UCS young stars bat aside their rivals to win London Schools’ Table Tennis Team Finals

Members of UCSs Under-13 boys team show off their gold medals while meeting Aaron McKibbin, who ha

Members of UCSs Under-13 boys team show off their gold medals while meeting Aaron McKibbin, who has won two team Paralympic bronze medals for Great Britain - Credit: Archant

The Under-13 boys’ team from University College School took top honours at the Jack Petchey London Schools’ Team Finals on Saturday.

Held at the SportsDock at the University of East London, the competition brought together 188 players and 41 teams from 29 schools across the capital.

The boys and girls each competed in four age groups – Under 11, Under-13, Under-16 and Under-19 – and UCS took the boys’ Under-13 crown after coming back from 3-2 down to defeat Wandsworth’s Ernest Bevin in the final.

Ben Barbarash’s thrilling victory over Jeremiah Prempeh was crucial as he took the deciding fifth set 12-10 to put his side 4-3 ahead overall.

He was one of two 11-year-olds in the team, along with Toby Crawcour, while the line-up was completed by 12-year-olds Josh Imler, Joseph Abrahams, Jacob Zakaim and Rafi Burns and 13-year-old Charlie Gordon.

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Crawcour said: “It’s our first time here and we are ecstatic we won. It was very tough.”

Crawcour’s father Matt, who also coached the team, said: “This is a top event, professionally run at a great venue with exceptional standards. The team was nervous but they came through. I am so proud of them.”

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UCS’s boys will now go forward to play in the English Schools’ Table Tennis Association Regional finals in March.

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