It was an unfortunate loss 5-0 for the Birmingham Women’s Table Tennis 1s vs Loughborough 1s at the Sports Centre on Wednesday. Birmingham came up against a very formidable opponent and there was no shame in their performance against such a team.
The Birmingham team consisted of Sharron Bamberg and Su Xu and in this game, they fought continuously, improving consistently as the match went on, unfortunately for the pair though they were coming up against a true dominant team in their league.
Unluckily for the pair they had come up against Nottingham 1s the week before where they had also been defeated, the schedule giving them the toughest start imaginable. Nevertheless, the desire, fight and effort was clearly still there from Birmingham.
The first game consisted of Sharron up against the taller of the two Loughborough players, and the tone was set early as she fell in the first game 11-1, 11-4, 11-5. Sharron grew into these matches as the scores show, the first result particularly harsh and not fully reflecting the nature of play.
Su Xu was up next and although they were one down there was plenty to be played for, but again the games followed in similar fashion of Loughborough starting out quick and then Birmingham coming back later on but not quite having enough to seal a win as Su fell 11-2, 11-5, 11-4.
The results throughout followed a neat trend and really it was less of Birmingham playing badly as it was that the Loughborough players were immense, making some outrageous shots. Sharron was back on for her second game but once more she lost 11-2, 11-5, and 11-4.
At this point Loughborough had sealed the victory but Birmingham were still playing for pride and they did play for that still scrapping for every point they could and still putting up a solid effort for most points.
Su’s second game was next and she battled away making some impressive rallies with her opponent but she seemed unable to convert these into points. Once more some of the shots from the Loughborough player in this match were unstoppable and so although Su fell to scores of 11-2, 11-1, and 11-5, it was certainly not due to a lack of effort but more just a stunning display from a very good table tennis player.
Then came the doubles match and for a moment it seemed as if this is maybe where the Loughborough players weren’t as strong as Birmingham took a 4-2 lead and deservedly so. However, quickly the powerful forehands came back from Loughborough leaving the Birmingham team helpless and they once more lost to scores of 11-6, 11-5 and 11-3.
Overall it was a spirited performance from Birmingham, the scoreline perhaps does show the dominance Loughborough ultimately had but it was no great shame to lose in that manner to such talented players they were up against. Hopefully they can rebound and win next week.