AFTER seasons of struggling to find a position in the local table tennis scene, Seamer & Irton School finally arrived when Will Hutchinson, their best player this season, won the Scarborough & District Division Six Closed Tournament.
This event, which was sponsored by Scarborough Flooring, is effectively the Scarborough Primary Schools Individual Championship.
Hutchinson took the title when he beat pre-tournament favourite Matty Lowe, of Newby School, son of Martin Lowe, winner of the senior title, in the final.
It was moreover a final of the highest quality, a tribute to the skill, determination and sportsmanship of both players and a tribute to the level of sport in primary schools in Scarborough.
The tournament, played at Gladstone Road Junior School, which boasts some of the best table tennis facilities in North Yorkshire, was open to 20 invited players from the schools that play in Division Six of the Scarborough League.
The players were divided into four leagues with each player playing each other and the first two going through to the quarter- finals.
Easily the tightest of the leagues saw Robbie Scarborough of Northstead School, surprise newcomer Mikolaj Dutkiewicz of Gladstone Road, and finally win through, just nudging out Aidan Thurston, of Gladstone Road, in a play-off.
Lowe can take some consolation from the fact that he actually beat Hutchinson in the qualifying league match, although both went through to the quarter-finals without too many alarms.
One slightly disappointing feature of the tournament was the small number of girl participants, only three: Rosie Waddington and Olivia Grassham, of Wheatcroft School, and Emily Underwood, of Gladstone Road, took part, and though all performed nobly, and with some charm, none progressed beyond the group stage.
The quarter-finals saw Ryan Hirst, of Northstead School, beat Scarborough in a very close match which seemed to be enormously enjoyed by both players.
Tom Cass, of Gladstone Road, beat Mikolaj, Hutchinson beat James Clifford, of Newby, and Lowe saw off the challenge of Finlay Willis, of Gladstone Road.
The semi-finals were both very tight and tense affairs, Hutchinson finally overcame Hirst and Lowe beat Cass, but only with a stirring fightback after Cass had established an early lead.
Both players in the final had supporters in the limited but knowledgable crowd and proceeded to produce a standard of play which would have been the envy of much older players.
Hutchinson held his nerve to claim the title and to modestly acknowledge the applause of the spectators and the gracious congratulations of his opponent.
Cass just managed to overcome a gallant Ryan Hirst to claim third place in the third and fourth place play-off.
In the absence of the sponsor the presentations were made by Jon Wanless, the chairman of the Scarborough & District Primary Schools Sports Association.