The National Cup run by Table Tennis England see the top 10 nationally ranked players invited to take part. The event sees the top ten under 12’s and under 15’s, compete in separate events. 11-year-old Jake Haygarth who is ranked 11 in England was invited to compete in the under 12’s event.
Held in Grantham over the weekend of 17th and 18th of March the event sees all 10 players play each other. Jake, seeded at number 10 had the tough task of the England number 1 in his first game, he put in a good show losing the first two ends by the narrowest of margins before losing the 3rd. Jake picked him self up to then beat the 5th seeded player 3-1 to gain his first win of the event. His third match saw only 2 points separate Jake and the 9th seed, going down in 4 sets. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for Jake on day 1 losing his last two matches 3-0.
Day 2 saw a very positive start pushing the 3rd seed all the way to the 5th before going down 11-9 in the 5th set and that was as good as it got with Jake losing the remaining matches 3-0 to finish the event in 9th place.
“you could see all the losses as negatives” said Bishop Auckland TTC coach Matt Porter “but Jake has been playing for 18 months and playing against much more experienced players who are used to such tough events, Jake improved his game as the weekend went on and was unlucky in some matches not to get some more sets and a few more wins.
Jake said “I really enjoyed the event and its motivated me to work harder ready for the national championships where hopefully I can get a win over one of them”