Melbourn I vs Frank Lee I
Weds 31st October
Melbourn won 17-5
Melbourn Men’s 1st squash team hosted Frank Lee this week.
Up first was Melbourn’s Dan Easton (5) playing Andrew Dawson, and on the opposite court Vinod Duraikan (3) against Frank Lee’s James Liley. Dan had a less than ideal start, finding his line and length difficult to execute which gave Andrew more opportunities to take the ball early and more often than not the points. Soon Dan was facing a five point deficit, with Andrew closing in on a game ball opportunity – unfortunately Dan lost his first game 6-11. Vinod on the other court was making his first game look far more straight-forward as he gained points rapidly and soon had won the opener 11-5. Dan’s second game was again proving to be hard for him as he just wasn’t executing his shots as he’d like and lost it by 6-11 points. Vinod’s opponent in the second game was starting to show glimmers of improved movement and shot accuracy and for a few points it was maybe looking like the tables were turning, but Vinod was able to move a little faster and take up the slack, playing harder and with more tempo that gave him his second game 11-5. For Dan it wasn’t his night as Andrew, who is a fierce competitor, wasn’t looking like relaxing at all and although Dan made the score line closer in the third game, it was to prove the deciding and match winning game for Andrew as Dan lost the match 0-3. Vinod’s third game saw James produce a far more solid performance in the middle section of the game and again it was looking maybe that Vinod could be troubled. However, again, this was short lived, as Vinod stepped into another gear, stretched a little further and generally got a wiggle on. Vinod finally won the third game 11-7 and his match 3-0.
Up next was Melbourn’s Malik Bilen (4) vs Kendrick To and Ed Wheeler (2) against Guy Weatherhead from Frank Lee. A super start from Malik as he played accurately and with good movement. Kendrick didn’t get traction and soon the first game went Malik’s way 11-3. Ed’s opponent had a long reach to the ball and it was evident that Ed had to be careful of not playing loose cross court shots for fear of them being intercepted early. Ed’s first game was close and the rallies were long, with both players looking evenly matched, however Ed kept the shots tight, especially on the his backhand that gave him the chances he needed nearing the close of the game to play the ball short – Ed won the first game 11-9. Malik’s second game was a little closer as he kept his routine from his first going and soon won the second game 11-5. Ed’s third game saw him play less accurately and the earlier feared cross court shots onto his opponent’s racket did start to eat away at any lead Ed was making and unfortunately he lost his third game 5-11. Malik looked to be enjoying his positive two games lead in his match and it showed as he didn’t come off the gas at all in the third as he gained a commanding lead that soon turned into match ball – Malik won the third game to an impressive 11-2 and his match 3-0. Back to the start of Ed’s fourth game things were not looking as good, his opponent had stepped up the hitting tempo and was making as many early returns as his limbs could muster and soon Ed was four points adrift. Guy had converted his game ball serve to game point and Ed was now faced with a deciding fifth game.
Meanwhile Melbourn’s Matt Sampson (1) was playing Chris Shaw. Matt had to work hard in his opening game as Chris was making up for Matt’s accurate shots with some rapid court movement. Matt continued to play steadily that gradually gave him a decent lead and the first game 11-7.
Ed was now into his match deciding fifth game and the first four points went Ed’s way as he looked to be playing with more accuracy and with improved pace. However, his opponent wasn’t going to go down without a fight and by the mid-section of the game the points were level at 6-6. Ed fought hard to stay in the rallies and gradually, through his movement, taking the ball slightly earlier than Guy had a two point lead, then three. The last few points of the game were highly entertaining and the level of squash was excellent. So it was with some relief to see Ed finally serving for his match – Ed won in the fifth 11-7 and his match 3-2.
Matt continued his game plan throughout his second game and although a tighter result he was still able to keep Chris from picking up many more points and won the second 11-8. The third and what would be deciding game was even closer as Chris gave his all to keep the rallies going and create any chance he could to make a point up. Matt stayed steady, playing more defensively and gradually took the points to a serving point that became match point 11-9 and his match 3-0
Skipper Mark commented “An excellent 17 league points result from the team this week, Ed’s has to be the match of the night as he had to battle hard to finally win an entertaining fifth game.”