The TableTennisDaily Bristol Junior team made headlines this weekend as the first Bristol Junior team to qualify into the British Junior League in 16 years. The BJL is the most prestigious table tennis under 18’s league in the UK held at the Velodrome in Derby throughout the season.
With a young team consisting of Ethan Chapman (16), Louis Price(12), Joe Walmsley (15), Greg Small (15) and Joe Sheppard (15) the boys rose to the top of the qualifying tournament after resounding wins over Drumchapel Scotland, Plymouth and Cardiff (all 6-0) and Hereford (5-1). In the final match to decide qualification, the Bristol team played top seeds Bishop Auckland, who had an Italian top 10 player in their ranks, and managed a 3-3 draw synonymous with group winners and qualification into the British Junior League for season 2016-2017. Joe Walmsley won two vital matches to bring the scoreline to 3-3. It was, Louis Price, aged just 12, who took the deciding set against the Northerners to seal qualification.
Coach Daniel Ives commented, “The team spirit was exceptional – a little like Leicester in the Premier league, I think this was one of the key elements that pushed the boys to reach peak performance. Now back to the training hall preparing for the league season which starts in September!