James is a double table tennis champion

James George
James George

The junior (U18) and cadet (U15) table tennis events took place this week at Quarrendon Community Centre with a fresh group of youngsters eager to make a name for themselves.

The U15 group were playing for the Riddell Trophy, presented by Helen Riddell, for emerging youngsters in memory of Helen’s husband, Steve Riddell.

This year saw 10 youngsters take part in the competitions with James George (Tring), Tom Ludlow (Quarrendon) and James Massa (Aylesbury Sports) entering both events.

In the cadets, George and Massa progressed to the semi-finals where they faced Tring duo Douglas Claridge-Hansen and Alfie Lyons. Douglas ran James George close but came up just short, while Massa defeated newcomer Alfie.

In the final, the left-handed James George proved too good for Massa, winning in three straight sets to take the title.

The junior event presented the best of Aylesbury and District’s young players and some good attacking play brought Josh Edworthy (Sports) up against his team-mate Ethan Luck in the quarter-finals.

In the three other quarter-final ties, William Claridge-Hansen (Tring) faced team-mate Jed Thirkettle, Dom Palmigiano (Sports) took on James Massa and James George played Tom Ludlow.

Josh and Dom then met in the semi-finals, as did Jed and James. The quality of competition increased with every round and it was Josh and James who won through their matches.

The final was a see-saw affair with Josh taking a 2-1 lead, only to see James come fighting back and win the last two sets to claim the junior title to add to his earlier success.