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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Dowdales delight at table tennis championships

THE girls of Dowdales School showed their table tennis prowess with fine displays in the national finals of the English Schools Table Tennis Championships.

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SIBLING SUCCESS: Sisters Jasmine (left) and Robyn Halcrow were part of the Dowdales under-16s and under-13s table tennis teams who reached the national schools finals MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50026147B007

The Dalton school’s under-13s and under-16s girls teams both reached the final four in the country and battled it out at the showcase in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Both teams had progressed through a lengthy qualification process which saw them crowned as county champions, zone winners in Tyneside and regional winners in Blackburn.

The under-16s girls started their finals campaign in style by defeating Morpeth School, Tower Hamlets, 5-3, with wins coming from Emily Bolton (2), Jasmine Halcrow (2) and Georgia Stanway.

Eleanor Sedgwick came close to adding to the tally and Stanway just lost out in the deciding end against Morpeth’s number two.

Dowdales lost their next two matches against Walton Girls’ High School, of Grantham, and Evesham High School, of Worcester, both 6-2, with their wins coming from England international Bolton in both fixtures.

Bolton remained undefeated on the day, winning all six games and dropping only one end – a remarkable achievement at a national final.

The results meant the under-16s finished third nationally and they will be motivated by the fact only Sedgwick is in Year 11, with two of the girls in Year 8 and one in Year 9, meaning they have at least two years left to play together.

The under-13s were making their second appearance at the national finals, having played together last year in the primary competition for Askam Village School.

Moving up a level was always going to be a big step for the talented bunch of girls.

Their first match was against Bridge Academy, from Hackney and was a tight contest, Dowdales just losing out 5-3. Robyn Halcrow, Tara Tappenden, Katie Sedgwick and Lucy Woods all played well in a high-pressure situation and did extremely well against the team who would finish the day as runners-up.

Tappenden, playing at number three, won both of her games, with Halcrow also taking a point.

Despite losing their next match 8-0 against Haygrove School, Somerset, there were some notable performances, as Sedgwick nearly pulled off a coup by defeating an opponent from the team who would be national champions, losing out in five after playing some wonderful table tennis. Tappenden also missed out in the final end of one of her matches.

Dowdales’ final match against Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School was much closer. In an enthralling contest, they lost out 5-3, with wins from Tappenden, Halcrow and Woods.

The team finished fourth in England, and all four are eligible for next year’s under-13s competition.

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