Morpeth trio reach National Finals

PUBLISHED: 18:18 28 January 2009 | UPDATED: 14:00 05 October 2010

Three table-tennis stars from Morpeth School have reached the England National Rankings Finals

Three table-tennis stars from Morpeth School have reached the England National Rankings Finals after progressing through this month's South East England trials.

Majada Yasmin and Rafi Conn-Kowlessar, both 13, and 14-year-old Chantal Wilson will all represent the Bethnal Green school at the national finals in Lincolnshire in March after achieving top-six finishes at this month's trials in Kent.

Morpeth coach Grant Solder, a former England international, praised the trio for their achievement in reaching the finals, adding that the youngsters will have an opportunity to catch the eye of the national selectors at the event.

He said: "To have Majada, Chantal and Rafi going forward to these finals is another indication of the strength of our table tennis squad.

"National team selectors from the English Table Tennis Association will be spotting at the finals to recruit for the National Talent Identification Programme. Any of our players selected would then be eligible to join the England Youth Development Squad."

In the Under-15 girls' event, Morpeth youngsters Yasmin and Wilson both featured in a three-way tie for first place with Lucy Lou, from Surrey.

A countback was necessary to determine the final finishing position, giving Lou first place, with Yasmin - who lost only one match all day - in second place.

The 13-year-old was delighted with her result. She said: "It feels fantastic to have finished in second place, and it was a great surprise beating my older team-mate Chantal. I'm looking forward to the finals and I hope to play even stronger."

Wilson, who lost to Morpeth team-mate Yasmin but defeated eventual winner Lou, came third.

Morpeth's Conn-Kowlessar finished just outside the top-three in the Under-15 boys' event, but still progressed to the finals following a fourth-place finish.

He lost only one match, dropping a tight match against Connor Neenon, who went on to finish in second place overall.

There was disappointment for fellow Under-15 boys' entrant Ashley Facey-Thompson, however, as the Morpeth youngster defeated eventual winner Alois Clare 3-2 in a thrilling clash, but finished one place outside the qualifying spots in seventh place. He will be first reserve for the finals in March.

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