National Junior League: Lewis and Kristelle lead the way
In the absence of Teisi Tamming, 11 year-old Vicky Coll came of age for the Kidlington Forum girls’ team in their 2nd round of matches in the National Junior (Under 18) League (South), winning 7 of her 9 matches on the way to victories over Cippenham (9-0), Lingfield Notre Dame (9-0) and Ellenborough (5-4). In fact Kristelle Brook (14) led the way with a consummate 9/9, also well supported by Chloe Yau (7/9). With 6 wins/6 the girls have established a very healthy lead at the half-way stage of the season.
The Boys’ A team, competing in the 1st of the three Boys’ divisions, has been held together, almost single-handedly at times, by Lewis Sumner. They had two tremendously competitive matches, losing 4-5 to both Horsham Spinners A and Cippenham A. Ethan Ball (14), promoted to the A team in the absence of both Jonah Stott and Niall Harris, made a wonderful effort to bridge the gap. He could have won the Horsham match for us, but squandered a 10-7 lead in the 5th, serving off twice in succession. How do you recover from that? Somehow the team held on, in a match of much lower quality, to beat Reading A 5-4 at the end of the day, and they are now lying 3rd/6, behind Chiltern A and Cippenham A. Lewis’s overall record of 15/18 is outstanding; Simon Price has won 8/18, Jonah Stott 4/9 and Ethan Ball 1/9.
The B team, lying 2nd in Div 2, lost both Niall and Ethan, with Luke Jobling and Kavan Warrender attempting to fill the gaps. They lost 3-6 to league leaders, Spinners A, subsequently promoted, with Luke winning 2. Another defeat followed, 4-5 at the hands of Cippenham B, Kavan winning 2. The final match v Reading B was won 5-4, with both Luke and James Rowan winning 2. This trio held on well to finish 3rd/6.
The C team, captained by Fabian Audifferen, marched on inexorably. Jamie Felton and Reece Chamdal came into the side. They completed their stay in Div 3 with 7-2 and 9-0 victories, ending up with a comprehensive 42-3 record. Fabian, Jamie and Josh Selby then embarked on their Div 2 campaign by racing into a 6-0 lead against Chiltern B, who pegged them back to 7-2 eventually. We have plenty of strength in depth here and it will be interesting to see how our B team copes with our C team next time round, and whether either side can make any impact upon Crusaders, relegated from Div 1, but still a strong side. How far can Fabian go? He has 18/18 and at this level they just can’t read his BH anti-loop rubber, imagining rather that they must have sweat on their bats!
This was a very full and enjoyable day’s play, keeping to the NJL ethos of providing lots of competition within the framework of one day. Organising supremo, Mike Atkinson, kept things moving briskly in his inimitable staccato style.