Tanbridge take natuional schools’ table tennis crown

The Tanbridge House School champions are presented their trophy by  England youth player Omar Khassal Picture by Ted Cottrell
The Tanbridge House School champions are presented their trophy by England youth player Omar Khassal Picture by Ted Cottrell

A Horsham school have been crowned national table tennis champions for the first time.

Tanbridge House School won the under-13 boys’ title at the 50th annual Butterfly School Team Championships in Leicester.

In a close competition, they beat Longfield Academy (Darlington) 5-3 and St Mary’s College (Hull) 7-1 and clinched the title with a 4-4 draw against London Academy, where Oliver Michell, 12, beat Shikhar Pandey to clinch the draw in the final match.

Alongside Oliver Michell in the squad were Charlie Graham-Jones, 12, Jacob Evans, 13, and Zac Hodges,11.

Graham-Jones said: “It feels brilliant to win. I think we won because of our team chemistry and the support we had from each other was brilliant as well.”

Their 14-year-old coach Will Michell said: “When we arrived, we weren’t sure if we could actually do it and win the final but we all pulled together to make it happen.”

Oliver Michell added: “We worked really hard and Will kept us calm and gave us great advice throughout the matches. We were so pleased to win and we all went for a celebratory dinner at the M40 services to celebrate.”

The achievement is also a fantastic achievement for Horsham Spinners Table Tennis Club with Graham-Adams, Hodges and Michell all members there, while Evans is part of Horsham Table Tennis Club.

London Academy were second, beating St Mary’s 7-1 and drawing 4-4 with Longfield, who were third having seen off St Mary’s 6-2). Last year representing Southwater Junior Academy, Graham-Adams, Hodges and Michell along with Sheel Malde (Horsham Spinners) won the under-11s event.

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