NATIONAL CADET LEAGUE –13.01.19– DAY 3
A EARN PROMOTION BACK TO DIVISION 1
With both teams operating in Division 2, there was ample opportunity of observing the other four teams. These were Elmgreen 1 and 2, Cleeve Park 3 and South Croydon F. The Cleeve Park and South Croydon players were all familiar faces to the A and B teams.
The A (Tommy Cowling/Ben McKay/Sam Arnott) began their campaign to return to Division 1 against Elmgreen 2 (Finnbar Twomey/Gus Leggatt/Isaac Lovely). Ben opened up with a long duel with Finnbar which he might have won in four as he was 2-1 up but Finnbar stuck to his guns, snatched the fourth 12-10 and then kept Ben at bay in the fifth. Tommy got the A’s side of the scoreboard moving, defeating Gus comfortably in the fourth having survived 12-10, 12-10 in the first two games. Sam zipped through Isaac in straight games for a 2-1 lead. Tommy and Ben won the next two sets to lead 4-1. Sam got a 2-1 lead over Gus who then held him off to make it 4-2.
In the meantime, the B (Konrad Johnson/Matthew James/Daniel Henderson) started out with a match against South Croydon F’s three girls, Calina Dawson, Anishka Vijay and Caron Charles. There were a couple of tight five game sets, both won, and one went to four games but the only loss was Matthew to Caron.
It was the A team’s turn to play South Croydon F who had the same three players out. Tommy, Felipe Fujimori and Sam kept a clean sheet. Sam was keen to avenge his previous loss to Caron which he did in straight games while Felipe struggled with the same player before managing to nip home 12-10 in the fifth.
The B (Konrad/Oscar Owen/Daniel) took on Cleeve Park 3 (Philip Kmiecik/Chris Chin/Jake Murrison-Waller). All six sets went to four games with Philip defeating Oscar in the opening set. The next four games were all secured and it was not until the last set that Cleeve Park got another one on the board with a win for Chris over Daniel.
Next up for the A (Ben/Felipe/Sam) were Elmgreen 1 (Akramal Islam/Franklin Almonte/Danner Cordova) who were likewise eyeing up a place back in Division 1. It was as tough as was expected but there was a brilliant win for Sam over Danner which was the highlight of the match from the A team’s point of view.
The B (Konrad/Oscar/Matthew) ran into Elmgreen 2 (Finnbar/Gus/Isaac) and found it tough going. Oscar was unfortunate to lose to Finnbar 12-10 in the fifth game and four other sets needed a fourth game. Konrad pulled off a good win over Finnbar but that was the B’s only point.
The A (Tommy/Felipe/Sam) tackled old rivals Cleeve Park 3 (Philip/Chris/Jake) and it turned into a battle royale. Felipe managed to wriggle past Philip who was struggling with a leg injury and backed up by Tommy who beat Chris. Sam chipped in another one for a 3-0 lead. Tommy was bitterly disappointed to lose his 100% record to Philip in the next set and it turned out to be the only point dropped which didn’t make him feel any better.
The B (Oscar/Matthew/Daniel) were up against it with Elmgreen 1 (Akramal/Franklin/Danner) and things were not going too well. Daniel gave Danner a lot of trouble and was unfortunate not to pull off a win but there were no points to bank at the end.
The final match of the day was fittingly the battle between the B (Konrad/Oscar/Matthew) and A (Tommy/Ben/Felipe). Konrad got a win over Ben but all the remaining sets went to the A though Tommy had his work cut out to beat Konrad and Ben had to go to five to beat Matthew.
It was a tough day for everyone. The A achieved their target of returning to Division 1 with a tally of 21 points, five behind Elmgreen 1 and the B on 11 were only a point behind Cleeve Park 3 in fifth place. Elmgreen 2 were four ahead of them.