Melbourn I vs Peterborough II
Weds 15th November
Melbourn won 16-9
Melbourn 1sts got our first win since the opening round of fixtures as we edged past Peterborough 2nds (nominally, their 1sts have withdrawn) by three strings to two, all of which finished in 3-1 scorelines to one team or the other.
Jan Brynjolffssen (5) fell a game behind to Simon Thompson as he struggled to find his game in the face of Simon’s all-out attack (that’s my tactic, dammit!). However a focus on accurate serving and returning and more aggressive court positioning saw a turnaround in game two. Game three would be topsy-turvey, deciding this string and arguably the entire match. Jan established a 6-1 lead, lost focus and his gameplan to see this whittled away and found himself 10-8 down. However both game points were saved, and then it was one of his own at 11-10. Simon saved it this time, but would repeat the trick at 12-11 down. Game four saw Jan pulling clear mid-game to eventually take it and the match 8-11 11-6 13-11 11-6.
Meanwhile Mark Oppen (4) was attempting to deal with the hot and cold play of Courtney Burke. Courtney is a fit and fast individual, whose defences can be hard to break down as a result. Mark showed good patience in the opening game, plugging away to force mistakes from his opponent. Game two went rapidly in his favour as Courtney’s error rate mounted, but then game three saw a reversal as the Peterborough player reduced his errors and Mark began making them himself as he tried to force the pace.
A reset for game four proved decisive as Mark established an early lead that worked to induce Courtney into overpushing on this occasion. It took a couple of match balls to get over the line, but in the end Mark won 11-9 11-4 2-11 11-7.
Dan Easton (3) put in a superb opening game against away skipper James Best to move a game up, with both teammates on the balcony commenting it was the best that they had ever seen him play. Consistent, mistake free, hitting with clip rather than thrash and stepping in to take the ball out of the air whenever possible. Unfortunately sustaining this plateau for more than a game and a half wasn’t quite there yet, and as errors crept in James was well placed to take advantage as Dan eventually fell . Ultimately a bit disappointing, but that opening 15 minutes show what Dan is capable of and that his best is extremely high quality.
Talking of which, Ed Wheeler (2) put in another scintillating show as he took on Michael Catling. Ed opened up significant leads in the first two games, and though Michael clawed himself back close in both those early advantages proved enough to see Ed over the line. Game three didn’t go quite to plan as a more attacking style led to the winner/error ratio skewing in an unfortunate direction (Ed alter admitted he was feeling the pace a little in this game), but having dropped it Ed made the most of the chance to get off court and outside for a brief cool down, re-emerging looking once again like the player of the opening two games as he closed out the match . Not that his mother saw it as she could quite bear to watch the last few points!
Last up was Matt Sampson (1) against Dan Soar. Matt won the opener playing the sort of clean, accurate and disguised Squash that is basically the only way to get a game off a player as strong as Dan. Unfortunately game two was not quite the same (“I put eight out!” M.Sampson). A reset saw game three be nip-and-tuck, eventually reaching 9-9, but from there Dan took two rallies and Matt was in trouble. He fell behind early in the fourth, and as clearly the more tired of the two players had no way back as he ultimately went down .