by Brian Croasdale
You don’t realise you are knocking on until a young player shows you how it’s done.
Those people lucky enough to have watched the Matlock Junior Table Tennis Tournament at the Whitworth Academy last week cannot be anything but impressed by the wealth of young talent in the area.
For people in love with table tennis, perfection is impossible, victory is sweet, failure is maddening but still we play and love the sport.
Tim Denby, the youngster from Colin Deaton TTC A in Chesterfield, won the coveted Under 17s title in an exhilarating match against Daniel Burton from Fiesteros Reborn, the newly formed Cromford side.
Tim had beaten Group Four surprise winner David Molyneux in the semi-final while Daniel had accounted for young Gabrial Hodgkinson, who had delighted the crowd by his five-game win over group favourite Jacob Poole 11-9, 11-5, 6-11, 8/11, 11/4.
This set up a mouthwatering clash between Tim and Daniel which had the spectators drooling over their abilities. The match swung one way and then the other before Tim edged out Daniel in the final game of the night beating his opponent 4-11, 11-7, 15-17, 11-9, 11-9. What a game!
One of the glories of table tennis is the rare chance to watch youngsters progress in their development in the game and the Under 14 title was no exception.
Jacob Poole (LiverPooles) ended up in the final playing Rapid Fire’s David Molyneux (yes, him again). David, who is a credit to his father Steve, continues to show no nerves even at his tender young age.
Despite facing a crowd of people watching his progress, his determination to succeed was clear for everyone to see.
David won in another classic match 11-6, 3-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-5.
What can we say about the Rogers twins? Youth is about all energy, instant decisions and a fearless attitude and the Rogers twins demonstate this to the maximum.
This time it was Alice who reach her first ever final taking on young Cameron Griffiths for the Under 12 title. She won 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4 to fully deserve her first ever Championship success.
Judith Vallance, in charge of the youngsters, deserves a lot of credit for the progress of the under 12 players and it is through her dedication that people like Alice and Cameron will be entering the League as third division newcomers next season.
I wish I was as good as some of these youngsters at their age but sadly I wasn’t and it is a reminder that in sport, as in life, the great moments do not last forever, so they should enjoy their ability and phenomenal discipline while they can.