September 5, 2016 by Jo Pike
Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th September saw the U13 English National Championships being held in Essex – and it was time to see who had been working and training hard over the summer! Team Leicestershire was well represented by Luke Hoult, Owen King and Ayush Panchal for the boys and Eve Durrance, Sophie Watson, Evie Pike and Grace Sherwin for the girls.
First up was the mixed doubles and all the Leicestershire players did well to win through to the second round. Congratulations to Eve and Owen and Grace and her Lancashire partner for coming through round 2 to the quarter finals where the seeded opponents proved just too strong to overcome this time.
Next up came the singles and well done to Luke, Sophie and Evie for winning through from their groups to the next stage. Sophie did a great job to make the quarter finals and a top 8 finish but with an unlucky draw against top seed Lisa Curtin, she was unable to progress on to the semis.
Last up, the doubles. Would anybody manage to make it through to Sunday’s finals day? Luke and his partner managed a win and a loss, as did Evie & Grace; however, Sophie & Eve won through from their group before overpowering the 3/4 seeds in the quarter finals. After a very long and tiring day, the girls returned the following morning to Redbridge for Finals day and despite giving it everything they had, were unable this time to win through against the second seed pair. A bronze medal against the top players in the age group in the UK, what a fantastic achievement Sophie & Eve! Congratulations and very well played!