The 2016/17 Senior British League season began for CCTTC on the 27th August with a tough opening match against Batts of Essex.
This season sees a return to the home and away structure for the premier division as the British League organisers look to bring a more professional feel to the league, similar to that of other top European leagues. This means that 6 of CCTTC matches will be hosted in Cardiff with the other 6 being played away in various parts of England and Scotland.
First up for CCTTC was a home match against a strong Batts team. The outfit from Harlow meant business as they flew in Michael Tauber from his training base in France and Helshan Weerasinghe from his in Sweden. The other two spots on the Batts team were filled by Adam Nutland & Ethan Walsh. Cardiff called upon new signing Irish international Ashley Robison to join Dan O’Connell, Lloyd Gregory & Marc Castro.
Being held in Sophia Gardens and watched by a respectable sized crowd the match ultimately proved to be disappointingly one sided from Cardiff’s point of view.
Weerasinghe got Batts off to a strong start as he beat Dan 3-0 in the opening match. This victory was backed up by another strong performance for Batts by Tauber who beat Ashley, also 3-0. With Cardiff 2-0 down Lloyd was next up against Walsh and with the match tied at 1-1 and 9-9 it could have gone either way but was finally won by Walsh 3-1 to give Batts a commanding lead. Marc vs Nutland was the final matchup of the first half of matches and Marc gave a good account of himself against an older and much higher ranked opponent. Marc narrowly lost the first set before pinching the second set and putting Nutland under significant pressure before a relieved Nutland was able to squeeze out the victory 3-1.
The start of the second half of matches saw a return to the strong performances for Batts as Tauber defeated Dan 3-0 and Weerasinghe beat Lloyd 3-0. The run of victories for Batts was then halted as Ashley defeated Nutland in a match that went the distance, with the Cardiff player triumphing 11-4 in the fifth set. Marc then played the final match against Walsh and again played well and tied the match at 1 set each before losing out 3-1 so the final match score ended with a comprehensive 7-1 victory for Batts.
The next match for CCTTC will again be at home and will be against Halton TTC on the 24th of September!