Senior British League 3rd Weekend - 21 January 2018
Another British League blank
Both Cippenham teams again drew a blank in the Senior British League when rounds nine and ten were played on Sunday. However, comfort can be taken from the fact that the performances were generally much better than the previous weekend.
The Cippenham first team, playing at Harlow, were represented by Martin Adams, Chris Bartram, on debut, Robert Hansell and Martin Gray. Their first opponents were Godalming Simply Let, historically a bogey team for Cippenham, and so it proved again. Martin Adams got Cippenham off to the perfect start by beating Andreas Pusch 3-0 and when Rob followed up with a win over Hari Gehlot, Cippenham were 2-1. However, losses by Martin Gray, who had been feeling unwell the day before, and the doubles gave Godalming a 3-2 advantage. There then followed a sequence of four sets that all ebbed and flowed one way then the other with all requiring a deciding five and final game to settle them. Unfortunately, Cippenham could do no better than take a share of those four sets and so the match was lost 5-4. Robert, who completed his brace by beating Pusch, was named player of the match, an unusual occurrence in a losing team, and Chris won Cippenham’s other set against Adam Laws.
The afternoon event matched Cippenham up against a stronger than usual Fusion II team. Martin Gray and Chris both beat Clive Carthy and Rob followed up his morning exploits with a win against Jamal Dennison but that was as good as it got for Cippenham who slumped to a 6-3 defeat. The pivotal moments both came against Joseph Hee who managed to defeat both Chris and Martin Adams in the deciding game.
The Cippenham second team had home advantage but could not quite make it count for league points. Simon Vine got Cippenham off to the perfect start against Haywards Heath when he beat Tomas Pomej but then came a succession of seven losses before Ashley Shaw added to the scoreline in the final encounter against Dean Haskett for a 7-2 defeat.
The afternoon match was very much a case of what could have been. The host team went 3-1 up against Godalming Simply Let II after Simon Vine, Ashley Shaw and Paul Baker had beaten Jamie Nordin, Danielle Kelly and Vijay Bhaskar respectively. Next came the doubles and the Shaw brothers, Oli and Ashley, played well above themselves and held several match points in the third game against Rob Pountney and Nordin. The Godalming pair came back to take the fourth game and ultimately also the fifth 15-13 after a sequence of several nervy deuce points. Simon took the first game off Pountney but was ultimately beaten by the former Cippenham man of a couple of decades ago, but the real blow was dealt when Oli had match points in the fourth game against Kelly as all the luck went the young Godalming player’s way. Ashley completed his singles brace comfortably against Bhaskar but Godalming eventually won 5-4 when Norton held off Paul’s challenge 3-1.