Melbourn I vs Cambridge I
Weds 6th February
Melbourn lost 8-15
Another week, another match for the 1sts as they took on Cambridge 1sts.
The good news was a return to action for a couple of players, including Kate (5) who is back to fitness just in time for the Masters Nationals which is in Nottingham next week. She looked in very good nick ahead of that, producing a string of good tight rallies, moving well and showing patience in her play. Kate was finding a good length consistently and also looking sharp to pounce on any attacking opportunities as she beat Steve Casey 12-10 11-5 11-4.
Next on was Mumin (4) who was taking on a well-known face on the Cambs scene (and former league secretary), Simon Scott. Simon has a clean game and a powerful forehand, but Mumin’s movement and retrieving was keeping him alive in rallies and allowing counter-punches. Particularly effective were Mumin’s driven attacking boasts, that Simon struggled to read. Mumin won the first two, but Simon struck back to win the third. The fourth was the key as Mumin was beginning to look tired, but he found the attack to win it and claim an impressive 12-10 11-9 7-11 11-5 success.
Another welcome returnee was skipper Mark (3), who was playing his first match of 2019 following a chest infection. He took on Joe Reeds, and was decently competitive for the opening game but began to slow down thereafter, Joe running away with it 9-11 6-11 4-11.
Malik took on David Champion at second string. David had good tactics, and for two games he gave Malik the run around, consistently lobbing it over the youngster head and finding a good length, leaving Malik scrambling around at the back. Malik dragged himself to a further forward court position in game three, and suddenly everything changed. He was cutting out David’s high shot mid-court and suddenly it was the visiting player scratching around as his time was taken away. That levelled things up, but in the decider David found his length again and Malik dropped off a little and that was the crucial factor as the Melbourn player went down 4-11 5-11 11-4 11-5 7-11.
That means Ed (1) and James Powley would decide the outcome of the evening. Ed started decently, but gradually James used his experience to work the youngster over and outmanoeuvre Ed. The match became increasingly one-sided as Ed struggled to find an exit for rallies, eventually going down 8-11 4-11 1-11.
Skipper Mark commented “It was super play from Mumin and Kate at 4 and 5 to put us up, but they were just a little too strong for use at the top of the order”