NATIONAL CADET LEAGUE – OXFORD MOVE UP TO 2ND
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)