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Junior British League 2nd Weekend - 12-13 February 2022

Both Cippenham teams in the Junior British League had a successful weekend when their seasons concluded recently. The girls’ team made sure of their position at the pinnacle of Division 2, dropping only one point in the entire season. The boys’ team had a remarkable turnaround in performance from sitting bottom of Division 5 at the half-way stage, with no wins and just a couple of draws. They sensationally won all five return matches in the second half to leapfrog four teams and eventually finished runners-up.

The girls’ team were in control of their division right from the start. Their first half performance, in November, in which they won each of their five matches, was very nearly matched in the second half and their total of nineteen points was four more than nearest rivals Ormesby. The Cippenham team comprised locals Rachael Iles and Anna Piercey with star import from Jersey, Hannah Silcock. Hannah maintained her unbeaten record across both weekends, winning all of her twenty matches, while Rachael won fourteen and Anna nine.

The opening encounter matched Cippenham with St Neots who were duly dispatched 5-1 with Hannah and Anna remaining unbeaten. This match was closer than the result suggests with three of the six sets requiring a deciding game but with Cippenham winning all three. Sophia Gardens, a team from Cardiff, were next, dispatched by Cippenham 4-2 with braces from both Hannah and Rachael. Belfast-based Ormeau fared less well, losing 6-0 although the Irish team were not helped by the absence of a third player.

Onto to Sunday and Hannah and Rachael again won both their matches as Cippenham beat Draycott 3rds 4-2 before both the season and Cippenham’s one hundred percent record were brought to an end by Ormesby who mustered a 3-3 draw. All three Cippenham wins were 3-0 while the Middlesbrough-based team won all theirs 3-1. Hannah finished the season unbeaten and Rachael won one to earn the draw.

Meanwhile, the Cippenham boys’ team were marking a remarkable resurgence after their dismal showing in the first half of the season when they finished bottom of their division. Their run of five successive victories carried them steadily up the table until they reached second place. Notice of what was about to unfold was posted early on as Cippenham faced Greenhouse 3rds in the first match on Saturday morning. Pranav Gudipati and William Saint won four between them as league leaders and eventual champions were left reeling from their only defeat of the season, 4-2. A motivated Cippenham team then went on a winning spree, dropping only two more sets in the remaining four matches. First to suffer were Wood Green, beaten 6-0 with Jamie Woodford claiming his two matches along with Pranav and William. Jaiden Caldeira replaced Pranav for the Saturday evening match against St Marys 2nds and won one in a 5-1 success.

On to Sunday and the results kept coming. 6-0 against Bribar Cleeve Park sounds like a thrashing but only one of Cippenham’s wins was by the score of 3-0 and that was 13-11, 11-9, 19-17! A great all-round team performance from Pranav, William and Jaiden. For the final match, against a two-player Fusion 4 side, Jamie replaced Jaiden and Cippenham won 5-1 with Pranav winning both his matches and William his only match.

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