Junior British League 2nd weekend - 8/9 March 2020
Cippenham girls have to settle for runners-up medals
Before all table tennis activity was temporarily suspended in the country, the Junior British League season did manage to come to a conclusion. The Cippenham girls’ team travelled to Derby in the hope of overhauling a two-point deficit and win Division 3 in their first season. Needing to win their final match against St. Neots and with anticipation high, unfortunately they were unable to secure that vital win and a 3-3 draw left them with the runners-up medals, a successful but ultimately disappointing conclusion to an overwise excellent weekend.
The Cippenham team of Hannah Silcock, who hails from Jersey in the Channel Islands, plus locals Rachael Iles and Anna Piercey, set about their business from the start. The Saturday morning fixture with Lillington resulted in a 4-2 win for Cippenham with Hannah easily winning her two matches and assisted by one each from Rachael and Anna. The lunchtime match against Britannia went one better as Cippenham eclipsed the team from Ipswich 5-1. This time it was Rachael and Anna who starred with two wins each while Hannah suffered her only reverse of the weekend, beaten by Isobel McGerty. Better still, the late afternoon match resulted in a 6-0 romp over bottom team Halton 2. With St. Neots having dropped their first point of the season in a 3-3 draw with Ackworth, the gap at the top of the table had narrowed to one point.
On Sunday morning it was Cippenham’s turn to play Ackworth and, unlike St. Neots, they ran out easy winners 5-1 with Hannah and Anna both winning twice. The season was set up for a grand finale with Cippenham still one point behind St. Neots and therefore needing to beat them in the last match. Rachel lost to Stefania Pope in the opening set but Hannah equalised for Cippenham against Chloe Pryke. St. Neots then reasserted their lead when Aditi Dhillon beat Anna leaving Cippenham needing to win all three remaining sets to take the divisional title. Hopes were kept alive by Hannah who recovered from two games to one down to beat Popa in the closest of encounters 14-12 in the fifth game. Rachael then beat Dhillon 3-1 and it was left to Anna to defeat Pryke in the final set. Unfortunately, that was not to be and the St. Neots player won 3-0.