20 March 2016
After early starts over the last couple of years to play in tournaments at such places as Gillingham, Eastbourne, London and Bournemouth the Dane Court Girls Under 16 team had their earliest start, at 5:00am, and their longest journey, to Bristol, to compete in the Regional Finals of the Butterfly English Schools’ Table Tennis Championship.
Earlier success in the County and Zonal events counted for nothing as the Dane Court girls found themselves up against three top quality opponents who all had England ranked players in their ranks and girls with considerably more tournament experience. The first match was the closest with Dane Court narrowly losing 5 -3 to Beaconsfield High School, Buckinghamshire while 7 -1 defeats followed against both Okehampton Community College, Devon and the Capital City Academy, Brent , West London.
All four Dane Court girls really did themselves and their school and county proud with typically gutsy and talented performances which saw Tayla Bayley win 3 games, which was an outstanding achievement, and both Annabel Cole and Angel Foster picking up a victory each. Catherine Banks, as the Dane Court Number One player, had the dubious honour of always playing against the top two opposition players and she contributed brilliantly to some stunning games of Table Tennis where her opponents always had to produce their very best to win.
Once again, as they had done last year as Under 13s, this was a fantastic achievement to reach this stage of a national tournament and having the longest journey of any competing school plus the youngest team with all the Dane Court girls being in Year 9 just made their progress even more remarkable.
Massive thanks go to both Mr. White and Mr. Wallace for giving up their Sunday to share the minibus driving and enthusiastically support the girls.