Girls team take on division one

Davis and Hempsell claim ends in games. Hempsell and McNamara both claim wins for team.

This weekend was Junior British League and the first weekend saw the formation of a brand-new Bishop Auckland Girls team. Junior British League is best of six games with each player from a team playing two matches. The team consisted of Ebony Hempsell (who had made a previous appearance for Bishop), Holly McNamara (who had played for Bishop a few times), and Holly Davis (who was playing JBL for the first ever time). The girls had never met or played as a team previously so it was interesting to see how the individual styles of play would work together. In a higher division than normal, this was a big ask.

Bishops’ first game was against Wensum TTC 2, their team consisted of high-level players such as Saskia Key, and Amy Marriott. The Bishop players were unable to claim their first win of the day in this game, and were unable to get any ends, however new debut Holy Davis came very close in her first game loosing 11-5, 11-8, 11-9, a strong start from the young player. Holy McNamara also had a close game with Saskia Key losing 11-8, 11-8, 11-7. Ebony also made a strong start and claimed some good points in her first game against Amy Marriott. The first match ended 6-0 to Wensum TTC 2.

Bishop’s second game was against Draycott 2, and Ebony managed to claim an end off Draycott’s Helena Dicken. Holly McNamara claimed her first win against Amillia Baker in three ends and was very pleased with this result. Holly Davis also managed to pick up an end in her third game of the day, and lost in 4 (11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 1-11). McNamara had an incredibly close game against Kirsti Maul but lost in 5 ends after a strong start to the game (7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 2-11, 1-11). The last game of this match was Ebony vs Amillia Baker in which Ebony came back from 2 ends down to win in 5 (9-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11). The match finished 4-2 in Draycott’s favour.

The third and last match of Saturday was against Greenhouse TTC. McNamara picked up another win against Jonabel Taguibao winning (8-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 13-11). Ebony had a close game against Jonabel and claimed 1 end but performed well, loosing (8-11, 12-10, 4-11, 8-11). After some tough matches Holly Davis unfortunately could not claim an end but played some great tactical table tennis and impressed the opposition, loosing both her games, the closest being against Meliha Baig (8-11, 5-11, 7-11). The third match of Saturday finished in favour of Greenhouse TTC, winning 5-1 in games.

Sunday morning started early with Bishop’s first game against Brighton TTC. Ebony Hempsell claimed a couple of great ends in her games and was unlucky to not get her 2nd win of the weekend against Joelle Bennett loosing (6-11, 11-4, 9-11, 2-11). Holly Davis picked up an end each in both her matches and came close to her first win against Lauren Loosemore loosing (8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 5-11).  McNamara picked up her third win of the weekend against Joelle Bennett winning in three (11-6, 11-7, 11-5). The match finished in Brighton’s favour winning 5-1 in games.

The last match of the day was against Ormeau Ulster Girls. Ebony was close to claiming an end in her first match against Lucy McIvor. McNamara had a tough game against Nicole Larmour loosing (13-15, 11-6, 11-7, 2-11, 6-11). The final match of the weekend ended in Ulster’s favour winning 5-1 in games.

Bishop Auckland Girls sit bottom of Division one with 0 wins going into the second weekend next year in February. This result, as tough as it is, doesn’t reflect how positive the girl’s attitude was throughout the entire competition and how great some points were. Overall, the playing ability of a player can improve quickly, but mindset and attitude towards loosing (or stepping stones as we like to call them) is much harder to teach. We look forward to the second weekend in February and wish our team the best of luck.

Our Head Coach Ryan Morton was very impressed with the team over the weekend and said that “The girls all performed well, and I was impressed with their resilience in games, a couple of good wins in games over the weekend and a lot to learn from. I look forward to seeing the team back here again in February”.


Ryan Morton

(Head Coach).

Tags: JBL2021
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