TABLE TENNIS: Champions Budmouth are aces

CHAMPIONS: Budmouth A, Brad Burroughs and Ben Graham with Neil Hardisty, left, and Simon Burke

CHAMPIONS: Budmouth A, Brad Burroughs and Ben Graham with Neil Hardisty, left, and Simon Burke

First published in Sport

THE second year of the Schools Junior League has finished with 30 teams and more than 70 young players taking part over the six rounds.

Budmouth’s experience again won through to win the Ronald Burke Memorial Trophy, but All Saints and Wey Valley performed well to take a share of the top positions and can be really pleased with their progress.

Most pleasing is the progress of younger players, in particular at Holy Trinity Primary School. Not only did Holy Trinity win Division Four but their team progressed into the top flight to take on some of the Budmouth and All Saints adult league players.

It was the experienced duo of Ben Graham and Brad Burr-oughs who won Division One, though the All Saints’ trio of Brad Webb, Dom Webb and Dan Dadds ran them close and even beat the Budmouth side in an early fixture.

In Division Two, Budmouth C’s Ethan Gear and Will Jolliffe brushed aside the disappointment of early relegation from the top division to win the lower league convincingly, only dropping one point in the process. All Saints B were runners-up.

Division Three saw the closest contest as All Saints C and Wey Valley H tied at the top, with Wey Valley B also not too far behind.

Regulars at both after-school clubs competed in this division and it was pleasing to see the progress these players have made during the season after regular practice.

Division Four saw Holy Trinity B record double the points of their nearest rivals Holy Trinity D. Ethan Clark, Travis Reynolds and Louis Gear were unbeaten with maximum points scored.

This year, the girls extended to two divisions.

The top flight contained some of the best girls in the county with the likes of April Heasman, Snigdha Maganti, Erin Stow, Lilla Baktai and Bethan Jones providing a very competitive league.

Budmouth proved to have the edge over All Saints, but only just as the league went down to the last round of fixtures.

In the girls’ development division, it was once again Holy Trinity who proved to be on top with Rosa Mckechnie, Edith Dedman and Isobel Stainer proving just too strong for runners-up, All Saints G, Olivia Bailey and Chloe Clarke.

League spokesman Andy Mill-ar said: “Many thanks to the league sponsors, the family of the late Ronald Burke, who was a player and coach for many years in the Weymouth League and to Simon Burke who presented the trophies.”

From September regular after- school clubs will run at secondary schools – All Saints (Mon-days), Wey Valley (Wednesdays), Budmouth (Wednesdays – girls, Thursdays – boys), Thomas Har-dye (Wednesday).

Holy Trinity will continue to run clubs on a Thursday for boys and Friday for girls. A new initiative from September will be a primary school club which will run from All Saints on a Monday.

The cost will be £1 and the aim will be to introduce the sport in a fun environment for both boys and girls.

For any table tennis enquiries, contact Millar by email at a.millar212@gmail.com or telephone 772743.

n Table tennis will return to Weymouth Beach over the weekend of July 26 and 27 as part of the Weymouth Sports festival.

First introduced during the Olympics, the table tennis tables have proved one of the most popular activities and is an ideal opportunity for all abilities to go along with the family and try the sport for the first time.

The league will be supporting the event along with some of Weymouth’s talented youngsters.

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