Kettering and District Table Tennis League-Junior Division
Saturday December 19th 2015 was a landmark date for the Kettering and District Table Tennis League as the first matches took place in their new junior division. After many years without a league dedicated to young players in the early stages of their table tennis careers, it is hoped that this new competition will enable and encourage more youngsters to take up the sport as well as helping to ensure that those youngsters who do attend the various clubs across the district stay motivated by providing them with somewhere to go to play some competitive table tennis against players of roughly their own age and ability level.
Six teams entered this inaugural event, with the Burton Baptist club providing half of these. They registered two teams of boys and one all girls team which was very encouraging given the lack of female players across the senior league presently. Corby Town provided two teams with a further team coming from St. Thomas More School in Kettering. Chris Ross has been the main driving force behind this team, providing a table tennis breakfast club there once a week, making use of the tables that the league purchased for the Ping! Project a couple of years ago.
With not much known about the abilities of most of the players, the six teams were placed into two separate divisions. Division A had Burton Boys A, Corby Town B and St Thomas More, with Division B comprising of Burton Boys B, Burton Girls and Corby Town B.
In the A division, it was Burton Boys A who proved to be the class act, anchored by Jacob Tattersall. Despite only being 12 years old, Jacob was the most experienced player on show. He is currently enjoying his second year of playing in the senior league, where he plays for the Burton Baptist team who are currently top of division two and he personally has a 72% win rate. He is also part of the Northants County Junior Squad and is an example to those rather less experienced players that were on show of what can be achieved through dedication and hard work.
The first match in Division A saw St Thomas More thrown into the deep end as they had to face Burton Boys A first up. Tattersall, partnered in this match by Simon Groome duly completed a comfortable 4-0 win against Sam Woods and Joe Loom.
Corby Town B and St Thomas More was the next match up and this game finished in a 2-2 draw. Dominic Cusk won both his matches for Corby with Woods and Loom gaining one win each over Amy Knott.
The final match in Division A saw Burton A score a 4-0 win over Corby Town B. Tattersall was replaced in this match by Vijesh Patel who had a close game with Cusk before claiming victory 10-12, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9.
In Division B, Burton Girls kicked off proceedings with a 3-1 over Burton Boys B. Daria Gulbicki won both her matches and Eleanor Ross won once. Samuel Tattersall picked up the Boy’s solitary win with Nathan Holmes unlucky this time round.
The next match in Division B saw Burton Boys B and Corby Town A share the spoils in a 2-2 draw. Adam Mills came into the Burton team to replace Tattersall and picked up both points with consecutive 3-1 wins. For Corby, George Toseland and Dylan Debell both saw off the challenge of Mills.
The Burton Girls team won the final match in Division B with a 3-1 win over Corby Town A. Olivia Ross, replacing her sister Eleanor, won both her matches comfortably but Daria Gulbicki was involved in two classics. First of all she edged out, Toseland 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9. However, Debell turned the tables on her with his own close win 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-6.
With St Thomas More and Burton Boys B finishing in third place in their divisions, they then faced off against each other in a playoff. Samuel Tattersall and Adam Mills were to prove just a little bit too strong and ensured the Burton team won 4-0 although both were well challenged by Sam Woods.
The battle of the teams that finished second in their respective divisions saw an all Corby clash. The B team’s Dominic Cusk took the bragging rights with two wins but with George Toseland and Dylan Debell both defeating Amy Knott, the match finished all square.
This left Burton Boys A and Burton girls to playoff for first place and unsurprisingly it was the boys team, with Jacob Tattersall back in their ranks, that took the honours with a 4-0 win. Tattersall won both his games in style but Vijesh Patel had to fight back from 2-0 down to Daria Gulbciki to earn a 10-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7 win. Olivia Ross also provided a stern challenge to Patel, losing 9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 9-11. Young Gulbicki was inconsolable following this defeat and so Eleanor Ross stepped in to play the final match against Tattersall.
1st) Burton Baptist Boys A
2nd) Burton Baptist Girls
3rd) Corby Town A
4th) Corby Town B
5th) Burton Baptist Boys B
6th) St Thomas More School