Both Cippenham teams again drew a blank in the Senior British League when rounds
nine and ten were played on Sunday. However, comfort can be taken from the fact that
the performances were generally much better than the previous weekend.
The Cippenham first team, playing at Harlow, were represented by Martin Adams, Chris
Bartram, on debut, Robert Hansell and Martin Gray. Their first opponents were Godalming
Simply Let, historically a bogey team for Cippenham, and so it proved again. Martin
Adams got Cippenham off to the perfect start by beating Andreas Pusch 3-0 and when
Rob followed up with a win over Hari Gehlot, Cippenham were 2-1. However, losses
by Martin Gray, who had been feeling unwell the day before, and the doubles gave
Godalming a 3-2 advantage. There then followed a sequence of four sets that all ebbed
and flowed one way then the other with all requiring a deciding five and final game
to settle them. Unfortunately, Cippenham could do no better than take a share of
those four sets and so the match was lost 5-4. Robert, who completed his brace by
beating Pusch, was named player of the match, an unusual occurrence in a losing team,
and Chris won Cippenham’s other set against Adam Laws.
The afternoon event matched Cippenham up against a stronger than usual Fusion II
team. Martin Gray and Chris both beat Clive Carthy and Rob followed up his morning
exploits with a win against Jamal Dennison but that was as good as it got for Cippenham
who slumped to a 6-3 defeat. The pivotal moments both came against Joseph Hee who
managed to defeat both Chris and Martin Adams in the deciding game.
The Cippenham second team had home advantage but could not quite make it count for
league points. Simon Vine got Cippenham off to the perfect start against Haywards
Heath when he beat Tomas Pomej but then came a succession of seven losses before
Ashley Shaw added to the scoreline in the final encounter against Dean Haskett for
a 7-2 defeat.
The afternoon match was very much a case of what could have been. The host team went
3-1 up against Godalming Simply Let II after Simon Vine, Ashley Shaw and Paul Baker
had beaten Jamie Nordin, Danielle Kelly and Vijay Bhaskar respectively. Next came
the doubles and the Shaw brothers, Oli and Ashley, played well above themselves and
held several match points in the third game against Rob Pountney and Nordin. The
Godalming pair came back to take the fourth game and ultimately also the fifth 15-13
after a sequence of several nervy deuce points. Simon took the first game off Pountney
but was ultimately beaten by the former Cippenham man of a couple of decades ago,
but the real blow was dealt when Oli had match points in the fourth game against
Kelly as all the luck went the young Godalming player’s way. Ashley completed his
singles brace comfortably against Bhaskar but Godalming eventually won 5-4 when Norton
held off Paul’s challenge 3-1.