There were seven new faces appearing for the first time on Day 1 of Division 2, the others having competed last year.   The Division comprised two teams from Amherst, one each from Cleeve Park, Darenth, South Croydon and Tandridge.

Round 1

There were two very close matches in the opening round, the Amherst B (Alex Roberts-Hutcheson/Jake Adams) and Amherst C (James Honey/Luke Mais) derby being one of them.   Everyone looked nervous and it took a little while for them to settle down.   Roberts-Hutcheson won the first game comfortably against Honey who then got into his stride and won the next three.   So, first blood for the C.   Adams got the ball rolling for the B by defeating Mais.   The B took the doubles in straight games for the lead.   The reverse singles were shared with Roberts-Hutcheson defeating Mais in four and Honey continuing on his merry way beating Adams over four very close games.   Bragging rights, though, went to the B.

Harry Turner was making his League debut for Cleeve Park C alongside Asa Watkins against Darenth B’s established partnership of Ben Forrester and Alexander Papadopoulos.   The opening singles were shared with a narrow win for Turner over Forrester while Papadopoulos kept Watkins under pressure to level the match.   Cleeve Park had the advantage of a left-right handed pairing in the doubles and they came back from 1-2 down to win in five games.   The reverse singles were shared with Turner beating Papadopoulos while Forrester kept the score to 2-3 with a win over Watkins.

There were some very close games in the South Croydon B (Rebecca Chung/Ethan Sun) and Tandridge B (Prentice Bradford/Joe Pargeter).   The opening singles were shared – Bradford defeating Chung in straight games while Sun made his debut against Pargeter and immediately opened his account.   Tandridge won a close doubles in four games to take the lead and then added both the reverse singles although there were close games in both sets.

Round 2

There were full houses in all three of the second-round matches.   By far the closest match was the Darenth B (Forrester/Papadopoulos) and South Croydon B (Chung/Sun) clash.   Both the opening singles were very tight with Forrester having to work hard to recoup a 1-2 deficit against Chung and Papadopoulos being pegged back by Sun before running away with the fifth.   Darenth won the doubles and went on to take both the reverse singles where they had to get their heads down – Sun gave Forrester a run for his money while Papadopoulos only came through 11-9, 15-13, 11-6 against Chung which meant a clean sheet for Darenth.

The Tandridge B boys, Bradford and Pargeter, had the advantage of competing last season and put that experience to good use against the two Amherst newbies, Honey and Mais, who did their best but couldn’t prevent the whitewash.

Amherst B (Roberts-Hutcheson/Adams) fared no better against Cleeve Park C (Turner/Watkins) but it was good to see Watkins finally breaking his duck with a couple of wins to his credit though Roberts-Hutcheson took a game from him before he managed to get home in four games.

Tandridge B thus lead the table on nine with Cleeve Park C in second place on eight and Darenth B on seven.   Amherst B have three, Amherst C have two and South Croydon B off the mark on one.   Considering that the Amherst players only started training in early October they are to be commended for their efforts.   Most of the other newcomers have been playing somewhat longer.

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