Melbourn 1 vs Broxbourne 1
Weds 10th July
Melbourn won 12-2
After a first 3-0 win of the season to open the second half last week, the 1sts were looking to do it again when we hosted a Broxbourne side that sat 8th in the table (of nine teams).
The first match on pitted Chris Fowell (3) against Rob Twilley. Chris was making his come back to the team after missing the whole of the winter league after sustaining a cruciate ligament injury, which was very ill-timed as he had been on increasingly good form during the 2018 summer league. So it was good to see him back in action.
Chris was up most of the way through his opening game as his movement and stretching allowed him to cover Rob’s clever drops and angle changes. The second looked to be going the same way as Chris earned a number of game balls. However these evaporated and Rob had a couple of chances to turn the match on its head. One backhand volley on game ball that found the tin had the crowd gasping as it was a clear chance on game ball. Chris took advantage of the reprieve to win the breaker 19-17. Game three went the Broxbourne man’s way as he took command of the front of the court, but Chris readjusted his position and won the fourth going away. Both looked exhausted by the end on a hot and sticky evening. However it was Chris who had the win to help him cool down thanks to a 15-12, 19-17, 9-15 15-8 scoreline.
Next on was Mark Oppen (2) against Dan Collison. The opening game saw rallies exchanged as Mark struggled to break clear of the visiting player, whilst Dan would get close and then offer another error to let Mark stay ahead. From the balcony it looked like Mark was more reactive than in control, but this did work to claim the game. It didn’t look like that was going to be the case for most of the second as Dan built a good lead. However towards the back end of the game it became clear that Dan was struggling with a back injury, something Mark ruthlessly played on to level up. The third was a somewhat desultory affair as Dan’s injury kept worsening, substantially reducing his movement. To his credit he saw out the game, finding some good winners when given the opportunity to keep points short, but it was Mark who rounded things off for a 15-12, 15-13, 15-8 win.
The final match of the evening pitted Chris Shaw (1) against Phil Lavender. The first two games were extremely tight, both ending 15-13 with one going each way. In the second, however, it began to look like Chris was the fitter player as Phil’s movement started to slow (marginally, but enough) towards the game conclusion. The same feeling persisted in the third as Chris kept the points physical and long and was rewarded by moving away at the back end of the game to put himself 2-1 up. Game four was more of the same, initially very equal with both players retrieving spectacularly and working the ball around for an opening. However, once again, as the game progressed Phil’s foot speed feel off quicker than Chris’ and also his head went down towards the later stages of the game, allowing Chris to reel off a string of points and claim a 13-15, 15-13, 15-11, 15-9 victory.
Melbourn 1sts skipper Jan Brynjolffssen commented “It was great to have Chris F back on the team after so long out with a serious knee injury. He played very well against a very tricky opponent who showed incredible touch. However Chris’ movement was excellent, which allowed him home. Both Mark and Chris S also played well and deserved their wins”