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Women's British League 1st Weekend - 1/2 October 2016

Poor start for women’s teams

Both Cippenham teams made a poor start to the new season in the Women’s British League and at the end of the first weekend have just a solitary point between them to show for their endeavours.

That single point was gained by the first team, playing in Division 3, but there was even a lengthy wait for that as it came in the final match. All three players contributed to the point in a 3-3 draw with Fusion III who, remarkably, drew all five of their matches over the weekend. Wendy Porter gave Cippenham a great start by beating Francesca Currie 3-0, Julie Dean made it 2-1 with a narrow win over Rhoda Boadu and then Denise Weller secured the point in the very last set against the same player. It could, however, have been so much better for Cippenham. Wendy led Amy Blagbrough 2-1 and Julie led Currie 2-0 but both eventually lost in the fifth game of their respective matches.

Throughout the weekend, the final results of the matches did not quite reflect the closeness of the encounters. This was never more keenly demonstrated than in the first match of the weekend in which Cippenham lost 6-0 against Halton 3. Remarkably, five of the six sets were lost 3-2 and the other 3-1 and Cippenham led in three of them.

Saturday afternoon brought the second successive 6-0 defeat, this time at the hands of Sycamore with the Nottingham team being a little more dominant than Halton had been earlier. Even so, Denise led Lisa Lewis 2-1 before losing 11-9 in the fifth.

The third match on Saturday saw Cippenham pitched against Cardiff City. The Welsh team raced into a 3-0 lead before some respectability was added to the final 4-2 score by Wendy and Denise who beat Julie Hughes and Claire Flannagan.

On Sunday morning only Denise tasted success with a narrow win over Morgan Sykes as Cippenham lost 5-1 to Burton Uxbridge 2.

The young second team, promoted from the Fifth to the Fourth Division and missing star player Jemma Walker, fared even worse. It started badly for Cippenham who, due to a mix-up, fielded only two players for the first match against Cliffdale Chandlers, with Shristi Ghosh arriving too late, and consequently lost 6-0. Even so, the match was evenly contested with three of the four sets played requiring a deciding game. Lucie Bouron, on debut, so nearly got off to flying start but, after leading 2-1, lost the fourth game 12-10 and the fifth 11-5 against Hannah Winfield.

Things improved in the afternoon, with Shristi restored to the team, but Cippenham were beaten again, this time 4-2 by Stantek Old Sports, with Megan Ashfield and Shristi winning one each. Shristi won another as Cippenham lost their final match of the day 5-1 against Graham Spicer.

Divisional leaders MK Vixens swept Cippenham away 6-0 on Sunday morning and Shristi was once again the only winner in the afternoon as Byng Hall B ran out 5-1 winners.

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