Veterans' British League 2nd Weekend - 24-25 February 2018
Men’s teams finish in relegation zone
Both Cippenham men’s teams ended up in the relegation zone of their respective divisions when the Veterans’ British League concluded in Derby. However, there was better news for the Cippenham women’s team as they finished in the top half of their division.
It was a case of nearly but not quite enough for both men’s teams as each required just one more set from any match to secure their places in the safety zone. Both teams finished fifth in their division, equal on points with the team above but a solitary set behind and both having a much better games ratio which would have been the next deciding factor.
The first team commenced the final weekend in fourth place in a tightly contested Division 1A. The division was so tight that only two points finally separated the runners-up from the bottom team with divisional champions Foresters five points clear at the top.
Martin Gray started the weekend in great form, winning his first five matches as Cippenham A drew 3-3 with Topspin Fusion and then defeated Wirepoint Bulldogs 4-2. Martin was assisted by Martin Adams as between them they were responsible for all seven wins over these two matches. Then came Cippenham’s first defeat of the weekend, 2-4 to Foresters. The two Martins both beat Foresters number one Martin Gunn in this match but Mark Bank was unable to add to the scoreline.
On Sunday it was Martin Adams’ turn to lead the way with two wins against London Moberley while Mark came to the party this time beating Jojo Senorin to clinch a point from the 3-3 draw. The final match saw Cippenham needing just two sets to clinch a safe position in the table but they lost all the first three in the deciding fifth games. Martin Adams gave Cippenham hope with a 3-0 win over Gerald Campbell but the 1-5 defeat left the team marooned in fifth position in the final league table.
The men’s second team, however, were trying to move in the opposite direction, having started the weekend bottom of Division 3B. The weekend started well with a good 3-3 draw with eventual divisional champions St Georges. Mike Rhodes, Christos Hannides and Paul Baker all contributed to this scoreline. Saturday afternoon saw Cippenham still in great form with a 4-2 win over third-placed XLNT Draycott 3. Mike was the architect of this result with wins against Richard Hayes and Alan Cherry while Paul and Christos both beat Nigel Adams. Super Saturday finished with another 4-2 victory, this time against Whitworth Academy. Paul starred for Cippenham with wins against Andy Middleton and David Kelly while Mike and Christos also won their matches against these two opponents.
After a great Saturday, Sunday’s results were disappointing as Cippenham B lost 2-4 to South Essex and then, in the all-important final match, could gain only a 3-3 draw with Foresters D.
The Cippenham women’s team, operating in Division 2, finished fourth overall out of eight. A 3-3 draw with Carpe Diem and a 1-5 defeat to RTA concluded the first part of the exercise. The division was then split into two sections with Cippenham placed into the top section. There were mixed fortunes with the highlight being a 3-3 draw with divisional champions IPS Tigers. Wendy Porter, Denise Weller and Sue Hayes all bagged a win apiece but the other results were less impressive, defeats by 1-5 to Billwood and 2-4 to Northern Belles.