Oxford battered in Table Tennis Varsity match

first_imgOxford 2 – 8 CambridgeIn the history of Varsity Table Tennis the series was all square; with 30 wins each for Oxford and Cambridge, and four draws. Following three consecutive wins over the Dark Blues, the confident Tabs entered this years Varsity fixture with a strong belief that they could take the lead in the series. Despite some brave resistance from the hosts, the Light Blues achieved this with by a convincing margin. The day began with a thrilling showdown between the Men’s Bteams. Possessing their best line-up in years, Oxford were shocked to find themselves 4-2 down after the first round of singles and doubles. However, victories from Roger Abbot, Chris Hollindale and Horatio Boedihardjo gave the Blues a fighting chance, however Cambridge levelled the scores to tie the fixture. The Ladies’ team inherited the momentum and took an early 2-1 lead thanks to impressive performance from the captain Susan Chai and Yuenyi Lo. Despite this encouraging start, their destruction by Cmabridge in the doubles caused the team to implode, finishing with a disappointing loss of 8-2. This story was then repeated by the Men’s A Team. Chris Hansell kicked off with a 2-0 lead in his first match against the Light Blues Captain, however things looked bad when the later recovered through aggressive forehand strokes in the third set. Hansell managed to hold on with some impenetrable blocking and secured a crucial first point for the Blues. The Oxford No. 2 Ansgar Walter’s hope to follow suit was soon extinguished by the Cambridge Ace. The thrilling 4 game contest saw a brimful of scintillating rallies where the audience could hardly see the ball but it was the Cambridge player who had a better focus and emerged victorious. The hosts were hit hard by this defeat and after that dispirited Blues found it impossible to stop Cambridge scoring. The Dark Blues conceded 4 points in a row until the Blues Captain Paul Lam reversed the tide. Going down 11-9 in the first set, he cleverly exploited the opposing players problems receiving long serves and took the next two sets. The Cambridge player launched a series of backhand attacks to lead 7-6 in the fourth set but Lam’s calmness together with his unstoppable forehand topspin won a 2nd point for Oxford. The victory, however, only as a consolations and the Dark Blues concluded the day with sorrowful 8-2 loss. The Varsity Match this year saw the Dark Blues posing a growing threat to the Tabs, but also showed that Oxford have a way to go before they can truly compete. With 2008 also bringing the graduation of Oxford’s two best players, Chris Hansell and Ansgar Walter, there are going to have to be other players that step up and take responsibility for leveling the series next year.by Horatio Boedihardjolast_img read more

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