Chloe Yau, Kristelle Brook & Teisi Tamming are racing away with the South division

Drama at Cippenham

The third round of NJL(S) matches, organised by Mike Atkinson at Cippenham, produced plenty of drama for the three boys’ teams representing Kidlington Forum, while the girls made more serene progress, stretching out their lead inexorably in the girls’ division.  The excitement for the boys comes mainly through the scheme of rolling promotion and relegation, quite apart from the challenge of taking on five other teams within the span of a single day.

Teisi Tamming won 8/8 for the girls and thus takes over as the highest rated player with 100%. Two 6-0 and two 5-1 victories were followed by a closer encounter at the end of the day with Ellenborough, with Teisi (2), Kristelle Brook (1) and Chloe Yau (1) seeing the team home to a 4-2 win and a massive lead in the girls’ division. Earlier in the day Vicky Coll had contributed 6/6; she is beginning to look very assured for an 11 year-old! This is a very fine quartet of girls, but Teisi is in her last year as a junior and will be hard to replace, unless Estonia are thinking of sending us over a few more delightful IB students.

As for the Boys, the A team got relegated, Boys B got promoted, thus taking over their place in the top division, and Boys C got relegated back down to Division 3. Boys A had to make do without no 1 player, Lewis Sumner, who was sent off to Sweden to represent Grantham Academy: Lewis had held this team together almost single-handedly at times, and, try as they might, Simon Price (won  1/10), Jonah Stott (3/10) and Ethan Ball (4/10) were unable to survive in the elite company, losing to Chiltern A (1-5), Spinners B (1-5), Cippenham A (0-6) and Spinners A (2-4), before defeating Chiltern B 4-2 in their first match in Division 2 at the end of the day.

The 2nd Division was very tightly contested, with only three points separating top and bottom sides, as they embarked upon the final set of matches. Niall Harris piloted the Forum B team through the entire day, winning 8/10, supported by Luke Jobling 6/10 and Kavan Warrender 4/10. Ironically the key final match was between the two Forum sides with the B team prevailing 6-0 over Jamie Felton, Josh Selby and Ben Neumeier, thus topping the division and consigning the Cs to relegation. Thus while it had looked for much of the day as though we would end up with all three teams in Div 2, we ended up with one team in each of the three divisions, a fair outcome, it has to be said.

Predictably the B team began their Div 1 campaign with a defeat, 2-4 to Reading A, while the C team, with Fabian Audifferen restored, won 6-0 in Div 3.

This was an excellent day’s competition for all concerned. Clearly we have plenty of depth, but not quite enough talent to compete at the highest level in the Boys’ section, which is very strong. I thought that the Boys’ A team were impeccably behaved, not so easy to achieve in any sport when you’re repeatedly on the receiving end, but all credit to Simon, Jonah and Ethan.

John Birkin (City/Forum junior team manager)