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Senior British League 1st weekend - 7/8 September 2019

Second place after first weekend of matches

Cippenham commenced another season on Senior British League fixtures with three wins and one defeat to finish second in National Division B-4 after the first weekend of matches. The Club is once again hosting all the matches in this division over four weekends between now and April on behalf of Table Tennis England.

Martin Adams, Rob Hansell, Steve Munson and Shae Thakker formed the quartet of players representing the host club for the first weekend and all performed well. The top three all finished with six wins from their eight singles matches while Shae won three times. One disappointment was the solitary victory from four doubles matches for the combination of Martin and Rob, a feature that Cippenham have come to rely upon for success in the last few seasons.

The weekend got underway with a 7-2 win over Portishead although the scoreline belies the tightness of the early exchanges. Martin lost the opening set to Adda Duhan over five games but Robert and Steve edged Cippenham ahead against Joe Ratajczak and Josh Gallen although both also needed a fifth and deciding game to close out victory. Shae put Cippenham further ahead 3-1 over Andrew Smith then Martin and Rob got was to prove their only doubles success of the weekend and thus the winning margin and consequent two league points were assured. Duhan beat Steve to make it 5-2 and then Rob and Shae cleaned up the final two singles to give Cippenham their ultimate margin.

Bottom team Horsham Spinners were Cippenham’s next opponents but were no match for the hosts with the winning margin being 6-3. Martin, Rob and Steve won all their six singles matches between them with Martin being especially dominant dropping only thirty-four points in total.

Sunday morning’s opponents were Foresters 2 from Crawley. Steve was the star for Cippenham in this match with his two singles wins over Lewis Mayhew and Mark Collins being critical. Martin, Rob and Shae each added a singles win to give Cippenham both league points with a 5-4 victory. Three of Cippenham’s five wins required a deciding game including the clincher between Shae and Mayhew.

The one disappointing result for Cippenham came in the final match of the weekend which resulted in a 4-5 loss to Joola Plymouth. Cippenham’s captain, Martin, beat both Oliver Cornish and Richard Marshall while Rob demolished Paul Giles to put Cippenham 4-3 up after seven sets. However, Steve, who had earlier beaten Daniel Kerr over five games, was no match for Cornish and Shae just lost out in a ding-dong battle with Kerr 14-12 in the fifth game in a set that included two further deuce games.

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