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Boys' table tennis team - county champions for 2018!

As winners of the B&NES schools table tennis championship, Ralph Allen qualified for the county final stage of the UK Winter School Games.

Hosted by the Centre for Sport at the University of the West of England, the UK Winter School Games encompasses a large variety of sports, where school teams from across the South West come together to compete at the highest standard of school level sport.

The table tennis competition included eight school teams with the very best players in the local area. The Ralph Allen 'A' and 'B' teams were both invited to compete, with a first round pool stage followed by knockout semi finals and grand finals.

The 'A' team of Harry Fairburn, Jake Barrington, Stan Cranch and Ryan Cordier showed great determination to win their pool beating St Gregory's 2-1, Oasis Academy 2-1 and St Bedes 3-0, with some impressive shot making and holding their nerve in some very close games with tight score lines.

The 'B' team of Adam Webb-Peploe, Archie Ball, Sam Horwood and Fraser Samuels also progressed through the pool stage with wins against Mangotsfield 2-1 and Oasis Academy 3-0.

The two pools then combined for the semi finals, with Ralph Allen 'A' being drawn to play against their fellow school friends in the 'B' team - a fun match with 2-1 win for the 'A's.

The 'B's progressed into the bronze medal match against St Gregory's, playing well but losing some close games to our local rivals, and finishing the competition in fourth place overall.

The 'A's took on Henbury in the gold medal match, a best of 3 format of both singles and doubles game play to decide the title. Ralph Allen came within 1 point of winning the first singles game, but the Henbury opponent played 3 superb points in a row to take it. This left Ralph Allen having to win the next two games to take the title, knowing that another loss would give the title to Henbury. Jake Barrington played the all important second singles game of the final and gave the best performance of the whole competition, soaking up the pressure, playing confident offensive table tennis, forcing his opponent to make mistakes and taking the win to the cheers and applause of his team mates. This gave Stan and Ryan the chance to take the title if they could win their doubles game. With all the other competitors watching on, they both stood tall and refused to buckle under the pressure from a talented Henbury duo. Points were won and lost, keeping the scores even right to the very end of the final game. 10-10 with two clear points needed. In flash those two point belonged to Ralph Allen, as did the county championship title for 2018.

A superb achievement with lots of personal bests and fabulous teamwork. Well done to all.

Mr Hancock, PE Team