BUDMOUTH took five teams to Bristol to represent Dorset in the Regional round of the ESTTA Team competition, with the winners progressing to the national finals in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Each participating school entered a team of four players but Budmouth managed just two wins on the day as the competition moved up a level from the South West Zonal round in January/

Budmouth's under-16 girls beat Holte School from Birmingham 8-0 but lost 5-3 to Dane Court Grammar School from Broadstairs who, although the result looks close, were the better team on the day.

The good news is that Jaimee Browne, Ella Stanton, Sophie Storey, Rosa McKechnie will still be eligible for the competition next year, allowing for a further twelve months to improve and attempt to get to Hinckley next year.

The under-19 boys' teams of Ben Hannigan, Will Jolliffe, Liam Critchard, Ethan Gear could not match the standard of the other three teams they played losing 6-2 to both Whitgift School in Croydon, last year’s national champions, and Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College.

There was also a 7-1 loss to Ashlawn School in Rugby. However, the boys did not wilt under the onslaught and put in some really good performances against some top quality opponents.

Elsewhere, George Ackerley, Jed Brackenridge, Ted Paul, Sam Melhuish in Budmouth's under-13 boys' team lost 6-2 to Sacred Heart School in Southwark, 5-3 to The Westgate School in Winchester but beat Chesham Grammar School 6-2.

The team put up a really good show and have improved significantly due to taking part in this event.

Budmouth's inexperienced under-13 girls team of Lydia Britton, Ebony Wood, Ashleigh Browne, Jess Moggeridge lost all three of their matches 5-3 against Bredon Hill Academy, Evesham, Richmond Park Academy, London and The Thomas Aveling School, Rochester.

Given that two of the team only started playing table tennis this academic year they have many more years to develop their skills.

Budmouth's final team, the boys' under-16s of Nathan Calton, Tom Lydford, Josh Clark, Jamie Blair, drew 4-4 with Tunbridge Wells Grammar School and Marling School, Stroud but lost 6-2 to Ernest Bevin College, London.

With a less experienced team than last year it was going to be difficult to repeat the success of reaching Hinckley, and playing Ernest Bevin in our first match didn’t give the boys any time to settle. Nevertheless they put up a strong performance and came close to beating Marling.

It is difficult to mention individual performances in this competition because individuals play opponents of varying standards but Budmouth's three individual County Champions Jess Moggeridge, Jed Brackenridge and Jamie Blair each won five of their six matches and will each represent Dorset in their respective gender age groups at the National Finals in Wolverhampton in April.