This season there is a new competition for Cadet and Junior players called the National Cup. Players ranked 1-6 nationally are automatically granted a place and then the National Coaches select up to 4 more players to attend the round robin format tournament. Each match is also best of 7. Charlotte Bardsley had qualified for both cadet and junior events by her ranking.
The cadet competition was held at the WISE campus in Bristol. Charlotte was seeded two and over the two days of the competition won 7 out of 9 matches. Denise Payet won all of her matches and so secured the gold medal. Another player, Mollie Patterson, also won 7 matches so the silver medal was decided on head to head count back between Charlotte and Mollie. Since Mollie had won what was a very close match in the 7th end in deuce, she claimed the silver with Charlotte getting the bronze.
The competition then switched to the Junior event two weeks later at Milton Keynes. In this competition Charlotte was seeded 5th. Her first match of the competition was against the cadet gold medalist Denise Payet. Charlotte reversed the result of the cadet competition with a convincing 4-2 victory. She then played Letitia McMullan, a player she had never beaten before. Charlotte scored another good victory, this time 4-0. In the 3rd round she faced Mollie Patterson the cadet silver medalist and came back from a 0-2 deficit to make it 4-2 and three wins out of three. England cadet, Jasmin Wong was next up and again Charlotte played her best table tennis to make it four out of four with a 4-0 win. The last match of the day was against one of the top England juniors, Kate Cheer who had beaten Charlotte in the East Midlands 4* junior semi final. The sets were shared at 2-2 but then Charlotte exerted her control on the match and won the 5th and 6th ends, to make it an incredible 5 out of 5 for the day. With top seed Emily Bolton having a surprise loss to the 6th seed Gauri Duhan, this meant Charlotte ended day 1 in first position.
Day two started with a key match against Emily Bolton who was clearly fired up after her loss the previous evening. Charlotte found it hard to settle into the match and it ended with a 0-4 loss to Emily. However Charlotte knew that if she won her remaining 3 matches she was assured of silver and if Emily slipped up then Gold could still be hers. In the end, Charlotte did win all of her three matches including a strong performance against Gauri 4-1 but Emily also won her matches. This meant that Emily got gold, Charlotte silver and Gauri the bronze.
This is now the 3rd masters type event for Charlotte and each time she has come away with a medal.