LEWIS Acton grabbed a third consecutive county title as young players from Burton excelled in the Staffordshire Schools Individual Table Tennis Championships at the weekend.
There was a plethora of local interest attempting to qualify for the national finals in April, with young Acton again bossing the under-13s.
Burton pedigree at this event has been extremely prolific recently, with the likes of Ed Freeman and James Ward securing five titles each, but even these fantastic achievements are now looking under threat.
Acton came out on top again and despite a valiant effort from fellow de Ferrers pupil James Hackett, no one denied him completing his hat-trick.
Paulet’s Matthew Insley also got through to the semi-final and with Stoke’s Torin Cooper, now doing the bulk of his training in Burton, matching Matthew, the local strength in depth may push Acton harder next year.
In the girls section, Amber Basford (Abbott Beyne) had chances in the final but had to concede second best to Tamworth’s Aimee Evans.
Tamworth also provided the boys under-16 winner as county number one Michael Bree took the title.
De Ferrers claimed the other finalist as Andrew Heathcote took the runners-up place and Liam Burt also made it to the semi-final.
The girls saw the Burton Uxbridge Junior British League team battle out for supremacy and it was Paulet’s Philippa Luxton who confirmed her county number one status, beating Bekki Lycett into second place and Morgan Sykes into third.
In the primary school section, Charlie Kendrick has steadily built upon his maiden tournament win in this very competition 12 months ago, but this time the result was much more emphatic, with him coming through for his second title without dropping an end.
Tom Woolley had a great day to get to the final and with Toby Williams (semi-final) completing a triumverate from John of Rolleston, and Ryecroft’s Alfie Bednall being the other semi-finalist, East Staffs schools had all four latter stage places.
The girls almost matched the boys, with three of the final four, but none could stop Molly Hancock from Stoke coming away with the top prize.
William Shrewsbury’s Lucy Yates had a great run to the final and pushed Hancock to 14-12 in the first end, but had to settle for the runners-up spot.
Outwoods pair of Kirsty Tunnicliffe and Taylor Brown both made the semi-finals, re-emphasising the Stretton primary group’s strength in table tennis.
All the winners will now go forward to represent their county at the finals in Doncaster at the end of April.