Town vs Gown

The University and City Ladies’ teams shared the Town v Gown trophy, with ODTTA Committee man Don Harris

Cricket Schools Hall, University Sports Centre, Iffley Road

The annual Town v Gown contests went the way of the Town Men’s teams, with only the Ladies salvaging the honour of a draw for the University. The Men’s first team competed well for the University with wins for Kristofer Hammarback, Paul Erdunast and Anthony Chuah taking them to 3-3, after which the City quartet of Pawel Jaskolski, Tony Stead, Neil Hurford and Glen Freeman took control. The second team match was more one-sided, with a solitary win for Roger Look over Jack Shardlow stopping the one way traffic.

It was good to see Jack in action for the City again in his first year out of juniors – he is still improving and was runner-up in Grade B at the Lillington tournament last weekend; also Fraser Harris, taking a well-earned break from overseeing his large family, and Seb Huygen, who, having found some good form and made his way into the representative teams for both Didcot and Oxford, is now about to leave us for the South of France! Evergreen Mike Aistrop made up a strong Town second team.

Yiqi Zhang and Jessie Cao dominated proceedings at the top end of the Ladies’ match, but were unable to remedy the deficit of turning up a player short, which enabled the City’s redoubtable Tatiana Bachkirova, Sharon Curtis, Svetlana Khoronenkova and Vicky Coll to force a draw.

Table Tennis is a sport which unites the nations, as you see just from looking at the team sheets, and also the generations. Representing the Town 1sts against their youthful counterparts were veterans Glen, Neil and Tony, the oldest of whom will soon be celebrating his 60th, while far be it from me to divulge the ages of the Ladies, except to mention that Vicky is still 11, and must be one of the youngest players ever to appear in the long history of this event!

City Men’s team of Glen Freeman, Neil Hurford, Pawel Jaskolski (C), Tony Stead, Mike Aistrop, Jack Shardlow & Seb Huygen

John Birkin (City Team Manager)