By Vishal Saha |
Hampton’s U16A table tennis team had a successful season, winning the Richmond Schools’ Championships and the plate competition at the London South Finals.
The team was comprised of Rohan Raj, Vishal Saha, Ed Gooze-Zijl, Sam Ho and Henry Fagan. The season began very well with a 5-3 victory over Richmond Park Academy in the final of the U16 Richmond Schools Championships. This win meant that the team had qualified for the London South Finals, to be held in Croydon.
In the London South Finals, the team was unlucky to face the strongest team of the competition, Wallington, in the first round. Despite a strong effort, the opposition (which had players ranked in the top 50 for England) were able to overcome the Hampton side. This meant the team was drawn into the plate competition. Hampton beat St Olave’s in the semi-final and therefore were to play Southborough in the plate cup final. Some great rallies and impressive shots meant Hampton could comfortably win 6-2 and come home with a trophy.
After the early season tournaments, the U16A team moved on to their league fixtures. The first of the league matches was against Epsom College, where Hampton were able to easily win 8-2. Next up was a match against Southborough boys, where Hampton arguably displayed its best performance of the season – dominating all the matches and securing a 10-0 victory.
However, KCS Wimbledon was next – a very good side, with players owning a unique style, that was difficult to attack against. Hampton managed to win 3 matches, but ultimately couldn’t succeed.
The final match of the season was an away league fixture at Coombe Boys’ School. Despite a change in their doubles tactics and partners, Hampton finished off their campaign in style with a 7-3 win to cap an excellent season with promising signs for the future coming from a young team.