TABLE TENNIS: Grantham club player Lucy climbs to ninth in national rankings

Lucy Bridle. Photo: Toby Roberts
Lucy Bridle. Photo: Toby Roberts

Cliffedale Chandlers Table Tennis Club’s up and coming youngster Lucy Bridle celebrated climbing to number nine in Table Tennis England’s under-11 girls rankings by reaching three finals at the Blitz 2* tournament in Gainsborough last weekend.

Lucy battled through her group and the quarter- and semi-finals of the U11 girls to reach her first final of the day in which she finished runner-up to Lucy Gent the Swerve TTC.

But Lucy’s day wasn’t done there. After failing to progress from her groups in the cadet girls and U13 girls, both a higher level of play, she went into the Plate competitions of both, with a fine run of form helping her to reach her second and third finals of the day again, coming up against Lucy Gent in the U13 girls Plate final and again finishing runner-up to her nemesis from the north-east.

Although the Chandlers youngster did gain slight revenge by beating Gent in the semi-finals of the Cadet girls Plate to reach her third final, she again finished runner-up.

Lucy has come a long way in the time that she started playing just over a year ago and has already reached some of the goals she set herself.

Lucy’s father Tim said: “She’s done so well this season and we’ve been waiting for months on her ranking to be confirmed, and this week it was finally confirmed.”

The ETTA ranking arrived just in time for Lucy to be entered into the National Championships at Kettering in June, open to just the top 24 players in the country per age group.

Lucy has qualified for the ESTTA U11 girls individual championships in April and last weekend her U11 girls school team also qualified for the ESTTA National Finals this weekend.

Also playing in Gainsborough were some older members representing the club. Flynn Connolly, who broke two fingers on the Friday before the competition, reached the semis of the Cadets boys Plate event and the quarter-finals of the Junior Plate event.

Aalhad Kulkarni and Viren Panchal made the semis of the Junior boys Plate event, whilst Aalhad also made the second round of the Cadet boys.

Stefania Popa progressed from her Cadet girls group to the second phase of the event, and Ashley Willows rounded his day off by reaching the quarter-finals of the Junior boys main event.

All the Chandlers players showed a fantastic improvement from their last competition results.

l Cliffedale Chandlers hold sessions open to all ages and abilities on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at The Meres table tennis centre. For more information, find the club on Facebook.