A team win Division 1, Todd Stanmore 100%
Our A team (Lewis Waddup, Todd Stanmore & Kiarash Shaddel) have kept up constant pressure on table-topping Southampton A throughout the season and did so again, relentlessly beating Basingstoke 6-0, Weymouth 5-1, Kidlington B 5-1 and Kidlington C 5-1, before drawing 3-3 v Southampton A in the final match, making up a total of 24/30 points, to top the division, 5 points ahead of Southampton. However, the medals are awarded cumulatively over the last two rounds, and we did not quite do enough to catch up on the existing 7-point deficit, with Kiarash taking it right down to the wire, but losing at 13-11 in the decider against Ben Poulter. Todd Stanmore excelled with 10/10, including a spectacular first ever 3-1 victory over William Poulter; both Lewis & Kiarash won 7/10. No quarrel really with Southampton taking the gold medals, having dominated proceedings until this final Saturday, when one of their star players, Jared Schaller, was missing.
Todd’s maximum was a real highlight: for a boy aged 11 at the start of the season to come out as top dog in NJL Div 1 is a remarkable achievement to add to his catalogue of success: his pursuit of improvement, especially in his FH attack, is on-going, and NJL this season, impeccably organised at Waterside, has given him a definite target to aim at.
Ollie Keen had another excellent day for the B team, taking 7/10 and guiding the team into 3rd place. He turned the tables on Kiarash Shaddel here and has exceeded expectations, since returning to the B team after injury. Both Rafe Fleming & Ryan Hambridge won 5/10. The B team has competed at a high level throughout the season, coping admirably with the loss of Lewis to the A team to replace Joe McKenna-Jones.
The C team have struggled, not surprisingly, after their promotion into Division 1: Jamie McNeil has found it particularly hard going, but cadets Robbie Greenfield & Bertie Anstis have had several wins against the odds. Robbie ended up with a 35% win ratio, a testament to his resourceful defending and opportunistic hitting. Bertie’s two wins over Basingstoke paved the way for a draw against the team that finished 4th. It was a challenge, but they have competed.
With three teams in the top division, we could have fixed it for our A team to win the whole league, but the reverse was the case, with (at various points of the season) Rafe, Ryan, Ollie and Robbie all overturning A team players to deprive them of the vital points they needed. There were some epic, exhausting battles between our own players, on this occasion typified by Rafe Fleming just going down to Lewis Waddup at deuce in the 5th.
The D team had to cope without Arthur Anstis and Scott Campbell, but our two keen young ladies, Vicky Coll and Christelle Rajapaksa, are bringing a lot of momentum with them to every event and carried Jonathan Dickinson (who had gallantly stepped in as reserve) to a 5th place finish in Division 2, well above Solent. Christelle had a final win ratio of 58%, a fine achievement amidst a strong field of junior boys.
Waterside has been a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air. We embraced it right from the start. It remains to be seen what option we will take in the future, if we are offered a road back to Cippenham.
All the results are tabulated in full (i.e. every individual match is recorded) at: