SOPHIE Ackred made a big impression on her debut at the PG Mutual National Table Tennis Championships.

The Barrow starlet played t the top of her game to claim the silver medal in the under-10s event in Wolverhampton.

Nine-year-old Ackred won three of her four matches in the round-robin event, taking on some of the best players in the Table Tennis England rankings.

She started with victory over the number three seed in straight games, but her most impressive performance came in beating top seed Caron Charles 3-1 (11-7, 11-2, 2-11, 13-11).

Defeat to second seed Sienna Jetha meant Ackred had to settle for silver after taking her last match-up 11-8, 11-4, 11-5.

The Dane Ghyll School pupil, who thanked her coached Jonathan Crawford, said: “It’s cool to win silver, but next year I want to win gold and try to beat the people I lost to this year.”

Ackred was joined in the Black Country by fellow Barrow and District League junior Chloe Irvine.

Irvine, 13, was entered in the under-13s event, and performed well in her opener against England number 16 Katie Bates, missing out in five sets.

She pushed both of her remaining opponents, the England numbers four and 21, hard losing in three narrow games, with the experience gained something to learn from and build on in the future.

Before her success in the under-10s event, Ackred entered the under-11s and under-12s competitions.

In the former, she took the first game from the England number four before falling to defeat against a more experienced opponent, then went down to last year's under-10s champion.

At under-12s level, Ackred made a fantastic start by beating the England number 12 3-2.

She played well against the under-11s champion, and just missed out against the England number 21. Knowing a win would put her through to the knockout stages, Ackred just lost first game but came back well to win the next. She could not take advantage, and lost the next two to finish a credible third in her group.

Ackred and Irvine train every week at Holy Family and St Bernard's schools, and play in the Barrow and District Table Tennis League.

They are part of a group of junior players from the town who regularly travel around the country.