Melbourn II vs Kimbolton II
Mon 25th February
Melbourn won 19-5
Melbourn 2nds took on Kimbolton 2nds in a third vs fourth in Division 4 confrontation.
We were fortunate to have just about our strongest possible team out, which meant John G at five. He took on Lee Moore, and ultimately won the first game comfortably as a string of points in the second half all went John’s way. The second game looked like going against John as early errors saw him dropping behind, but as the game wore on Lee stopped being as quick to the front and John was able to turn it around to win on the breaker. That moreorless decided the match as John cruised through the third to win 3-0.
A reasonable similar pattern was playing out next door between Colm O’G (4) and Anthony Charters. The first was the tight one in this, but Colm edged it 15-12 and then he got his cleanly struck backhands working. Anthony probed and probed away at this wing, but Colm was solid throughout, making good calls when to punch down the wall or vary it low and cross. The second and third games were increasingly in Colm’s control as he won 3-0.
Gareth J (3) had followed John on to court 2 to take on Andy Rettie. Game 1 went comprehensively in Gareth’s favour as he hit the ground running and Andy didn’t. The Kimbolton player picked things up in the second, with Gareth also seeing his unforced error count creep up from the highly impressive basically none in the first game to a slightly more realistic level. Despite this Gareth ground out the second to move to the brink of victory… or not as he fell 0-8 down at the start of the third! That, unsurprisingly, was unrecoverable (though he did get to double figures), and the match was a contest again. Game four was nip-and-tuck all the way through, reaching 13-all. However, two late well-constructed and patient rallies saw Gareth home 3-1, and with it we had overall victory.
Not that Matt W (2) knew this, as his game against Dave Parker was taking place simultaneously. The first two games were split, Matt winning the opener and Dave striking back. Matt had started slowly but upped things after this, finding his line and length and cruising through the next two as his deadly volley drops began working sweetly to record an ultimately comfortable 3-1 win.
The final match on court pitted Jan B (1) against Nigel Harper. Things looked good for Jan in the first game was he was able to keep Nigel off-balance and benefit from errors to win it comfortably. Game two proved a turning point though as Nigel dug in. It went all the way to a tie-break, and then on and on. Jan had a number of game-balls, but could never get Nigel turned on any of them, and eventually one against the head was converted with a tight shot to depth (end score: 18-20). Despite this, jan bounced back to win game three, but then both players upped their games, Jan hitting cleaner which only seemed to feed Nigel, who was producing a string of superb cut-out volleys, some of them from unlikely positions in the back corners. That proved to be the decisive play of the match, Nigel taking games four and five by decent margins as Jan fell 3-2.
That made the final margin 19-5 in Melbourn’s favour. Skipper Roger, who had opted to rest himself, commented “This was another convincing win following on from last week’s victory. We now need to maintain this winning form and momentum for the last 3 matches of this season which could see us getting promoted”