Broxbourne I vs Melbourn I
Weds 8th August
Melbourn won 9-5
It’s been quite a disrupted summer so far, what with holidays and clashes with Football tournaments and as a result this game, nominally seven days before the end of the campaign, was our first meeting of the summer with Broxbourne.
Following the theme of the evening, the order of matches was also unusual as we started with first string Dan taking on Shola Bello. As is often the case with Shola the match was on his racquet, many of the rallies ending with either an outrageous winner or an equally outrageous error. On this evening errors were edging the winners though, but Dan was also making mistake as the Broxbourne player won the first game on a tie-break.
A cleaner performance in the second established a good lead, and though this was nearly frittered away Dan claimed the game. He also took the third after an extended tie-break, but then lost a bit of focus and dropped the fourth, which was to be the only game decided by more than two points.
The deciding game was nip-and-tuck until Dan played some very focused Squash to earn himself match balls. However these were not converted, some with opportunities but others saved by high backhand volleyed returns to a rolling nick and other such percentage shots! Then Dan found himself 16-15 down, but he played a clutch rally, putting a number of balls millimetres above the tin to force an error and level up. And return error gave him a third or fourth (I lost count) match-ball, and another mistake saw Dan home to a 14-16 15-13 18-16 10-15 18-16 win. I told you it was close.
Jan (2) found it hard to follow that when he took on Rob Twilley. Despite the hot court conditions, Jan was unable to reach many of Rob’s short balls, and was repeatedly wrong-footed on cross courts as he lost 5-15 10-5 9-15.
That left Chris (3) and Paul Starkey playing for the win. Chris gained the upper hand psychologically in the opening game as he played conservative, depth rallies of the sort that Paul normally likes but this time he saw that he was likely to end up on the wrong side of. That prompted attempts to force, which often ended in errors.
When this was compounded in the second game by some marking calls going against Paul he lost focus, something Chris was happy to take advantage of to claim the game. He kept the momentum going in the third to engineer a scoreline that was the exact mirror-image of Jan’s winning 15-5 15-10 15-9.