The weekend of the 26th & 27th of September saw two teams depart from Cardiff City TTC to compete in the British league.
Patrick Thomas, Dan O’Connell and Nathan Thomas (to be joined by Cade Short on the Sunday) travelled to Wellingborough, Northampton to represent CCTTC II in ‘Division 2 Midlands’ whilst Danielle De Jong, Pouyan Javanmard, Benedict Watson & Guillermo Bueno journeyed to Draycott in Derbyshire to compete as CCTTC III in ‘Division 5 South’.
Division 2 Midlands
CCTTC II arrived ready to play but would be without Cade Short until the Sunday matches so had to compete with just three players in the Saturday matches. This meant that the team would start each team match on the Saturday 3-0 down after having to concede two singles matches and a doubles match. Nevertheless they were able to defeat Westfield I 7-3 overall with Patrick, Dan & Nathan winning every match they played.
After a strong start to the campaign the team would face a tougher test in the afternoons match against Nottingham Sycamore III. Still one player down, the pressure was on against a team who will have high hopes of gaining promotion. The match started well enough with Dan defeating Briskolas 3-0 to give Cardiff their first point of the match. Patrick then took to the court looking to add another win for Cardiff. Unfortunately he lost out 2-3 in a close match to Gannon. Nathan was next to play hoping to get the team back on a winning track but the close 3-2 loses continued for Cardiff with Nathan missing out 12-10 in the fifth set.
This meant that with the matches conceded at the start due to being a player down, Cardiff now trailed 5-1 overall and would have to win all the remaining matches to secure a draw. With this in mind, Patrick & Dan went on to play doubles and won 3-1 to reduce the deficit. Patrick then defeated Briskolas 3-1, followed by Dan beating Garrod 3-0 to bring the overall score to 5-4 to Sycamore. Nathan was up against the high flying Gannon in the last match of the day playing for the draw. Gannon, still high in spirits after winning his first singles match, was on form and continued his winning ways with a 3-0 victory consisting of some close sets to secure the overall win for Nottingham Sycamore.
The Sunday morning saw the arrival of Cade to complete the Cardiff team and all players would have to do their bit as Cardiff faced two strong teams in Kingfisher & York Gardens. Inspired by the performance of the Welsh Rugby team against England in the 28-25 win on the Saturday night Cardiff produced an almost perfect performance winning 9-1 overall. Patrick defeated Gehlot 3-0 and Viterbo 3-2 and teamed up with Dan again for the doubles winning 3-0. Dan won his singles against Viterbo 3-1 and Zeng 3-0. Nathan was victorious against Gehlot 3-2 and Vennapusa 3-0, also winning his doubles with Cade 3-2. Cade who was competing against players much older than himself gained a victory for the team over Vennapusa 3-0 but missed out against Zeng 3-0 to give Kingfisher their sole victory.
The last match of the weekend for CCTTC II was against another promotion candidate, York Gardens. Cardiff started in ruthless fashion with Patrick winning 3-0 vs Norwood before Dan added another victory against Carden 3-0. York, however, were not going to give up easily and Foster squeezed past Nathan in another tight 3-2 match to give York their first point. Cade then lost out to the more experienced Cartwright 3-1 so the match was back level at 2-2. Patrick and Dan added another point for Cardiff as they won their doubles 3-1 but another close 3-2 loss for Cardiff in the doubles of Nathan & Cade meant the match was evenly poised at 3-3.
York then took the lead for the first time as Patrick lost out to Carden 3-2 but Nathan quickly got the team back in it as he defeated Norwood 3-1 in an impressive performance. Dan then dispatched Cartwright 3-0 to give Cardiff a 5-4 lead going into the last match of Cade vs Foster. The match contained some good play but unfortunately Cade lost 3-1 so the match finished as a draw and the points were split between the teams.
CCTTC II finished the weekend in 4th positions and remain in the hunt for promotion at the end of the season.
Division 5 South
With British league rules stating that teams must start in division 5, regardless of ranking, the division boasts some very strong teams looking to work their way up the British league ladder. CCTTC III arrived looking to give a good account of themselves and see what they could achieve in a challenging league.
First match was to be against Wensum TTC. Danielle gave Cardiff the perfect start to the weekend with a 3-0 victory against Laws in a dominant performance. Pouyan was next up against Cockburn. Momentum swayed back and fore during the match and was eventually settled in the deciding set with Cockburn winning 3-2. Benedict then gained a close victory in his first match of the weekend 3-2 vs Joseph Goss to regain the lead for Cardiff. Guillermo then made his debut against Jacob Goss but lost 3-0 so the match was level going into the doubles. Danielle partnered Guillermo and Pouyan teamed up with Benedict. Unfortunately both pairings lost out 3-0 to give Wensum a 4-2 overall lead.
Danielle then lost out narrowly 3-2 to Cockburn meaning Cardiff’s best result could now only be a draw. Benedict defeated Laws 3-1 to reduce the deficit and give them a chance to salvage a point. However Jacob & Joseph Goss proved too strong for Pouyan and Guillermo in their singles winning 3-1 and 3-0 respectively to give Wensum a 7-3 victory.
Saturday afternoon saw the team face Hillingdon TTC who proved to be another strong outfit as they ran out 8-2 winners. Benedict and Pouyan gained a singes victory each in good performances but they proved to be the only points gained as Cardiff competed well but lost the remaining matches. A few matches such as the 3-2 defeat of Guillermo vs Clark were close but Hillingdon just had a little bit too much strength as a team overall.
Sunday saw a change of fortune for Cardiff as they picked up their first point of the season with a draw against Colebridge TTC. Danielle got the team off to a good start with a 3-0 win against Hewitt before Pouyan & Benedict added a victory each 3-1 and 3-0 in what proved to be a brilliant performance by the clubs juniors as they also both won their second singles matches 3-0 for Pouyan & 3-2 for Benedict. Both doubles matches ended in defeat for Cardiff and whilst Guillermo battled hard he lost out in his two singles matches 3-1 and Danielle lost her second singles match 3-1 so the match ended as a draw.
The final match of the weekend for CCTTC III was to be against XLNT Sports Draycott V. It resulted in another draw for CCTTC III. Danielle won the first singles match 3-1 before Pouyan added to the advantage with a 3-0 victory. Draycott then started to get back into the match as Greaves defeated Benedict 3-1 and Finney beat Guillermo 3-0 so once again the match entered the doubles level at 2-2.
Danielle and Guillermo lost out 3-0 but Pouyan and Benedict were victorious in a fantastic match that went the distance with the young pairing winning 11-8 in the fifth set. This meant the match was again tied at 3-3 with four singles matches left to play. Danielle was back on first but lost out 3-1 to Joubeily. Benedict then continued his fine form for the weekend defeating Wright 3-0 and Pouyan added another victory for Cardiff when he saw off Finney 3-0. With Cardiff leading 5-4 overall Guillermo took to the table looking to gain the win for the team. He gave a good account of himself but fell 3-1 against Greaves so CCTTC III ended the weekend with another draw and currently sit 5th in the table.
Next weekend sees the club participating in the Welsh Team Championships in Sport Wales National Centre. Play starts at 11:00am on the Saturday and 11:15am on the Sunday so feel free to come along and support the numerous club players on show.