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Junior British League 1st weekend - 10/11 November 2018

Welcome return to JBL for boys’ team

The Cippenham boys’ team made a welcome return to the Junior British League after an absence of six years, numerically replacing the girls’ team that had represented the club more recently.

Cippenham were dealt a blow in the week before the event with an injury to William Fricker but Londoner Mihnea Dascalu was signed up as a replacement. Dascalu, benefiting from playing in the number three position, turned out to be Cippenham’s most successful player, winning eight of his ten singles matches. Cippenham’s number one, Shae Thakker, contributed six wins and Pranav Gudipati one in a team effort that saw Cippenham tied on five points with three of the other six teams in a congested Division 4B.

The event was played in the imposing Derby Arena and Cippenham were quickly into their stride with a 4-2 win over Fusion 3. Shae and Mihnea secured two wins apiece while Pranav can consider himself unlucky not to add to the scoreline after being 2-1 to the good against Daniel Nzekwe.

That was as good as it got on Saturday as Cippenham were defeated 4-2 by Halton 2 and 5-1 by Mid Ulster. Mihnea and Shae actually put their team 2-0 up but Widnes-based Halton then took charge with only Mihnea stretching his opponent to a deciding game. Mihnea was also Cippenham’s only winner against the Irish team, beating Daniel Urwin easily while Shae and Pranav both suffered losses in the fifth game of their encounters with Joe Shear and Urwin respectively.

After a good night’s rest results improved on Sunday. Bottom team Colebridge B were dispatched 5-1 although Mihnea and Pranav only narrowly beat Jake Crawshaw and Henry Belcher over five games. Shae was more in control and defeated his opponents a little easier.

The weekend concluded with a 3-3 draw with BATTS B. Mihnea got Cippenham off to the perfect start, beating Fin Cameron-Prior 14-12 in the deciding game and then Shae consolidated his team’s position winning 3-0 against Ray Jiang Yan. However, the Harlow club fought back when Charlie Read beat Pranav and Cameron-Prior beat Shae, both over four games. Mihnea restored Cippenham’s lead against Read and it was left to Pranav to try to win the match for Cippenham against Yan. Pranav player won the first and third games but eventually it was Yan that prevailed 11-9 in the fifth.

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