Under-12 National Cup - 13/14 April 2019
Photos courtesy of Trevor Parsons
Rachael finishes second
Another of Cippenham Table Tennis Club’s aspiring youngsters made a huge impact on the national scene at the weekend. Rachael Iles, who has been training at Cippenham for about two years, sensationally bettered her seeding of fifth to gain the runners-up medal in the Under-12 National Cup. This event, played at Blackpool, brought together the top ten ranked players in England for an all-play-all showdown for a national title.
Rachael got off to a great start and did not let the loss of match points in the third game bother her as she beat off her first challenge from Emily Cheung 3-1. A 3-0 win against Chui-Que Wong followed and then came what turned out to be the pivotal match against Sienna Jetha. Rachael came storming back from 2-0 down to overcome Jetha 14-12 in the fifth and deciding game, completing the match with a fist pump and a yell of delight. This was the first match in the whole of the event where the result had gone against seeding. Rachael's fourth match was against Connie Dumelow. Unfortunately, Saturday finished with a defeat, 3-0 at the hands of second seed Bethany Ellis.
Sunday started with an even harder match and a second defeat, 1-3 against top seed Maliha Baig. Baig would go on the win the event and complete the weekend unbeaten with only Rachael taking a solitary game off the champion. Rachael now had three of the lower ranked players in her sights and duly beat Mia Longman 3-1 and Sophie Ackred and Jessica Morris both 3-0.
Despite losing twice, Rachael finished in second place as third placed Ellis, having beaten Iles, lost to Baig, Jetha and Wong. and was presented with her medal by the President of Table Tennis England, Jill Parker MBE.