The Isle of Wight Table Tennis Team, sponsored by Trigg & Co, performed out of their skins to gain the huge achievement of coming 5th in the Team Event at the Island Games in Gibraltar this week.
The team were drawn in the so-called Group of Death with Jersey and Aland, who finished 3rd and 5th in the last Island Games 2-years-ago, whereas the Isle of Wight finished 9th.
Playing 4th seeds Aland first, the whole team gave a magnificent performance with top Island player George Downing winning both his matches comfortably, and Alex Rorke’s superb defence completely bamboozling his first opponent.
As the match reached the mixed doubles stage they needed 1 more win for victory. Young Temeesha Hobbs paired with Downing against a pair who had never lost an Island Games match! This proved to be an incredible game which the Island pair fought to the end to win and they took the match 4-3.
The next opponents were Jersey and the IW side were rank outsiders again, yet this proved another close match. Downing managed to win 1 epic singles match and Hobbs scored a brilliant 3-0 victory in her ladies match. Hobbs then paired with Anna Joyce in the ladies doubles and this went to a nail-biting fifth set, which they ultimately lost. The match ended 4-3 to Jersey.
As runners up in their group, the Island went through to the quarter-finals the next day where they met undefeated Guernsey, who had won the team event for many years, and whitewashed all the teams in their group. The Islanders fought hard but lost 4-2. This left them in the play-offs for 5th-8th place in the tournament.
Their first opponents were the Faroe Islands who they defeated with ease, and ladies Hobbs and Joyce won their first doubles of the tournament. The last match to decide the final placing was against Menorca where Downing and Hobbs both took their singles matches, and the ladies once again gained victory in their doubles after a thrilling game, to take the tie for the Island 4-1.
The Isle of Wight’s 5th place has surpassed all expectations, and the team are full of optimism and confidence going into the Singles and Doubles competitions starting on Wednesday 10th July