The season 1964-65 proved quite a successful one for a sport only in its second year in the school. Our greatest success perhaps was in the Middlesex Inter-Schools Competition. In the senior competition open to all school and technical college players under nineteen, we lost in the first round by 7-2 to Kingsbury Grammar, who went on to reach the semi-final. In the junior competition however, which is open to boys under fifteen, we did very much better beating Daneford Secondary School in the final 5-4. Twenty-eight schools from all over Middlesex took part, being divided into two zones, the zone winners meeting in the final. The winning team, who received a certificate and individual trophies for their efforts was D. Dury, P. Tora and S. O'Malley. This win was all the more creditable as the three players concerned are all well under the age limit and should be eligible to win the competition next year as well!
The local Harrow and Wembley Schools League in its first year proved very popular and here we again achieved not a little success. In Division 1 we finished third and as many of our opponents were very much older this was a fine performance. In many other schools table tennis is unfortunately limited to the Sixth Form. V. Griffiths was again the 1st team's most consistent player winning a high percentage of his games. He was well aided by the following who represented the school - P. O'Malley, D. Dury and P. Tora.
In Division 3 our 2nd team won undefeated and were awarded a certificate and medals. The winning team was T. Brophy, P. Tora and S. O'Malley, with Augier and McAllister playing on one occasion. This team's fixtures against the Sacred Heart were the best attended of the season.
Easily the season's most improved player, showing good potential against opponents many years his senior, was P. Tora. This was proved in the Junior Singles of Harrow and Wembley League Closed Tournament which was held at Kodak. Many school players entered, the most successful being Tora who reached the quarter-finals before succumbing to the eventual winner, a ranked Middlesex junior player.
Several other league and county closed championships were entered by school players and while no major giant-killing acts ensued against very stiff opposition, valuable experience was gained and some optimism aroused for next season.
An outing to the England v. China international at Wembley gave most team members an opportunity of seeing the world champions in action. Nor were they disappointed. England were relatively easily beaten and one was amazed at the dexterity and speed shown by the Chinese. In China however table tennis is regarded as a major sport and strokes taught at the tender age of five!
In the School v. Staff match held at the end of the season, the Staff were beaten 15-5. Fr. Raymond managed to hold his own with all concerned, though, as one player was heard to mutter, whether this will be the case next season remains to be seen!
Undoubtedly it is the middle-school which is providing the talent, skill and strength - some are talking of entering the Chinese Open already - and with many younger players taking up the sport, it is to be hoped that team members will be pressed for their places before the new season is very old. The Harrow and Wembley Schools League is to continue on a new basis this season, with players divided into divisions under age-groupings, that is, under nineteens and under fifteens. We are optimistic of some success and if there is an undiscovered Barnes or Harrison around now is the time to come forward.
MIDDLESEX INTER-SCHOOLS COMPETITION
HARROW and WEMBLEY SCHOOLS LEAGUE
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