Free Church will be out in force at National Champs

Livvy Fletcher produced a fine performance to finish second in the National qualifiers. Picture: Morris Troughton
Livvy Fletcher produced a fine performance to finish second in the National qualifiers. Picture: Morris Troughton

Leamington & District League players excelled at last weekend’s National qualifiers held at Wood Green School near Walsall, writes Phil John.

In the junior boys’, Timmy Cooper (Free Church) claimed 3-0 wins over George Carroll, Jack Wood and Tom Hinks to win his initial group.

He was matched by clubmate Lee Dorning who also won his first group with victories over Ashley Offley, Luke Gittins, Edward Wootton and Dominic Weston.

Sam Weaving seized second position behind number one seed Jonny Higgins thanks to wins over Archie Taylor, Jamie Chen, Alex Meredith and James Robertson. Robertson’s win over Meredith gave him fourth position in his group.

Lewis Singleton finished third in his group after taking a game off top seed Joey Chan and beating clubmate Tom Fletcher and Patrick McMahon.

In the final group, Dorning lost to the overall winner Higgins and Colebridge’s Sam Henderson but beat Cooper and Joey Chan.

Henderson, Dorning and Cooper finished second, third and fourth, respectively, and will now contest the National Championships in Preston next month.

Weaving finished a creditable ninth, with Singleton 15th, Robertson 16th and Fletcher 17th.

In the junior girls’ event, another Free Church youngster stepped up to the mark by winning her first group.

Despite losing to Gemma McKay, Livvy Fletcher eclipsed sisters Alice and Joanne Antoskiewicz and clubmate Katie Singleton who grabbed an eyecatching second spot.

Eve Briscoe beat the top seed in her group, Morgan Sykes, but suffered very close reversals at the hands Rugby’s Milly Bradshaw and Colebridge’s Lisa Rinnhofer as well as stablemate Jenny Singleton.

IIlness prevented Katie Singleton from further progress but Fletcher’s victories over Lucie Hancock, Bradshaw and Rinnhofer gave her second spot overall, her only loss being to number one seed Philippa Luxton.

Fletcher, Bradshaw (3rd) and Rinnhofer (4th) all go on to compete at Preston.

Jenny Singleton finished tenth and Briscoe secured 13th position overall.

In the under-15 boys’, Adam Cofler topped his first group comfortably and will go on to join his Free Church colleagues at Preston after clinching fourth position. Rugby’s Sam Cafearo was second.

After a slow start, Jenny Singleton had fine wins over Bethany Wootton and Joanna Antoskiewicz to finish sixth in the under-15 girls’ event which was won by Lisa Rinnhofer.

Tom Fletcher also enjoyed a good day, finishing third in his group but then beating Lewis Singleton and Jamie Chen to clinch a very good seventh position, with Singleton eighth.

Meanwhile, in the opening week of the Leamingotn & District League, champions Rugby A got off to a solid start with an 8-2 success over St George’s A, for whom Mark Jackson took both points. Matt Outhwaite’s treble with support from Ryan Lines and Danny Orr secured the win.