Longfield Academy big hitters reach next stage of championships

Longfield Academy

Wednesday, 25th January 2017

Longfield Academy big hitters reach next stage of championships

TABLE tennis players proved to be on the ball as they batted away the opposition in a hard-fought contest

TABLE tennis players proved to be on the ball as they batted away the opposition in a hard-fought contest of speed and skill.

Students from Longfield Academy of Sport, Darlington, competed in the Northern Zone championships winning through to the next stage of the prestigious English Schools Table Tennis Association event.

They will next play in Grantham, in March, in what will be the semi finals of the national contest, cementing the school’s reputation for table tennis at the highest level.

The Longfield Under 13s, of Dylan Gunton, 12, Callum Finlay, Callum McRae and Thomas Rayner, all 13, grabbed the honours at the English School Team Event staged in Billingham.

Also taking part were the U16 team, comprising Matthew Pearson, 13, Luca Pontone, 13, Nile Gott, 14 and Adam Cruddace, 15.

The U13s had to battle the might of favourites, Saint Mary's School, of Hull, in the first round, who narrowly defeated Longfield 5-3.

The second match, against Biddick School, Washington, saw Longfield dominate coming away with a 7-1 win.

The match against St John Fisher School, Harrogate, resulted in another 7-1 win and the final round against St Bernard's, Cumbria, proved a rout with Longfield securing a convincing 8-0 win.

PE teacher Trevor Tearney said: “Both the U13 and U16 teams represented the school fantastically well exhibiting great resilience, sportsmanship and talent. They fought for every single point.”

Team coach Chris Rayner added: “What was particularly pleasing was seeing the less experienced players glowing with confidence and really playing well and going for their shots.”

Head teacher Susan Johnson added: “The table tennis teams have secured themselves enviable reputations in school and act as great role models for all of our students, showing what can be achieved at a national level with hard work, determination and the brilliant support of their parents.”