Veterans' British League 2nd weekend - 22-23 February 2020
Cippenham men’s team champions of their division
The Cippenham veteran men’s first team became Veterans’ British League Division 2B champions at the weekend and they did it in a cantor, winning all ten of their matches over the season and with a sets aggregate of 54-6 and three of the sets lost were by reserves playing up from the second team on the final day. This has earned the team promotion to Division 1 for next season.
Andy Trott, Martin Adams and Hari Gehlot were in imperious form throughout. Saturday’s matches saw them beat Seasiders (Blackpool) and Dewsbury both 6-0 and then cap off a fine day with a 5-1 win over local rivals Ashford. Hari’s loss to Steve Davis in the final encounter of the day was the only blip in an otherwise flawless performance.
With Andy Trott not available on Sunday, Cippenham promoted Tony Stead and Samson Bekele from the second team for one match each. Tony added to his reputation with a win over John Poysden as Cippenham beat South Essex 5-1 in the morning but Samson was not able to match this against Foresters D but this did not stop Cippenham from keeping up their one hundred percent record with a 4-2 victory. Andy finished the season unbeaten with Martin losing only once and Hari twice.
Cippenham’s second team, consisting of Mike Rhodes and Paul Baker, in addition to Tony Stead and Samson Bekele, rounded off the first round of matches with a 3-3 draw against Crusaders and a 5-1 win over Ashford. Those points maintained Cippenham’s fifth place in Division 4A but meant that they would play the final three matches in a group comprising the bottom four teams in the division.
Those three matches were all won easily to finish a very good weekend for the two Cippenham men’s teams. The late Saturday match saw another 5-1 win over Ashford and this was followed on Sunday win a 6-0 drubbing of Draycott and 4-2 against bottom team Archway Peterborough 2. Over the season, all four Cippenham players won at least half of their matches with Samson on 64%, Paul 62%, Mike 56% and Tony exactly 50%.
However, the results were not so good for the Cippenham women’s team playing a little out of their depth in Division 1. Saturday morning saw the team of Denise Weller, Mary Heffernan and Sue Hayes beaten 6-0 by Ashford but they bounced back well to gain their only point of the first stage with a 3-3 draw over Milton Keynes. All three Cippenham players contributed a win apiece in a much-improved team performance.
The division was then split with Cippenham placed, as the bottom team, in the lower half for the final three matches. A 5-1 defeat at the hands of Irish Colleens, during which Sue scored Cippenham’s only point, was followed on Sunday morning by a 6-0 defeat at the hands of London-based Fusion B. However, the season ended with another 3-3 draw with Milton Keynes, replicating the result against the same opponents from a day earlier. This time it was Mary who starred for Cippenham with victories against Julie Snowdon and Sheila King while Sue recovered from 2-0 down to beat Dawn Pearce.
Photos by Mike Rhodes