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Senior British League 2nd Weekend - 4-5 November 2017

A pointless weekend!

The second weekend of matches in the Senior British League proved to be most disappointing and fruitless for both the teams from Cippenham Table Tennis Club. Played over Guy Fawkes weekend, there were certainly no fireworks in terms of results and the only spark was provided by the form of 14-years old Shae Thakker who won three of his four individual matches.

The Cippenham first team were in action in National Division A-2 at the BATTS club in Harlow. Although all the results went against Cippenham, team captain Martin Adams commented that the team was not outclassed except by runaway divisional leaders Horsham Blades, a team made up of imported Swedish players.

Saturday morning saw a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Brighton. Martin Adams beat Harry McCarney, to whom Robert Hansell lost narrowly 12-10 in the deciding fifth game, while Owe Karlsson beat Raffaela Kurz 3-0. Martin and Owe also lost the doubles set 11-9 in the decider. Cippenham next faced the hosts, BATTS II, and another 7-2 defeat ensued. Owe was once again on the scoresheet, beating Sam Chesterman 3-0 while Robert added the other with a 3-1 win over Joe Walker. Martin, twice, and Rob lost sets in the deciding games so the match was really much closer than the final scoreline suggests.

Martin Gray replaced Owe for the Sunday matches and made an immediate impact, beating Valerio Bucci of London Academy II. Both Steve Munson and Rob Hansell beat Hiba Feredj, the latter by the most emphatic scoreline of the entire weekend, but Cippenham still lost the match 6-3. Martin Gray was the only Cippenham player to really test the strong Horsham Blades outfit. After beating Gabriel Kempl 3-1, Martin lost narrowly to Jonas Berglund but Cippenham’s weekend ended there with defeat by 8-1.

With Shae Thakker unavailable for the Saturday matches in National Division C-4, Cippenham second team had to resort to the services of weekend organiser Graham Trimming. Their first match was against Ellenborough who are far and away the best team in the division. Ashley Shaw score a great win over Sara Williams but that was all Cippenham had to show in an 8-1 loss. The afternoon match against Newton Abbot shared the same scoreline but this was most disappointing against a team that was previously bottom of the table. Graham battled hard and actually led Wim Faassen 2-1 and 9-5 but could not quite pull off a victory. Paul Baker also lost close in the fifth to Faassen and Cippenham’s only win came right at the start of the match when Oli Shaw impressively beat Jon Cheung.

The best Cippenham performance of the weekend undoubtedly came from young Shae Thakker. The young GB para player came from behind to win both his matches against Ashford II, beating Artur Lopata and Yun Song Cheang over five games. Oli Shaw had an equally good 3-0 win over Michael Silver but lost after leading Cheang 2-1 as did brother Ashley against Silver. The final result being 6-3 in Ashford’s favour. The weekend finished with a 7-2 defeat to second-placed Horsham Spinners. Both Cippenham’s wins were tight 3-2 affairs, with Shae playing exceptionally well to beat the experienced Horsham captain and number one Rory Scott and then combining with Paul Baker to win the doubles over Scott and Phil Snelson.

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