We were back to full strength for the 3rd round of matches played on Saturday, 3rd February, with Luke Jobling having established himself as the no 3 player alongside Niall Harris and Ethan Ball. All to no avail against league leaders Reading A, making no impression at all in a 0-6 defeat. Niall found some form against Crusaders, who started the day lying 2nd, winning both his singles, which, with one win from Ethan, gave us a draw. Next up were newly promoted Chiltern A, who were finding the going very hard in the top division: somehow Niall contrived to lose to neophyte, Ben Naylor-Smith, but the rest was plain sailing in a 5-1 victory.

Reading B have improved considerably and held us to a draw in the next match, with two fine wins for Gus Thomis, and one each for our trio. Five matches in a day is a long haul and there were some shattered players out there by the end, not to mention some frazzled officials involved in a dispute, which thankfully did not involve us at all. But credit to our players for the determination and stamina they showed against Horsham Spinners A, recovering from a 1-2 deficit to win the final battle 4-2, with two victories from Niall.

All in all a good effort, which to my surprise was enough to carry us into 2nd place out of the 24 teams who take part in this event: Reading A are the runaway leaders, but we have a single point advantage over Crusaders and a healthy 8 points over 4th placed Spinners.

John Birkin (City Team Manager)