Basingstoke table tennis ace Amy Blagbrough finishes third at national finals

Basingstoke Gazette: Amy Blagbrough in action. Amy Blagbrough in action.

KEMPSHOTT teenage table tennis star Amy Blagbrough produced a brilliant performance as she claimed third spot in the English National Cadet finals in Preston.

The 13-year-old Aldworth School was competing against the top 50 girls in the country in the under-15 age group.

In her group matches she took on Imogen Barber (Yorkshire), Georgina Lister (Cambridgeshire) and Molly Bradshaw (Warwickshire), none of whom could cope with Blagbrough's power and accuracy as she won all three matches 3-0.

In the last 32, she faced Yorkshire's Solememo Hanif, which was a tough match but the Kempshott player was always in control and won it 3-1.

This set up a clash with Sophie Barlow from Cumbria, a player ranked higher than her and it proved to be a real battle.

The girls split the first four sets evenly, but then Blagbrough raised her game to take the deciding fifth set and the match.

In the last eight, Blagbrough faced a dangerous opponent in Tiana Dennison, as the Essex player had just beaten the number three seed 3-0.

This proved to be a brilliant game and some of the rallies were quite spectacular, consisting of multiple shots played with speed and power all over the table.

At two sets each and 9-9 in the fifth, Blagbrough again dug deep and produced a couple of devastating shots to win the match.

This set-up a game against England number two Kate Nixon in the semi-finals and unfortunately Blagbrough was edged out 13-11, 13-11, 13-11, but all three sets could have gone either way.

The Kempshott then teamed up with Lincolnshire's Grace Potter and they got to the semi-final of the doubles competition before losing to the eventual winners.

The previous day Blagbrough, played in the junior event for under-18 players and was one of the youngest players.

She did extremely well as she caused several upsets in getting to the last 16.

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