Brancaster Staithe table tennis ace lives up to top billing
West Norfolk table tennis ace Mollie Patterson was delighted to retain the junior mixed doubles title at the PG Mutual Cadet and Junior National Championships.
The Brancaster Staithe teenager won the event last year in partnership with Kate Cheer, who is no longer eligible, so this year teamed up with Commonwealth Games medallist Denise Payet.
The pair were top seeds and lived up to their billing, beating second seeds Charlotte Bardsley and Megan Gidney 3-2 (11-4, 5-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9) in the final.
“We play well together and complement each other’s styles,” admitted Patterson after the showpiece.
“We had to fight for every point and we played very well.
Patterson, 16, was seeded fourth in the singles, but she was upset in her last-16 encounter by Anaya Patel, one of the top Cadet players on the circuit.
The youngster came from 3-0 down and saved two match points in the fifth game, but her opponent eventually triumphed 4-3 (11-5, 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 12-14, 6-11, 11-6).
Patterson said: “I was really pleased with my comeback and my mental game was really strong.
“It was a really good match and she played well. I think I was unlucky to lose it.”
In the mixed doubles, Patterson and David Gofton went out 12-10 in a deciding fifth set in the quarter-finals to eventual champions Ethan Walsh and Bardsley.