Youngsters take centre stage as season draws to a close
- Credit: PA
The annual Star Paving Services North Norfolk League youth tournament was held at North Walsham Sports Centre.
There were 24 players from the Aylsham, Mundesley and North Walsham clubs organised into two competitions – one for league players (under 18s) and one for non-league players (under-16s).
The non-league players were organised into two groups on a round robin basis where everyone played two sets up to 11 against the rest of their groups.
The winners of each group were Thomas Mountain and Jim Crossley and they faced each other in a brilliant final, played over the best of three sets. Jim took the first on the golden point with intelligent defensive play but Thomas came back to win the next two sets with powerful hitting on both his forehand and backhand.
The two runners-up in each group should have been able to compete with Thomas and Jim in semi-finals, but it was impossible to separate a number of players in each group who had performed well. There was also not enough time to hold semi-finals. Those who came close to being runners-up should congratulate themselves for getting so close to Thomas and Jim after a demanding set of fixtures.
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Overall the standard of play, commitment and behaviour of everyone who took part was impressive and all the players should take a great deal of credit for making the afternoon such a success. There were many stand-out performers but a special mention should go to Maisie Crossley who won the trophy for the most improved player and Robert Clarke who had not played a competitive game before, yet showed real effort and no little skill.
The five league players – the Dyson brothers from Aylsham, the Lester cousins from North Walsham and Thomas Rooke from Mundesley - all played each other in matches over the best of three sets and the final was played between Harley Dyson and James Lester, Harley winning 11-9, 11-8, 12-10.
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The quality of the table tennis played on this table was very high with Ben Lester, Fletcher Dyson and Thomas pushing Harley and James all the way.
Thanks are due not only to the players but also to Pat Johnson and Becky from the Sports Centre, Mary Sawyer for running the raffle and the parents and coaches who attended and contributed to the great atmosphere.