Barrow and District Table-Tennis League

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Information for players in the Barrow and District

Table-Tennis League and visitors to the Table-Tennis Centre



John Farrer


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Site last updated:

14th. April, 2012

"and about time too!"


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Scott Crawford is New Town Champion!


Scott Crawford is the new Town Champion following the annual Barrow and District Town Tournament held this week.


In an enthralling final, Scott beat his older brother Jonathan 3-1 in a game which contained scintillating rallies of the highest quality.


En route to the final, Scott had comfortably won his group with wins over Callum Dymond, Matt O'Flynn, Paul Croft, Stephen Cairns and Duncan Crawford, with Duncan and Stephen taking an end off him.


Jonathan meanwhile, won his group with five wins, all three-straight, defeating Paul Ackred, Steve Bushell, Keith Mallinson, Jack Walker and Ben O'Flynn.


The two other semi-finalists were Steve Bushell and Callum Dymond. Steve impressed with four hard-fought wins, with Callum also doing well, winning four games three-straight, and winning his game against Matt O'Flynn in four.


In the Semi-Finals, Scott defeated Steve Bushell in three, and Jonathan beat Callum.  


In the Veterans competition, Steve Bushell emerged as overall winner, following wins over Matt O'Flynn, Peter Buxton, Stephen Murray and Paul Ackred. Stephen Cairns got the better of Steve three-straight, but lost out to Matt O'Flynn and Paul Ackred. Paul and Matt had earlier been involved in a superb match, which Matt eventually won 12-10 in the fifth. The three St. Columba players were tied with three wins a-piece, but Paul came out as runner-up by virtue of a superior ends difference.


Eleven entered the handicap event, with Table-Tennis Club's Chris Lloyd the outright winner. Chris (+26) had defeated Ben O'Flynn (+30), Keith Onions (+22), Stephen Cairns (+11) and Stephen Murray (+23) to top his group, with Ben and Stephen Murray also playing well to take two wins a-piece, the latter qualifying as group runner-up.


In what was once again an all-junior final, Chris met Jack Walker (+21), also from Table-Tennis Club. In an entertaining final with some good table-tennis from both players, Chris emerged victorious 21-15, 21-15, avenging defeat in the identical final of 2011.


In the other group, it was Jack Walker (+21) who had swept aside all before him, with wins over Peter Buxton (+16), Matt O'Flynn (+12), Paul Ackred (+12), Paul Croft (+25) and Anton Vacca (+22). Jack, went on to defeat Stephen Murray in the semi-final, as Anton who had finished as group runner-up lost out to Chris.


The organiser would like to thank both Caitlin Walker and Keith Onions for their assistance.        S.C.

Dowdales Finish Third and Fourth in England at Table-Tennis

271 teams qualified as County champions from across England in eight categories before Christmas, and this was whittled down considerably at the Zone Finals across the Country in January, and the Regional Finals in February to the last thirty-two in England. In that final thirty-two (from twenty different counties) were two teams from Dowdales School, representing Cumbria and the region in the National Final. This was held at Hinckley Leisure Centre in Leicestershire (near Coventry) on Saturday 24th. March.

The Under 16 Girls featured England International and ex-Askam pupil Emily Bolton, together with two other ex-pupils, Eleanor Sedgwick and Robyn Halcrow. They were joined by former Victoria Junior School pupil Georgia Stanway.

The team had three schools to play from across England, and the quartet got off to the perfect start by winning their opening match 5-3, with two wins from Emily, two from Jasmine and one from Georgia. Georgia almost had a second win, just losing out in a tense fifth end.

The girls' next games were all entertaining encounters with some superb table-tennis played from all. Dowdales lost both the games 2-6, with Emily deserving great credit for going undefeated in all six games, dropping only one end in a National Final.

This meant the Under 16s finished third in England, so many congratulations to Emily, Eleanor, Georgia and Jasmine.

The Under 13s were oh-so-close in two of their matches, losing both 3-5- but were within a whisker of making it 4-4 in both encounters.

Robyn Halcrow, Katie Sedgwick, Tara Tappenden and Lucy Woods- all ex-Askam pupils- were making their second trip to the National Finals, after finishing fourth last year in the Under 11 category. Now all in Year 7, they were at the youngest end of their new Under 13 age category, so the going was always going to be tough.

In the first match, Dowdales just missed out 3-5, with two wins for Tara and one for Robyn. Katie could count herself unlucky not to meet the opposing team's Number 2, with the Numbers 3 and 4 appearing to be considerably stronger.

Dowdales lost the next match 0-8, and although Katie did not win, she played exceptionally well against the Numbers 1 and 3, almost taking what would have been an amazing win against the National Champions to-be. Tara also almost sneaked a win, just losing out in the fifth.

The final match was very close, with Dowdales again just losing out 3-5. This time, there was a win-a-piece for Robyn, Tara and Lucy. Other games were very close, especially one involving Robyn, who just missed out on a second win.

The four girls played well under a lot of pressure. They finished fourth in England. Congratulations to them.

Thank you to Mrs. Winter and Mr. Seal.        S.C

Dowdales Pupils Triumphant in Northern Regional Final

Both the Under 13 and Under 16 Girls' teams from Dowdales are through to the National Final and the last four in England, as they emerged triumphant from the Northern Regional Finals held at Blackburn on Saturday 24th. February.

The Under 16 Girls had a straight final to play, and this was against Garstand High School from Lancashire.

Their Number One, Kelly Southward, is a talented player, and she defeated Eleanor three straight, but Emily levelled the scores with a comfortable 3-0 win over the Number Two, Jessica Hay. Jasmine played well to beat Laura Swift 11-8, 11-1, 11-5. Georgia continued the good run of results for Dowdales with a fine 11-9, 14-12, 11-8 win over Hazel Danson. Emily wasted no time against Kelly (11-6, 11-4, 11-2), and Eleanor defeated Laura three-straight- 12-10, 11-4, 11-2. Jessica and Hazel beat Georgia and Jasmine respectively to make the final match score 5-3 to Dowdales, with the Northern Regional title deservedly going to the Dalton School. Emily, Jasmine and Eleanor are all ex-Askam pupils, with ex-Askamite Georgia from Victoria Juniors.

The Under 13 Girls' competition was rather more eventful and a much closer affair. The squad of Robyn, Katie and Tara were really up against it before a point was even played, as they only had three players. To overcome this massive disadvantage, they would have to be at the top of their game, and fortunately they were!

And what a first match it was! Dowdales took on Bradford Girls School. Sophie Yung, Bradford's Number One, defeated Katie 11-8, 11-7, 11-4, but Robyn levelled proceedings with a fine 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 win over Philipa Blakeley, their Number Two. Saffron Smith's game against Number Four automatically went down as an expensive 11-0, 11-0, 11-0 win for Bradford. Tara avenged this, however, with an excellent 11-0, 11-0, 11-1 win over the Number Four, Tamara Smith- and this comfortable win was critical to Dowdales' success. Also of great importance was Robyn managing to take an end off the Number One, Sophie, despite going down in four ends. Robyn lost 11-2, 1-11, 7-11, 4-11. The first end though would prove to be of great significance! It was then Katie's turn to play a crucial part in proceedings, with a super 11-1, 11-0, 11-2 win over Saffron. Tara had everyone's hearts in their mouths when she lost the first end against Philipa 9-11, but soon took charge of the situation coming back to steal the game 11-4, 11-2, 11-2. Tamara automatically got a 11-0, 11-0, 11-0 in the final game. 

This meant the match score was 4-4, and the ends were tied (hence the importance of Robyn's first end) at 13-13. So, it came down to points difference, and Katie's and Tara's convincing wins over Saffron and Tamara meant that Dowdales finished on +6 points (183-177).

The Under 13's next game was against Woodbrook Vale, from Loughborough, Leicestershire. Despite starting 2-0 down, Dowdales soon rallied to the cause, and produced comfortable 3-0 wins in all six games, with Robyn, Katie and Tara never troubled by any of their opponents.

Dowdales' final match was always going to be close, as Fairfield had beaten Bradford Girls 5-3. The winners of this contest would, therefore, progress to the National Final.

Zoe Hindley defeated Katie in five ends in an enthralling and eventful contest- 11-5, 9-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8. Robyn was on fire in the next game, winning 11-1, 11-5, 11-5 against their Number Two, Jemma Hemmings. Jade Taylor automatically gained an 11-0, 11-0, 11-0 win, before Tara played well to defeat Kaitland Higgins 11-6, 11-9, 11-6. Robyn continued her good form with a comprehensive win over Zoe 11-4, 11-5, 11-2. Katie did well to beat Jade 11-5, 13-11, 11-6, and Tara wrapped up a 5-3 win with an 11-3, 11-2, 11-6 victory over Kaitland. A super performance from the three girls- all ex-Askam pupils- and a deserved place once again in the National Final- repeating their success from last year at Under 11 level.

The Dowdales Under 16 Boys' team were also in action, having done extremely well to qualify from the Zone Finals in Billingham. They too were initially without a fourth player until ex-Askam pupil Keir stepped into the fold. Keir had been practising hard for the competition since Wednesday, and this was always going to be a big ask playing against players up to four years older than him.

The boys' first match was against Beckfoot, from Bingley, West Yorkshire. After a tentative start, Jack lost out to Sam Whitaker in three, with Jack gaining in confidence just losing out 10-12 in the third. Chris took an end off William Nash in a game that eventually went William's way- 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4. Matty pulled a game back for Dowdales, defeating Tom West 18-16, 11-7, 11-1. Despite playing well, Keir lost out to Sam West 6-11, 4-11, 7-11. Jack lost to William, and Matty missed out against Sam Whitaker, but Chris played very well to beat Sam West 11-4, 7-11, 11-3, 11-4. The final game saw Keir just losing out to Tom 7-11, 6-11, 6-11, making the final match score 2-6.

Dowdales' next game was against Calday Grange Grammar School from West Kirkby, Merseyside. It is fair to say this was a very strong team, and despite their best efforts, Jack, Matty, Chris and Keir went down 0-8. The closest game saw Matty just losing out to David Eckl in five: 11-5, 3-11, 7-11, 11-9, 16-18- an enthralling contest and one which he was unlucky to lose.

The boys' final game saw them take on Skegness Grammar School from Lincolnshire. Some excellent table-tennis was on display in this game from all the players. Dowdales eventually lost this 2-6, with wins coming from Matty and Chris. Keir nearly grabbed a third, just missing out 9-11 in the fifth and deciding end against his opponent. He, along with the other boys, played very well throughout the day and with such a high standard of opponents, finishing fourth in the North of England is a great achievement. Well done to Jack, Matty, Chris and Keir.

Meanwhile, the following day, Sunday 26th. February, saw the Under 11 boys from St. Columba go oh-so-close. The talented quartet of Ryan, Finlay, Louis and Sam had qualified as Zone Runners-up, and travelled to Grantham to participate in the Regional Final.

The Walney boys had winning 4-4 draws against both Croyland Primary School, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, and Priorslee Primary Academy, Telford, Shropshire. This meant they needed to defeat Redlands Primary School from Worksop, Nottinghamshire. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts and some very close games, Ryan, Finlay, Louis and Sam just went down 1-7 at the final hurdle, but played exceptionally well to finish as runners-up.

The National Final is at Hinckley Leisure Centre on Saturday 24th. March. Everyone at Askam Village School wishes all the girls the very best of luck in this prestigious event.

Congratulations to the above six players- the youngest team in the competition- a wonderful team performance.      S.C.


Local Stars Shine in Games


The experience of a lifetime awaited three local youngsters taking part in the UK School Games games held in South Wales recently. Scott Crawford, Tom Smith and Emily Standing all competed for the North-West of England.


The contingent from the area watched a spectacular, if rain-affected, opening ceremony which saw speeches from various dignitaries, a fire-work display, a break-dancing performance, a stunning youth choir and a dramatic laser show.


Following the team parade, the boys from the North-West- two from the Barrow area- and others including Joshua Boult, Stephen Nickols and David Mcbeath, played their first match. This was against the South-West of England. Former Dowdales pupil Scott defeated John Evans 3-0, and fellow ex-Dowdalian Tom played Richard Andrews, losing out 3-0.


The team played Scotland in the afternoon. Tom was in action again, playing well but just going down to Scott Barton 3-1. Scott was on great form to beat Sean Doherty 3-0.


The following day, the boys were in action again. The morning session saw them take on the cream of South East England. Both Scott and Tom lost their matches despite playing well. The afternoon saw the North-West take on the North-East. Tom sat out this match, but Scott managed to win both of his games 3-1.


Playing for fifth place in the play-off against Scotland, a tense set of matches ensued, with the North-West just losing out to the team north of the border.


The final day saw the Individual competition take place. Although Tom played very well against some of the best players in the country, he was knocked out in the first round. Scott did extremely well to progress through the first round, eventually getting knocked out in Round Two by a top player.


Emily's performance will be detailed here shortly.


Following the medal ceremony and disco, the competition closed, but for the three Furness youngsters, the memories will live on for quite some time. Congratulations to them all.        S.C.


Standing Rises to the Occasion


Table-Tennis hot-shot Emily Standing recently won the Hereford Open Women’s Band Three Tournament. The former Dowdales pupil clinched the title after an epic five-end encounter which saw her edge out her opponent Charlotte Airey deuce in the fifth to win the competition.


Emily had recovered well from an earlier loss to Norwegian Anja Esketveit, and went on to defeat Laura Price in her group. In the Semi-Final, Emily found herself two games to one down against Charlotte Spencer, but the resilient sixteen year-old from Askam, fought back to win in five to book her place in the final.


Emily has been causing quite a stir recently on the tournament circuit, and this win caps an impressive season for her, having been crowned Barrow Junior Town Tournament winner earlier in the year. Emily has also experienced success in the Kendal League, winning both the Handicap and Mixed-Doubles titles.         S.C.

Barrow and District Table-Tennis League Annual Town Tournament 2009

Tom Smith is the new ‘Town Champion’ following the annual Barrow and District Table-Tennis league Town Tournament.

The youngster, a pupil at Dowdales School, and who plays for Furness Cricket Club, comfortably won his group beating Jonathon Miles and Stephen Murray on the way, and defeating Gareth Brunton three-straight in the quarter-final. Tom’s excellent run continued with a comprehensive win over Jonathon in the Semi-Final, whom he met for a second time.

The final itself had the makings of a classic, but ultimately failed to live up to its billing as Tom was unstoppable. He defeated Millom’s Neil Smith- a former town champion on a number of occasions- 11-8, 11-5, 11-8.

Tom, from Askam, impressed with his brilliant reactions and ability to return smashes and then counter-hit.

Neil Smith had earlier won his group, winning his games against Dave Coulter and Ray Schwer 3-0. Stephen Cairns won Group 3, defeating Gareth Brunton, Keith Mallinson and the rapidly improving Oliver Shipley all three-straight. Gareth, with two wins, progressed as runner-up.

Steve Bushell was a man on fire in Group 4, defeating Stefan Wetherburn, Emily Standing and Tony Whitehouse. Steve was, however, made to work very hard for his wins, eventually extinguishing the threat of Emily 11-9 in the fifth, and Tony 11-7 in the fifth. Tony went through as group runner-up.

In the other quarter-finals, Neil Smith beat Tony Whitehouse in four, Jonathon Miles edged out Stephen Cairns 11-9 in the fifth, and Steve Bushell knocked-out Dave Coulter.

In the second semi-final, Neil Smith defeated Steve Bushell 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 11-9 to meat Tom in the final, but the night belonged to the talented sixteen year-old youngster.

Emily Standing became ‘Junior Town Champion’ for the first time after a sensational display in the final. She had earlier beaten Oliver, and had been made to work hard by the very talented Stefan Wetherburn who nearly caused an upset. However, the St. Columba player rose to the occasion, winning 11-7 in the fifth after a fierce contest.

Tom Smith, unsurprisingly, was the other finalist, and he had comfortably won his matches.

Having just become town champion in the open singles with a thrilling display, Tom was clear favourite to take the junior title as well. However, Emily was a girl on form and her hitting was unstoppable.

Emily, also from Dowdales, and a former pupil of Askam Village School, played some of the best table-tennis of her life to take the title 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-4.

This was a classic final that fully lived up to its billing and was enjoyed by the appreciative audience. The quality of the table-tennis on show was of a very high standard from both players.

If Neil Smith was disappointed to lose the ‘Open Singles’ final, he could take consolation from winning the ‘Veterans’ title in fine style. The Millom player won all his group games, defeating Derek Harker, John Harrison and Keith Mallinson. The game against Keith was extremely close, with Neil just pulling through 15-13 in the deciding end. Neil met St. Columba player Matt O’Flynn in the semi-final, winning three straight.

Dave Coulter won Group 2, with wins over Steve Bushell, Stephen Murray and Paul Acyred.

Tony Whitehouse won Group 3, with a win over Ray Schwer and narrow five-end victories over Les Shaw and Matt O‘Flynn, both playing particularly well.

Dave overcame Tony in the Semi-final to book his place in the showdown with Neil in the final.

In the event, the highly-talented Millom player ran out as 11-7, 12-10, 11-2 winner against Dave.

Paul Ackred was the deserving recipient of the ‘Handicap’ title in an event which attracted eighteen entries.

Tom Smith had won group one, with wins over Stephen Cairns and Jonathon Miles. Les Shaw (+8) proved too resilient for Tom. It was, however, Jonathon who went through as runner-up, with wins over both Les and Stephen. Stephen beat Les 21-20 in a sudden-death point.

Stefan Wetherburn, a pupil at St. Bernards School, and a player for The Table-Tennis Centre, embarked on what was to prove a very successful night, with victory in his group, following wins over Keith Mallinson, Steve Bushell and Derek Harker. These were impressive wins as, although he was getting a start, his opponents were all seasoned campaigners, and the handicap was not large. Against Keith, Stefan received eight, against Steve he had an eleven start, and against Derek, a five start. Derek progressed as group runner-up, with wins over Steve and Keith.

Tony Whitehouse went through as winner of Group 3, with wins over Oliver Shipley, John Harrison, Emily Standing and the ever-improving Luke Walker. Oliver progressed as group runner-up, with wins over Emily and John.

In the final group, Paul Ackred topped the table following wins over Stephen Murray, Neil Smith, Matt O’Flynn and Ray Schwer. Stephen Murray progressed as runner-up, with victories against Ray and Neil.

In the first quarter final, Tom Smith defeated St. Bernards pupil Oliver Shipley- who plays for the Table-Tennis Centre- 21-15, 21-14.

Derek Harker (Hawcoat Park) beat fellow club-member Stephen Murray 21-19, 21-18.

Paul Ackred defeated Tony Whitehouse 21-13, 21-12.

Stefan defeated Jonathon Miles in the last quarter-final 21-18, 21-7. He continued his good form in his semi-final against Derek, winning 21-16, 21-12.

In the other semi-final, the game between Tom Smith and Paul Ackred was something of a classic, going to the deciding point in two of the three ends. Paul won the first 21-20, Tom responded by taking the second 21-18, and in the final end, Paul sneaked victory in a sudden-death point at 20-20 to progress to the final.

The final itself pitched Stefan, who learnt his trade at St. Columba School, against St. Columba team player Paul. This was a highly entertaining final, and both players deserve great credit for their performances.

Paul won the first game 21-19, but Stefan responded well with a 21-14 win to level proceedings. In the deciding end, Paul got off to a great start, quickly clawing back Stefan’s handicap points (+7), but the Table-Tennis Centre player was not to be outdone, and continued to threaten. Some brilliant points ensued, all played at break-neck speed, and Paul eventually came through to take the match and the ‘Handicap’ title 21-18 in the deciding end.       S.C



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