Warnham Primary School are the 2016-17 champions of Horsham District Primary School Table Tennis League after winning the A Division.
They went into the final meeting with just a 12-point lead over nearest rivals Southwater A, so there was no room for complacency in a format where each team played 16 matches on the night and five points were available to the winners of each match.
Leechpool were Warnham’s final opponents and given their lowly position in the table they could have been forgiven for being daunted at the prospect of taking on the leaders, however, someone forgot to tell Max Rogers they were meant to be nervous as he proceeded to cause the champions elect all kinds of problems by gaining three wins for his team in a superb fighting display.
Only Dylan Bennett was able to cramp his style, doing so by a 21-10 margin that evidenced his status as a rising talent in the game. Bennett completed a fine maximum and although Leechpool’s quartet fought gamely and achieved a number of decent scores in defeat there were no more result surprises as James Francis and Dan Francis added three each.
Southwater A started the final night 12 points behind Warnham and finished it 12 points behind after they mirrored their arch-rivals’ final points haul of 71.
Harry Yip returned to the team after missing last week’s crunch fixture and proceeded to make mincemeat of a Heron Way team that seemed to freeze against him.
With players missing, George Bowler was promoted to A team duty and he graced the higher echelon with a maximum, the closest of which was a deuce match against the Heron’s number one Ollie Clarke.
With Ollie Sims and Zak Bull adding two and three wins respectively it was a strong performance from Southwater to give a reality check to opponents who had been growing in confidence as every match passed.
Ollie Clarke with two and Dan Booker with one were responsible for gaining Heron Way’s consolation wins from a tough evening.
The closest match of the whole league, 54-53 in terms of points for the table, came in the cracking encounter between Billingshurst and Southwater B.
Billingshurst came out the right side of the narrow difference despite finishing below Southwater B in the final table. Joe Holland star with four convincing victories and James Hother was Southwater’s main man with three.
The game that the destination of the team win rested on was that between Josh White (Billingshurst) and Jamie Grimwood. It stood at 14-all when time was called and so became declared as the first draw out of 448 individual singles matches completed in the league.
One more point in that game to Grimwood would have meant Southwater B would have been declared match winners on the night.
Holbrook have struggled in most weeks to field a full team and last time out proved no different with a player missing and four individual matches sacrificed from the off.
However the three youngsters who did show up provided a spirited display as exemplified by Zac Coles with two wins. Debutante Frankie Wilson also merits mention for Holbrook as he’s the youngest player by some way to participate in the season.
For Kingslea, Alain Shibu and the much-improved Tom Crutkaew hit maximum form, Kian Venn Qureshi added another three to his season’s count and rent-a-reserve Luke Lukose finally had chance to stand in for his own school.