National Junior League Day 4 - 25 February 2023
In a remarkable example of consistency, all four Cippenham teams finished the season in second place in their divisions in the National Junior League. Across the four teams, eighteen players were given the chance to play for Cippenham during the season and gained valuable experience in this nationally-organised competition, the local rounds of which were all played at Cippenham.
The Cippenham A team finished second in Division 2 as they were in day three. On this fourth and final day's play Cippenham beat Guildford A 9-0 and Kidlington Forum 6-3 but lost 2-7 to Kingfisher A and it was this defeat in the final match that saw Cippenham eclipsed for top spot by a single point and the Reading-based team claim top spot. George Driscoll got Cippenham off to the perfect start beating Matthew Gorby 3-0 and when Louis Alexander beat Advay Chopra 11-8 in the fifth the score stood 2-1 to Cippenham. Just one more set was required to give the hosts top spot in the division. However, it was not to be as the following six sets were all lost. Edward Meacock came closest to pulling off that elusive final point when he lost deuce in the fifth to Chopra. Edward and Nick Carter had previously picked up player of the match awards in the first two winning matches.
The Cippenham B team suffered a similar fate to the A team, losing out on first place in Division 4 by one point to Ashford B. This was a closely-fought division with only one point separating the top three sides, all of whom thrashed bottom team Ashford D, Cippenham by 8-1. The crunch matches for the hosts came against Bourne End JSC B, who were beaten 6-3 and Ashford B who beat Cippenham 6-3. Charlie Cook, with a maximum, was Cippenham's hero in the opening match of the day against Bourne End while Sam Wolfenden won two against Ashford but Ankush Srinivas was unlucky to lose two very close matches and that proved to be the difference. Sam picked up POM against Ashford D.
Cippenham C were in a two-horse race with Guidlford B for the honours in Division 5 but the Surrey team's 6-3 victory when the two sides met in the opening fixture was the difference. Notwithstanding his team's defeat, Bharath Prasanna Kumar won the Player of the Match award with three wins while his brothers Arjun and Sai could not score. In Arjun's case is was so near so far as he twice lost narrlowly in the fifth. Cippenham's other matches were both against Chiltern sides, their C team losing 7-2 and the D team 8-1. Bharath was POM in both matches giving him a cleam sweep of the award over the day's play and a 100% record to boot.
Cippenham D only had two matches in Division 6 and they both finished 5-4, one in favour of Cippenham against Ashford F and the other in favour of Ashford E. Aryan Sharna picked up POM in the match that was won.