Ben Naylor-Smith and Shae Thakker with their medals

Two of Cippenham’s most promising boys slugged it out in the final of the Junior Singles as the Club Championships continued on Thursday.

When Ben Naylor-Smith took the first two games it seemed as if the title was going to the No 1 seed and more established player. However, his opponent, Shae Thakker, has had a wonderful season and was not about to give up on the chance of the title.

Thakker hit back in the third game, then won the fourth and the match was set up for an exciting decider. So it proved, with Thakker growing in consistency throughout and with lightning fast counter-punches, especially on the backhand, clinched the match 3-2 (5-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-8).

Neither player had been made to work too hard to get to the final, each winning their preliminary stage group in a canter. However, Thakker did wobble slightly in his semi-final when the fast-improving William Fricker took the third game while, in the other half of the draw, Amandeep Dhak was no match for Naylor-Smith.

The event was contested by 12 players and organised by Sue Hayes.

May 1, 2015