NATIONAL JUNIOR LEAGUE (South) Cippenham, February 4th
Fine victory for A team over 2nd placed Reading A
The three Kidlington Forum teams enjoyed the third Saturday of National Junior League (South) competition. The A team established their position in Division 1 by beating Reading A 4-2: both Lewis Waddup and Ryan Hambridge scored decisive wins over an out-of-sorts Thomas Perkins, Joe McKenna-Jones (as our top seeded player in County Championship format) turned over Harry Munro and Ryan managed to confuse Joe Barraclough. Next up were table-topping Crusaders A: we came very close here in a 2-4 defeat: both Joe and Ryan defeated Leon Griffiths, while Ryan also excelled in forcing Alex Lane into a decider, in which he led all the way, only to be pipped at the post 12-10.
The afternoon matches were more of an anti-climax, as Joe went off the boil against Ashford A, leaving Lewis to salvage a draw with two wins. After his aberration Joe closed out the day with two wins over Crusaders B, carrying us to a 4-2 victory, and consigning our opponents to relegation. This was a solid team performance, sharing 2nd place with Reading A and Cippenham A on the day and leaving us secure in 4th position in the cumulative league tables. It has been quite a step up for Joe, Lewis and Ryan to find that they can compete with some of the best in this league.
Lewis Waddup salvaged a draw for Kidlington A against Ashford A.
In Division 2 the B team scored 0-6 (v Crusaders C), 6-0, 2-4 and 4-2, another roller-coaster ride, but also ending the day in 4th position. Rafe Fleming made his debut at NJL but only lasted one match, as he aggravated a footballing injury: he will be back with a vengeance, I am sure, as his current form is quite a revelation! Fortunately Todd Stanmore was on his way, undaunted, having recovered from overnight sickness. Todd has been one of the best players in this division and on this occasion was able to avenge one of his few reverses in a great encounter with James Perks, in which every game went to deuce. Todd won 6/6, while both Jack Smith and Cameron Aris competed very well throughout the day, each notching up 3/8.
Talismanic Todd recovered miraculously from a bout of sickness
The C team saw another sea change in personnel, with Arthur Anstis finally making an appearance and 14 year-old Robbie Greenfield newly recruited to the Kidlington ranks. With Luke Plowman as top seed and guided by Richard Anstis, the team had an excellent day scoring 6-0, 3-3, 6-0 and 4-2. Luke won 5/8, Arthur a remarkable 8/8 and talented newcomer Robbie 6/8. The 3-3 draw was against Ashford B, who were able to maintain their slender lead over us to gain promotion.