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Junior British League 2nd Weekend - 17-18 February 2024

The three Cippenham teams in the Junior British League finished the season with mixed results in Derby at the weekend. The boys' first team, despite winning half of its ten matches over the season, finished fifth out of six in a very tightly contested Division 2, while the second team slipped a place in Division 7 to finish in fifth place out of eight. The girls' team maintained its fourth position in Division 1.

​The best results came from the girls' team who won one, lost one and drew three of its five matches across the weekend, All three Cippenham girls, Mia Lakhani, Rachael Iles and Anna Piercey, won a match apiece as their team drew the opening match with Draycott second team 3-3. Cippenham led 2-1 and 3-2 but could not pull off a winning score in an evenly-matched contest. Saturday afternoon brought Cippenham’s only defeat of the weekend against eventual divisional winners London Academy 2, the powerhouse club from the capital winning 4-2. Rachael and Anna both easily beat King Tung Gene Lam but three of the other four sets were lost by close margins in the fifth and deciding games, two of them 12-10. Second-placed Grantham College 2 were Cippenham’s third opponents on Saturday and this produced another 3-3 draw with all three Cippenham players again sharing the spoils.

Sunday morning began with yet another 3-3 draw, this time against Bribar Crewe Central. Yet again, the three Cippenham players shared the success. Finally, a player of the match performance from Rachael secured Cippenham their only win when, in the final match of the season, they beat Belfast-based Ormeau 4-2. Cippenham went 3-0 up but it eventually fell to Rachael to defeat Niamh Mason to secure Cippenham’s 4-2 victory.

The boys’ first team won two and lost three of its matches over the weekend. A 6-0 drubbing by eventual division winners Woodford Wells in the opening match was closer than the result suggests with William Saint twice being thwarted in the deciding game. Benjamin Dunkley won twice but that was not sufficient to give Cippenham any points as they fell 4-2 to Draycott 2 in the second match although the day finished with an excellent 4-2 win over third-placed Lillington. Ryan Chung was the player of the match with wins against Chun Wai Sheung and Daniel Stone while Benjamin and William both found Rex Wong too strong.

Benjamin was Cippenham’s only winner in a 5-1 defeat to Fusion 2 on Sunday morning but the season ended with a flourish, 6-0 against Grantham Academy 3 with player of the match Benjamin well supported by unbeaten performances from William and Ryan.

The Cippenham second boys’ team was operating in the larger eight-team Division 7 which was split after the first round of matches. The remaining two matches in stage one were completed on Saturday morning and resulted in a 4-2 defeat to Urban 3 and a 6-0 whitewash by Brighton. Jamie Woodford and Louis Alexander both scored for Cippenham in the first match. Cippenham thus found themselves in the bottom half of the division at the break and completed Saturday’s matches with a 4-2 victory over Draycott 3. Player of the match Jamie and George Driscoll both won twice but Nick Carter was unable to add to the score.

Two further defeats on Sunday completed a difficult weekend for the team. George was Cippenham’s only winner in a 5-1 defeat to Ashford  while Jamie and Louis won one apiece in the 2-4 loss to Wood Green.

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