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Senior British League 2nd weekend - 13/14 October 2018

Weakened Cippenham rally on Sunday

After a brilliant first weekend five weeks previously, in which Cippenham recorded a 100% record, a weakened team took to the tables for the second round of matches over the weekend. With both Robert Hansell, who had played a starring role in September, and Steve Munson unavailable, Cippenham drafted in Silviu Garduli and Martin Gray.

Saturday morning’s match was always likely to be a tough assignment against National Division B-4 leaders Ellenborough. The Enfield-based team were without their star player Mitchell Jones and a full strength Cippenham team could possibly have caused an upset. Cippenham got off to the worst possible start as team captain Martin Adams lost 3-1 to Dan Wright and Silviu Garduli followed this up losing narrowly to Andy Trott. Ricky Hardcastle steadied the ship with a huge win, 11-9 in the deciding game, against England number one veteran woman Sara Williams but Dan Fielding restored Ellenborough’s lead beating Paul Baker.

The match then swung back squarely as Martin and Silviu won the doubles set and Martin then followed this up with a very good win over Andy Trott who, at number six, is sixteen places above Martin in the national veteran men’s rankings. The teams then swapped easy wins as Ricky succumbed to Wright and Silviu was far too good for Fielding. It was left to Paul Baker to try to win the points for Cippenham but Williams was too steady and the match was lost 5-4.

Saturday afternoon’s match is best forgotten as Cippenham slumped to an 8-1 defeat against Southampton-based Waterside. Martin Adams, against Wojciech Placek, and Silviu Garduli, against Nathan Bingham, both went as close as possible but lost the first two sets by the narrowest of margins. After that, it was all Waterside except when Martin broke the sequence when he defeated Bingham.

Martin Gray came into the side in place of Ricky Hardcastle for the Sunday matches and these games provided much more cheer for Cippenham. Silviu  was player of the match in the morning’s 5-4 win over Brighton II. He won both his singles against Matthew Johnson and Billy Keegan and shared in a doubles success with Martin Adams, dropping only one end throughout the entire match. Brighton captain Tim Holtam did his bit for his team while beating both Martins but both those Cippenham players added to their team victory with wins against Jamar McGlaushin and Keegan respectively.

What was billed as an easy win for Cippenham in the final match against the youngsters of Kingfisher III, proved to be anything but easy. Reading-based Kingfisher were and still are pointless in the division but Cippenham were made to fight all the way for a 5-4 success. The pick of the Cippenham players was Martin Adams but even he had to fight back from 2-1 down against Anaya Patel and then beat the Mauritius international and Reading University student Elodie Ho Wan Kau 3-1. Sandwiched in between was a win in the doubles in tandem with Silviu. Martin Gray also beat Kau and Silviu also fought back from 2-1 down to defeat Rayaan Asghar. For Kingfisher, Todd Stanmore beat both Paul Baker and Martin Gray and was named player of the match despite it being in a losing cause.

Just four league points over the weekend moves Cippenham down to fourth place although on the same number of points as two of the team above them and well clear of the teams in the bottom half of the division.

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