Budmouth is blossoming

Dorset Echo: GREAT START: Budmouth’s Sam Millar, Lily Cherry and Tom Cherry GREAT START: Budmouth’s Sam Millar, Lily Cherry and Tom Cherry

Budmouth College B have made a very bright start to their second season in the Weymouth & District League with two wins in their opening Division Three fixtures.

The youngsters narrowly overcame Colliton C 21-18 at the Charlestown school before edging past Shipton Gorge C 21-19 just 24 hours later and Budmouth’s table tennis co-ordinator Neil Hardisty was full of praise for his charges’ efforts.

The club stalwart said: “It is amazing that our three 14-year olds – Sam Millar and Tom and Lily Cherry – have beaten two experienced sides and it shows they are now reaping the benefit of playing a full season last year at a tender age.

“They only managed a single victory last season, right at the end, but all their hard work is paying off and it had been good to see them going for their shots while learning from the mistakes they made last year.”

Against Shipton, Budmouth showed real mettle to fight back from 18-15 down with Lily Cherry (4) brilliantly shooting down Peter Green (6) 3-1 before teaming up with twin Tom Cherry to steam home 3-0 in the all-important doubles to sneak the contest 21-19.

Dave Poole, for the visitors, had battled hard all night to take a nine-sets maximum but Tom Cherry (8) had taken him all the way to five sets in the eighth rubber and the youngster was to avenge that defeat in the winner-takes-all doubles.

On the previous evening, no single player was to dominate with Bud-mouth’s haul spread around the team although Millar top-scored with a fine seven sets that included a five-sets win over Peter Loakes (8).

Again the doubles proved pivotal to the final result with the score at 18-17 after Lily Cherry had outwitted Val Bundy (1) 3-1 in the final singles.

This time Millar and Tom Cherry delivered in the deciding rubber and despite dropping the first set 11-8 they narrowly took the next three sets 13-11, 11-9, 11-9 to earn overall victory on the night.

Meanwhile, Budmouth’s C team of Lewis Cockram and two newcomers – Ben Graham and Bradley Burroughs – made a positive start to their third tier campaign when they went down 21-13 to another experienced outfit, Dorset Youth Service B after losing their opener 24-10 at Colliton C. Hardisty added: “Ben (6) in particular has caught the eye with two wins that night and then lost to Paul Hammond (9) in a tremendous tussle.

“He is a real prospect for the future while Lewis (4) came from 10-1 down against Val Bundy at Colliton to win 13-11 in the fourth leg before taking the fifth set to clinch that match. Ben and Lewis then played brilliantly to take the doubles 3-1.

* Adults wishing to give the sport a try can head to the Wey Valley Tennis Centre on Saturdays from noon until 1pm. For more details contact Andy Millar on 772743.

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