Magnificent Mollie, 12, wins junior English table tennis title in Sheffield

Mollie Patterson, right, in action. Picture: ANDY CHUBB

Mollie Patterson, right, in action. Picture: ANDY CHUBB - Credit: Archant

A 12-year-old from Norfolk is celebrating after becoming a national champion, writes Paul Stimpson.

Mollie Patterson, from Brancaster Staithe, partnered Danielle Kelly to the under-14 girls’ doubles crown at Ponds Forge in Sheffield at the weekend.

The pair defeated top seeds Denise Payet and Sophie Barlow 3-1 in the quarter-finals (5-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8) and, buoyed by that result, went on to defeat Katie Holt and Amelia Chan 3-2 (9-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-3) in the semi-finals.

The final was more straightforward as the pair triumphed 3-0 against Charlotte Bardsley and Alice Dillon 3-0 (13-11, 11-6, 11-6).

“We played really well against Denise and Sophie,” said the Smithdon High School student.

“We lifted each other and built each other up and it gave us a boost.”

Patterson came close to making it a memorable double, reaching the final of the under-14 girls’ singles, but finding number one seed Payet in top form as she won it 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 11-5).

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In the under-13 singles, Patterson was seeded second but lost to sixth seed Chan in the quarter-finals 3-2 (10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 13-15, 10-12).

“I’m disappointed about the under-13s but I think I’ll feel proud when I look back on the whole day,” said Patterson.

“Mostly about the under-14s because I beat the under-13s winner and also I’d never beaten Gauri Duhan before.”

The down-to-earth youngster was also quick to thank everybody who has contributed financially to help her this season, espescially the Hunstanton and District Rotary Club and Thornton’s Sports and Leisure. She also said a huge thank you to her number one coach Mark Dare.

Patterson has been playing table tennis for four years and is a member of the England youth squad. She’s played for her country in the British Primary Schools International, and has just been selected to play again in the forthcoming Senior Schools International, in Perth, Scotland.