Owen Bendall battled hard but went down 3-0, which left Tommy Kennedy to try and secure a victory, after having match points in the 4th game Tommy eventually lost the match 3-2, making the final score 4-4.
There was a nervous wait as it was revealed that not only had the teams drawn 4-4 in matches, but due to Tommy managing to win 2 games in the last match they had drawn 15-15 in games as well!
it was now down to the organisers to add up the individual points that each team had scored. After what seemed like a lifetime it was revealed that the Garstang team had won by just a single point 271–270!
The final was against St Mary’s Preparatory School, Blundellsands, Liverpool, and it turned out a more comfortable result than the semi-final with the Garstang team emerging 5-3 winners. Tom Ruston won 2, Tommy Kennedy won 2, and Ben Keay chipped in with the remaining point.
The team are now in the last 16 in the country, and go on to meet the winners from the North East and the Midlands on Saturday, March 5, at St Bede’s Sports College, Blackburn.
Tom Hynes from Garstang was also in action at the event, playing for Lancaster Grammar School in the Under 16’s, he helped his team win their competition and also progress through to the next round on March 5.