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Women's British League 1st Weekend - 15-16 October 2022

Cippenham’s two teams made the trip to Wolverhampton to take part in the first weekend of the new season of the Women’s British League. For this year, the two teams have swapped places as the improving youngsters have now overtaken the more experienced players and, as designated now as the club’s first team, taken their place in Division 3.

The youngsters’ improvements showed in their results. Rachael Iles, Mia Lakhani and Anna Piercey comprised the same team as had operated, with success, in the Junior British League the previous weekend. This time they won two and drew two of their five matches and are handily placed third in Division 3 with two of the weaker sides still to play when the first stage of the competition completes in the new year.

Cippenham 1 made a storming start to the weekend, beating Greenwich-based Youngs Table Tennis Club 6-0 in their opening fixture and then followed this up with a 4-2 win over North Essex. Anna was unbeaten over the two matches, losing just one game out of thirteen, and deservedly pick up the player of the match award on both occasions.

Cippenham number one, Rachael, was the star player in the later Saturday match against Loop Dublin. Rachael was imperious as she beat Ikuko McMahon and Nives Golun, both in straight games as she led her side to a 3-3 draw. Anna was the other winner for Cippenham, beating McMahon in the final set to clinch a league point for her team.

Sunday started with another 3-3 draw, this time against St Neots. This match was unusual in that all six players across both teams won one and lost one match each. Cippenham led 3-0 at the half-way stage but disappointingly lost all the following three encounters. Nevertheless, Mia was named as the player of the match. The final match of the weekend, against the division leaders Ellenborough resulted in a 6-0 defeat against a strong team representing the Enfield-based club.

Meanwhile, Cippenham’s longer established team, now designated as the second team, were playing in Division 4. They finished the first half of the season in fourth place, having won one and drawn one of their five matches. Mary Heffernan was by far the most successful player for Cippenham, winning six of her eight individual matches, and being named as player of the match on two occasions. Lucie Bouron weighed in with three wins whilst Julie Dean only managed two and team captain Denise Weller one but from only four matches.

Greenhouse, the powerhouse charity-supported club from London, were Cippenham’s first opponents on Saturday morning. Julie and Mary won one each in a 2-4 defeat, both having beaten Parrmis Ahsani. Mary was rested for the next match against Jersey in which Denise secured Cippenham’ only win in a 1-5 reversal. There was a change of fortunes in the third match as the Cippenham second team beat Drumchapel Glasgow third team 4-2. Cippenham went 3-0 up before Drumchapel brought the score back to 3-2. However, Mary earned her player of the match award with the completion of her brace whilst beating Megan Mulhern.

One win apiece from Mary and Lucie were not enough against Worthing on Sunday morning as the south-coast side ran out 4-2 winners. The weekend finished on a brighter note as Cippenham shared the spoils with Sutton at Hone 3-3. Once again, Mary was the star winning her two matches against Heidi Smith and Helen Shields with consummate ease before Lucie grabbed a point for her team with a 3-1 win over Smith.

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