English Leagues Cup Competition
CATER CUP 2015-16
Cambridge Boys’ Team travelled to the Westfield Table Tennis Club in Wellingborough on 12th June, to play in the finals of the Carter Cup, the third year in succession that Cambridge have reached this stage. The team of James Kelly and Chingiz Kuanyshev came racing out of the blocks against their first opponents, Brighton, to record a 5-0 win. Oxford were their next opponents who provided tougher opposition. James lost his first match in 4 sets against Reece Chamdal who is just above James on the England Cadets ranking list. Chingiz, who had delayed his flight home to Kasakhstan in order to play in this event, then gained a comprehensive win over the Oxford No. 2 , which was followed by an easy 3 straight sets win for Cambridge in the doubles. Chingiz was also beaten by Reece which brought the match score to 2-2, before James ran out a straight sets winner in the final match to give Cambridge a 3-2 win. The final group match saw Cambridge up against the other unbeaten team in the group from Stockton, who were represented by brothers Jack and Joe Cope. The ensuing match was a thriller. For the first time in the day, Cambridge found themselves playing a defender in elder brother, Jack Cope. To overcome the solid defensive chop of elder brother Jack Cope, James had to be patient and work hard to lift the ball over the net before applying a strong attacking shot to finish off the rallies. Despite winning the first set, James went 1-2 behind before coming back to win the final 2 sets to record Cambridge’s first win of this match. Chingiz then played younger brother Joe Cope, who was really pumped up (vocally as well), and some excellent rallies ensued with both players standing way back from the table counter attacking against each other. Despite going close in each set, Chingiz lost 0-3. Knowing that the result of the match could well hinge on the doubles, the Cambridge pair were 2 sets down, and in a nail-bighting 3rd set, saved a match point, before scraping that set 13-11. The momentum shifted from then on and the Cambridge team kept in front throughout the final 2 sets, to record a great 3-2 win to make the overall match score 2-1 to Cambridge. Chingiz then came from 2 sets down to beat Jack Cope in 5 sets and James beat Joe Cope in 4 sets to record a 4-1 match winning result. So for the second year running, Cambridge were in the final play off to find the winners of the Carter Cup. They were up against a very strong Crawley & Horsham side who were the top ranked team present, consisting of the England No. 5 and No. 43 junior boys – Josh Bennett and George Hazell. With James ranked at No. 57 these were going to be tough opponents, who had won all three of their group games 5-0. James started off against Josh but the experience and solid game of the Crawley & Horsham player proved too much and Cambridge went 0-1 down. Chingiz started well against the opposition’s second player, winning the first 2 sets, before his opponent came storming back to take the next 2. In the final set, Chingiz’s brilliant footwork, which was remarked upon by a spectator, saw him re-gain the upper hand and he fought his way to a 11-7 win, to make the match score 1-1. In the doubles, the Cambridge pair, by now combining together well and appearing very calm, unlike their supporters, won in 3 straight sets, to give Cambridge a 2-1 lead in the match. However, the experience of the Crawley & Horsham players proved too much and with the Cambridge players beginning to tire after a long day’s play, the Crawley & Horsham team emerged as 3-2 winners. With the play off matches for final positions all taking place at the same time, it was fitting that this match ended up as the closest and, being the last one to finish, the spectators who had been supporting other teams were able to turn their attention to the top match and appreciate the excellent play from the Crawley & Horsham and the Cambridge teams. Our boys’ team once again had the added benefit of coaching advice and support from Martin Gray
James Kelly and Chingis Kuanyshev representing the Cambridge and District League travelled to Pinner, North London to take on the Wembley & Harrow and Guildford Leagues in the zonal round with two places up for grabs in the finals at Wellingborough on 12th June.
Cambridge were first up against Wembley and Harrow with Chingis playing Branislav Zivkovic who showed great defensive play against Chingis attacking shots. They shared the first 4 games 2-2 and all seemed lost for the Cambridge player at 2-9 down in the fifth but he fought back to 9-9 with more aggressive attacking shots before going on to win 11-9. James then played Eren Goscu and found his opponents serves very difficult to handle and went down 3-0. James and Chingis then lost out in the doubles and despite a valiant effort by Chingis against Eren he was unable to square the match. With Cambridge 3-1 down James then took out Branislav in an impressive tactical games 3-1 to leave the final score 3-2 in favour of Wembley.
However Cambridge then swept aside Guildford 5-0 without dropping a game and with Wembley repeating the result against the same opponents it meant Cambridge progressed through to the finals for the second year running.