The National Championships 73



The first round of Junior Division 2D matches were played at Cippenham TTC on 15 November. With only seven teams in the Division, two of whom, Surrey 2 and Essex 2, were relegated from Division 1B last season. One team would have a bye each round. For the opening round of matches this would be the Surrey team and unfortunately Bedfordshire would be a girl short in their matches. Close matches ensued with two thirds either 6-4 wins or draws. All matches were played on two tables.

The Essex second team for the day was Sidney Dorn, Ryan Gooday, Justin Jeffery, Stephanie Cross and Zoe Davies. Original selection Luke Jones played for the first team the week before and stood down for this day.

Essex’s first match was against Oxfordshire. Sid came back from 2-0 down to number two Simon Price, ranked 226, but finally lost 11-9 in the decider whilst on the other table Justin lost to the opposition number three Fabian Avdifferen 10, -9, 10, 2, an encouraging start for him in his first match for the County. With the girls next on Zoe (ranked 75) had to come back from 2-0 and a match point down to Vicky Coll (87) to win -7, -8, 10, 2, 9 and Stephanie (the highest ranked girl on the day at 22) beat former school colleague Kristelle Brook (47) 3-1. Oxon won the next two matches, Ryan losing to No. 1 Erik Wahlgren 3-0 and Justin to Simon 3-1. Stephanie beat Vicky 3-0 comfortably but Zoe lost to the higher ranked Kristelle by three 8’s. Sidney lost to Erik 3-0 but Ryan (295) beat Fabian 3-0 so the team lost 6-4.

In the second round Essex had Bedfordshire to play, whose top two boys were ranked 63 and 186. Ryan and Justin were outplayed by the opposition 1 and 3, Matthew Evans and Owen Hewett respectively, both losing 3-0. Stephanie and Zoe both had easy 3-0 victories over Rebekah Barry. Ryan had a good win over Owen after losing the first game to 3 he came back strongly to take the next three games 10, 8, 9. Sidney lost 3-0 to Ed Simms and by three 8’s to Matthew. While in the last match Justin lost to Ed 5, -13, 5, -11, 6 to leave the match a 5-5 draw.

In the last round of matches Essex 2 had Sussex 3 to play, a similar scenario to the previous Saturday when it was Essex 1 v Sussex 2. Essex won the first four matches, Sidney beating Will Goodstone (153) 9, 11, 2, an excellent win since Will had played for Sussex 2 the previous week beating Luke Jones and narrowly losing to Ryan Williams, Justin a nice 3-0 victory over Ellis Crockford. Stephanie had to work hard for her 3-0 win over Evie Quiroga (94) and Zoe even harder for her excellent 10, -3, 8, -8, 8 win over Bethany Pemberton-Hill (40). Ryan then lost to Dexter Sherin 3-1, the third game 12-10 loss appearing pivotal, whilst Justin lost to Will 3-0, just not able to take the match to a fourth game. Zoe then lost to Evie, ranked 19 places below her, 9, -3, 10, 8, outpaced and unable to slow the match down. Stephanie, won the first game 11-9 but lost the second game to Bethany 14-12, then won the next two 4 and 3 to ensure that Essex at let got a draw. With Sidney losing to Dexter after taking the first game 12-10 it was left to Ryan to beat Ellis 3-0 for the Essex win.

An encouraging day for the four players playing at Junior level for the first time, Ryan having played for the second team at the end of last season and I am sure that they all benefitted from the advice from Coach Stuart Gibbs.

The next round of matches will be at BATTS on Saturday 7 February with four rounds of matches to be played but Essex will have a bye in the third round of matches.

Current Table after the first round of matches is:

P W D L F A Pts
Berkshire 3 2 0 1 23 7 4
Oxfordshire 2 2 0 0 12 8 4
Surrey 2 2 1 1 0 15 5 3
Essex 2 3 1 1 1 15 15 3
Sussex 3 3 0 2 1 14 16 2
Bedfordshire 3 0 2 1 11 19 2
Wiltshire 2 0 0 2 0 20 0

Arthur C. Clark
Essex Junior Match Secretary and
Junior Division 2D Organiser.