AFTER a difficult season 12-year-old Nick Keast travelled to Walsall for the National U14s Table Tennis Championships and delighted his coach with his performance.
Having qualified via the regional tournament, Nick was drawn against the number four seed in his group alongside the higher ranked Daniel Searle from Shropshire and Tommy Taylor from Buckinghamshire.
Nick struggled against his first opponent, fourth seed and eventual finalist Olly Tyndall, losing 3-0 (11-3, 11-4, 11-6).
After a couple of close ends and a few words from coach Paul Johnson, Nick managed to turn things around against Taylor, winning 3-2 (14-16, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-6).
The final game of the group and possibly the best saw Nick play Daniel Searle.
After a few tight rallies, Daniel took the first end 11-4, but then Nick won the second 11-3.
Daniel edged the third to leave Nick staring at a group exit, but got off to a good start in the fourth and took it 13-11, followed by the fifth 11-5 and the match 3-2.
His tournament ended against the impressive Lewis Acton in a close game, but his coach sang his praises: “Nick has had a very difficult season and we have had a few issues to deal with, however, I am very happy with the way he has performed today.”
“To come through his group and take a very good win against a higher ranked player was really pleasing,” he added.