DARLINGTON teenager Thomas Rayner helped England become a top-20 hit at the European Youth Table Tennis Championships in the Czech Republic.

Rayner, 15, competed alongside Naphong Boonyaprapa and Louis Price in the cadet boys category in Ostrava and they began the team competition well with 3-0 victories over Scotland and Slovenia in the group stage.

Rayner, who has achieved a number of notable results on the national and international stage in the last couple of years, won both of his singles matches, and also combined with Price to take the doubles in both fixtures.

A 3-2 defeat by Serbia, in which Rayner won one of his two singles matches and again won the doubles alongside Price, meant England could not qualify for the top division of 16 teams.

However, a 3-2 win over Belarus and a 3-1 victory over Estonia – in which Rayner again won both his singles matches – in the second group stage meant they were able to compete in the play-offs for 17th-20th positions.

They lost the first of those matches 3-1 to Denmark – Rayner and Price taking the doubles – before a 3-0 win over Bulgaria sealed 19th spot.

Again, Rayner and Price combined for a successful outing in the doubles.

In the individual singles, Longfield Sports Academy pupil Rayner went out in the first round to the higher-ranked Noah Hvid of Denmark.

Hivid won 4-1 (11-8, 11-8, 13-15, 11-5, 11-7), meaning that Rayner went into the consolation singles, winning his first two matches in that competition to reach the last 16.

In the cadet boys’ doubles, Rayner and Alve Sjoevold of Sweden were seeded 16th, but lost 3-2 (11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-2) in the first round to Uri Almor and Eitay Shushan of Israel.

In the cadet mixed doubles, Rayner and Mari Baldwin beat an Austrian pair in the first round.

However, the English duo went out to 29th seeds Vincent Senkbeil and Mia Griesel of Germany in the last 64, by a scoreline of 3-0 (11-3, 12-10, 11-8).