Weymouth girls win table tennis crown

COUNTY UNDER-16 CHAMPIONS: A mixed team from Budmouth and All Saints’ Schools came out on top in a team challenge at Avonbourne College. The line-up is, left to right: Bethan Jones, Lily Cherry, Molly McNern and Snigdha Maganti

COUNTY UNDER-16 CHAMPIONS: A mixed team from Budmouth and All Saints’ Schools came out on top in a team challenge at Avonbourne College. The line-up is, left to right: Bethan Jones, Lily Cherry, Molly McNern and Snigdha Maganti

First published in Sport by

WEYMOUTH’S top juniors have enjoyed success at two events – the Dorset Schools Under-16 Girls’ Championships and the Dorset Schools Team competition.

In the former, four girls from the resort excelled to run out winners in the competition held at Avonbourne College and included teams from the hosts, Twynham and two teams from Bournemouth School for Girls.

In order to fill a team of four players, the Weymouth side were allowed to play two girls from Budmouth College – Lily Cherry and Snigdha Maganti, and two from All Saints – Molly McNern and Bethan Jones.

Budmouth’s table tennis co-ordinator and Weymouth & District League chairman Neil Hardisty led the team and he was thrilled that the girls were able to come out on top pipping BSG1 by a single game – 13 wins to 12.

“Each girl was ranked one to four and they played against their opposite number in all of the other four teams, a single game up to 15,” said Hardisty.

“Snigdha and Lily won all their games and the closest anyone got to Lily who played at number one was 15-3, so she was very dominant on the day.

“I thought Bethan from All Saints was fantastic as, together with Molly, they have only been playing since Andy Millar set up an after-school club at the school in October.

“Bethan played a very natural backhand and forehand drive, just consistently getting the ball on the table which paid off. As for Molly, well she only won one game, but that was so important as it gave us the edge over Bournemouth in the end.”

Hardisty remains hopeful that the team will be allowed to go on and represent Dorset in the South West Regional Championships in Plymouth on January 20 despite being made up of players from two schools.

Earlier in the month, Lily Cherry proved a match for the boys too as she was given per- mission to play in the boys’ event alongside twin brother Tom Cherry, Sam Millar and Ben Graham.

“The team did very well to reach the semi-finals and were a credit to Budmouth, the Weymouth League and themselves. “However, the event showed they still have to bridge the gap to compete against the top juniors in the Bournemouth area,” added Hardisty.

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