the critical table tennis games just keep on coming for the Whitworth Academy, especially in the National League.
We have, it seems, reached the point in the season when key matches threaten to disturb the progress of the side. Last weekend, they faced their strongest challenge so far, playing the very strong Sycamore 2 side from Nottingham, B. Batt Pavilion 2 and the very awkward Grantham Tornadoes.
For example, Sycamore fielded Jason Ramage, ranked at 77 in the country, as well as Daniel Lowe, the sixth-ranked English junior and you can see that the job for the local side was far from easy.
Add to this Emily Bates (16), the England ranked number one junior girl playing for Grantham Tornadoes, then the local side had a mountain to climb right from the start.
Against Sycamore 2, only Keith Bradshaw was able to register a victory as the side crashed 7-1 to their more illustrious opponents.
This was tempered somewhat when the side produced a good display against Yaxley British Legion with John Davies, Keith Bradshaw and Mike Bradbury all gaining two wins each, helping the side to a successful 6-2 result.
Indeed things got better for Whitworth as Mike Bradbury was later given the coveted player of the match award.
Sunday proved to be a difficult day for the team as they crashed heavily to B. Batt Pavilion 2 8-0 and then went down to Grantham 5-3, although there was enough in the Grantham display to suggest more successful weeks to come.
The point is that Whitworth Academy have an excellent chance in January to properly move on and close the gap on those teams above.