This past weekend saw club players participating in yet another national league competition. After Senior British league and Welsh league in the past few weeks it was now time for Junior British league, hosted in the impressive Derby Arena.
The club was to have three teams competing in total, a girls’ team consisting of Anna Hursey, Jamie-lee Harley & Lara Whitton. A boys’ team containing Marc Castro, Tommy Heydon & Pouyan Javanmard and also a boys’ team made up of Benedict Watson, Louie Price, Joe Williams & Dan Jones.
With all of the teams being ranked low in their divisions the weekend was always going to be full of tough matches but also provide invaluable experience for all the club players.
The girls’ team were to be competing in Division 3 along with teams from England and one from Guernsey. First up on the Saturday morning was to be Bishop Auckland. The match got off to an unfortunate start as both Jamie-lee and Anna lost out 2-3 to Amy Gittings & Alice Rice respectively. Lara then lost to Ffion Myers so the team found themselves 3-0 down at the halfway stage of the match.
The second matches for each of the girls saw the start of a potential comeback as Anna defeated Gittings 3-0, which was then followed up with Jamie-Lee beating Myers 3-1 to give Cardiff the chance to nick a draw with the last match being between Lara and Alice Rice. Lara managed to gain a 2 sets to 1 advantage by playing some good table tennis but eventually lost out 11-9 in the deciding set meaning Bishop secured the win and all the points.
After the disappointment of the narrow defeat in the first match the girls faced off against Great Stuckley in the second match of the day. All the players competed well but found the going tough as Anna lost to Lister 3-2 & Boston 3-0. Lara lost to Weatherby 3-0 & Lister 3-1, and Jamie-Lee lost to Boston 3-1 but managed to get a win on the board for Cardiff by defeating Weatherby 3-1 in the final match.
The final match of the Saturday was against Guernsey and proved to be a nail biter with Cardiff fighting back after falling behind twice during the match to secure a well-deserved draw. The first match went to Guernsey after Le Tissier edged past Jamie-Lee 13-11 in the deciding set. Cardiff were then brought back level as Anna put in a dominant performance to win 3-0 vs Kershaw. Guernsey then pulled 3-1 ahead overall as Casey beat Lara 3-1 before Le Tissier won her second match against Anna 3-1. Cardiff didn’t give in though and Jamie-Lee beat Casey 3-1 to send Lara in to play and gain the draw for Cardiff by defeating Kershaw 3-2, a well-earned point for the girls with all the players winning a match each.
Sunday morning proved to be another tough match for the girls as they lost out to Swerve TTC 5-1 overall with Jamie-Lee winning the sole match against McCarty 3-1. The other matches saw Jamie-Lee lose out to Williams 3-0. Anna was defeated by Wong 3-0 & Williams 3-2, and Lara lost to McCarty 3-2 and Wong 3-0.
The final match of the weekend proved to be no easier as Cardiff faced a strong Ellenborough team. The match started well for Cardiff with Anna beating Davies 3-0 but then
close matches saw Cardiff fall behind as Jamie-Lee lost to A Chan 3-0 & J Chan 3-2. Anna lost her second match 3-2 against A Chan and Lara was beaten by J Chan 3-1 & Davies 3-1. After the first weekend the team is currently in 5th place in the league.
The boys ‘A’ team, playing under the name Wales, competed in Division 1.
First match of the weekend was against London Academy and Tommy was up first but lost out to the impressive Sirjaj 3-0. Marc then got Cardiff back level as he defeated Clifford 3-1, before Pouyan gave Cardiff the lead with a win over Achampong 3-0. Marc then faced the challenge of trying to gain a result against the in-form Sirjaj and almost succeeded but eventually lost 3-2 so the match was back level at 2-2. Tommy then chipped in with a good performance and 3-0 victory vs Achampong which secured the draw for Cardiff as Pouyan lost to Clifford 3-1 in the final match. A decent start for the team with all the players winning a match each.
Next up for Cardiff was Draycott. Marc beat Duhan 3-0 in a good performance but then results shifted as Tommy lost to Boonyaprapa 3-1 followed by Pouyan losing to Saglik 3-0 and Marc losing his second match to Boonyaprapa 3-1. Pouyan then got things back on track with a 3-1 win against Duhan to give Cardiff the chance of a draw with Tommy up against Saglik in the final match. Tommy fell 2-0 behind before digging deep to bring it back level at 2-2. Unfortunately Tommy lost the final set 11-9 so Cardiff missed out on the draw.
The last match of the Saturday was against Woodgreen. The lead switched between the teams but resulted in a draw, again with all the players winning one match each. Marc defeated Taylor 3-0 but lost to Higgins 3-1. Tommy beat Gittins 3-0 but lost to Higgins 3-0 and Pouyan won against Gittins 3-0 but was beaten by Taylor 3-0.
The Sunday contained two more close matches for the boys. First against Fusion. Tommy lost to Grant 3-0 in the first match before Marc lost to Merton 3-2. Pouyan then beat Carter 3-1 to reduce the deficit before Marc lost 3-2 again to Grant and Tommy lost to Carter 3-1. Pouyan then won the final match vs Merton 3-2 in a strong performance.
To conclude the weekends play Marc, Tommy & Pouyan were up against St Marys Hull TTC. The match got off to a bad start as Marc lost out 11-9 in the decider to Ibbitson, with this result then followed by a defeat for Tommy at the hands of Hornsey 3-0. Pouyan then got a win on the board for the team with a fantastic fight back from 2 sets to 0 down to beat Wong 3-2. Unfortunately Hornsey was in great form in the match and followed up his earlier win with a victory against Marc 3-1. With a draw now the best the boys could hope for Pouyan stepped up to play Ibbitson. Things started well with Pouyan winning the first set and seemingly being in control of proceedings until Ibbitson came back to win 3-1 and therefor earn all the points for St Marys. Tommy beat Wong 3-1 in the final match so the overall score ended as a close 2-4 loss.
After the first weekend the team is currently in 5th place in the league.
Cardiff had another boys’ team on show at the weekend. This team consisted of Benedict Watson, Louie Price, Joe Williams & Dan Jones. This team would be playing in Division 4A
and like the girls would play a team from Guernsey in addition to the ones from various places in England.
It was the team from Guernsey that Cardiff would kick off proceedings with, facing them on the Saturday morning. Guernsey had an ace up their sleeves in Ben Foss who defeated both Louie (3-1) & Benedict (3-1) but the boys were up for the challenge as Benedict beat Bichard 3-1, Louie defeated Casey 3-0 and Joe beat both Casey (3-1) & Bichard (3-2). The match against Bichard for Joe was particularly impressive as he was playing for the team to win the overall match and even after being 2-1 down he kept fighting to eventually win 12-10 in the deciding set.
Next up for the team was Generation 2. This proved to be a tough match for Cardiff as they lost 5-1. Things started well enough as Benedict won against Cheung 3-1. But this early victory was followed by 5 straight losses for the team despite best efforts. Louie lost out to Vashee (3-2) & Darwen (3-1). Dan lost to Darwen (3-0) & Cheung (3-0), and Benedict lost his second match to Vashee 3-1.
The final match of the Saturday was against Ormesby 2. Things again got off to a strong start as Louie beat Wardell 3-2 in a great match. Benedict then added to the wins as he defeated Dewar 3-0. Things however took a turn results wise after this as Joe lost out to Gofton 3-0. This was followed by Benedict losing to Wardell 3-1 and Louie to Gofton 3-0. The final match saw Joe miss out against Dewar 3-0 so the end result was a 4-2 victory for Ormesby.
Sunday saw another point gained by Cardiff as they started the day with a hard fought draw against Fusion. In a match in which 4 of the 6 matches went the distance, Cardiff took away a point after Benedict defeated Garnham-Sankey 3-2 & Marquiori also 3-2. Louie won against McCarthy 3-2 but lost out in his other match to Marquiori 3-2. Joe battled hard but lost out to McCarthy 3-0 and Garnham-Sankey 3-1.
The final match of the weekend for this team was to be against Draycott 2. The weekend was to finish with a loss against the strong team from Draycott 5-1. Louie picked up the sole victory for Cardiff with a 3-0 win against Finney. This win however couldn’t be added to as Benedict lost to Abbott (3-1) & Finney (3-0). Dan lost out to Boonyaprapa (3-0) & Abbott (3-0), and Louie lost his second match to Boonyaprapa (3-2).
After the weekends matches the team currently sit in 4th position.
All the players competed well and gave their all for their team and club mates and behaved in a respectful and appropriate manner throughout the weekend