Crown Lodge II vs Melbourn II
Weds 6th March
Melbourn won 17-7
The 2nds made their annual trek across the fens to within spitting distance of the wash to take on Crown Lodge in what was a must-win match for their promotion prospects.
Things started well as James S (5) took the first game fairly comfortably against Rebecca Moore. He was also well up in the second when a string of unforced errors, some of them on what should have been easy winners, allowed the home player back into the game. Rebecca then showed her experience to grit the game out to make it 1-1. James refocused at the start of the third, playing five good rallies to build a 5-0 lead. Sadly, during the sixth, Rebecca felt something go in her hamstring and though she tried to play another point that was the end of the match, James winning 3-1 by retirement.
Next on was Roger W (4) against Anne Walton and John G (3) against John Overvorde. Roger had played Anne on these courts the previous season, and had come away frustrated after a 3-1 defeat. He had clearly learned from that as he slowed the game up, not normally an effective tactic against female players but a good one on Crown’s pacy courts, and this paid dividends as Roger slowly took complete command and won 3-0.
Meanwhile John was struggling against John, falling a game down and then getting into a battle in the second. This saw multiple game points both ways, but eventually went the way of the Crown player. The fifth was similarly tight, Melbourn’s John clawing himself out of a 11-13 hole to win it 15-13 and extend the match. Game four was very similar, except this time it was John G who created the 14-11 lead. Two tinned attacking shots that probably weren’t on and this evaporated, but it was followed by two better focused rallies to win the tie-break. On to a decider, with things getting fraught on court and with the marker as both players got into debates about calls (pointless, no-one intimidates Rebecca!). In amongst the talk some more Squash was played, and it was the home John who came out on top 15-11 to pull one back for the hosts.
The second string game between Gareth and Charlie Kisby can be best summer up as ‘typical Gareth’. The first game was close, but a few errors at crucial times saw it escape 15-13. The second wasn’t, as Gareth dragged the ball cross court repeatedly and was beaten 15-2. Now, one wouldn’t hold out much hope of a comeback after that, unless you had watched Dr. Jones in action before that is. Straighter lines made a difference, the unforced error rate dropped way down, and it was 1-2. The fourth was close all the way, and indeed went to a break, but in that Charlie came through for a 3-1 win.
That meant Jan (1) versus Colin Hunt was a winner-takes-all encounter. In the opening half of the first game there was little between the players, but then a mid-game run of points for Jan established a big enough lead for him to close it out. Game two saw some new tactics from the visitor, who did his best Arthur Ashe by giving Colin ‘junk’. Just like with Connors this worked, Colin making unforced errors to hand the game away. Much the same happened in game three, Jan picking up points when he needed them to always maintain a lead and close out the 3-0 victory.
Skipper Roger commented it was “Another good team performance. We picked up valuable points from the 2 lost strings which will be important for our final push for promotion”