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Junior British League 1st weekend - 2/3 November 2019

New girls’ team ride high in second place

The Junior British League got underway at Derby over the weekend. This season a girls’ team has replaced last season’s boys’ team and they have been placed in Division 3. Cippenham’s two young local stars, Rachael Iles and Anna Piercey, ranked 22 and 23 respectively in England cadet girls, needed a third player to make up their team. Cippenham Head Coach Ken Phillips made an inspired selection in Hannah Silcock from Jersey and she led the team brilliantly, winning nine of her ten individual matches. Anna won seven and Rachael won six as Cippenham won four of their five team matches and sit comfortably in second position in the division. All three members of the Cippenham team are just twelve years of age and playing in a competition that is for under-18s.

The weekend started with a match against Halton 2. The three Cippenham girls won the first four sets with the loss of just a solitary game to secure the maximum yield of league points before Anna lost to Milly Hanrahan. Rachael then won her second match against India Odley to give her team a 5-1 final result.

The one set-back during the weekend came next as Cippenham lost to divisional leaders St Neots. This was a closely fought match with all of the first three sets requiring a fifth game to decide the outcome. Unfortunately, Cippenham were on the losing end of the first two as Rachael led 2-0 against Chloe Pryke but could not hold on to her lead and then Hannah suffered her only reverse of the weekend against Stefania Popa. Anna got Cippenham back into the match with a close win over Aditi Dhillon and Hannah drew her team level beating Pryke 3-0. However, Rachael and Anna were unable to win their final two singles and the match was lost 2-4.

Cippenham got back to winning ways late Saturday afternoon with a 4-2 win over Britannia. The Ipswich based team actually went 2-1 up but Cippenham roared back to win with Hannah winning twice and Rachael and Anna once each.

In contrast to Saturday, Sunday’s matches were plain sailing. Ackworth were beaten 5-1 in the morning and then Cippenham went one better against Lillington in the afternoon, the final result being 6-0. Over the two matches, four of the sets were close enough to require a deciding game but overall it was a dominating display from Cippenham with Hannah and Anna winning all their four games and Rachael winning three times.

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