In a one-sided match, Oxford’s Men’s Table Tennis team were trounced 9-1 by Cambridge for the fourth year in a row. The Men’s 2nds were brushed aside with ease, resulting in an unattractive 10-0 scoreline. The girls performed slightly better, losing 6-4.
It was, in fact, a bitter defeat for the ladies. Following one of their best seasons in the run-up to varsity of recent years, the girls were confident of their chances.
Things were looking good for Oxford after they powered into a 2-0 lead after victories for Potjewyd and Shivkumar. But the Tabs fought back to win the next two matches and level the score at 2-2 going into the vital doubles round.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go to plan, with both Oxford teams losing tight matches. The final round of the singles was then more important than ever, with Potjewyd and Shivkumar again pulling out solid performances to pull the match back to 4-4. With all to play for, Cambridge just managed to hold out in the remaining singles and finish the day with a 6-4 victory.
The only point scored by the disappointing Men’s teams came in a dramatic Doubles Match won by captain Paul Lam and Horatio Boedihardjo. The pairs were neck and neck in the first three sets and in the crucial fourth set, the Tabs seemed poised for victory with two game points. It was Lam who kept his nerve and delivered two heavy backspin services, forcing the Light Blues to return the ball to the net, equalising at 10-10. Both sides were nervous and after a tentative exchange, Cambridge decided to initiate the aggression with a soft topspin but Lam decisively counter-attacked with a thundering forehand. The heavy spin on the ball caused it to rapidly curve after bouncing up from the table, bamboozling the unprepared opponents. After that, a massive cheer erupted from the Oxford side; the Men had finally got a point!