Melbourn II vs Kimbolton I
Mon 21st January
Melbourn won 19-5
The top end of the Division 4 table had become incredibly tight before this match, partly because Kimbolton 1sts had beaten Kimbolton 2nds the previous week. Well, that is not a surprise I hear you call? Ah yes, but Kimbolton 2nds had won the first meeting of their teams and were second in the table at the mid-season break whilst their 1sts sat down in sixth. So, anyone’s guess what was coming, then!
The matches went on court in a rather strange order, Gareth (2) and Colm (3) kicking the night off. Gareth was up against Mark Cousins, and put in one of his ‘good’ displays, playing with patience and power, moving his opponent around and forcing errors through both specific and generalised pressure. There were a few wobbles along the way, it wouldn’t be a Gareth match without the odd drop shot dribbling sadly off his racquet face, but in the end it was a comprehensive 3-0 win (15-10 15-9 15-10).
For two games it looked like Colm would do the same against Adam Jessup, winning the opening two games 15-7 15-9. This was rather impressive against a notoriously tricky opponent who specialises in first strike Squash, but Colm wasn’t allowing Adam to breath, forcing him deep and then drop shotting at the right times. Could he close it out in game three? This one was closer, as Adam began to read Colm’s tactics and was racing forward to reach the early drops. Colm stuck to his gameplan, after all it had worked for 20-odd minutes, but some crucial errors saw the game escape 12-15. Now there was trouble, as Adam is difficult to shift once he gets his teeth into a match. Colm was now caught in the spiders web, and it was soon all square after another tight game. What Colm needed was to go back to basics. And that is exactly what he managed, holding the drops and putting the ball long past Adam, and also eliminating the three shot rallies that he was consistently losing as he cruised through the decider 15-5 and wondered what all the fuss was about!
Whilst the later half of this epic was going on, skipper Roger (5) was taking on Steve Glanville. Roger’s court nous was clearly to the fore in the first two games as Steve was repeatedly caught out by that killer backhand drop. The third was tighter as Roger temporarily lost his range in the opening points, which allowed Steve to start dictating play, but once the Melbourn player had gathered himself back up he complete his 15-4 15-5 15-10 victory.
Next up was Sean, who was taking on a quality player for fourth string in John Tose. Except John never really got into his game as Sean was able to move him around, winning the first game comfortably. The next two were closer as John battled, but he was always fighting himself as well as Sean who put in a solid performance to edge both games and claim a 3-0 victory.
The final match of the evening pitted Matt W (1) against Thomas Moore. The first game appeared to be heading the Kimbolton players way as Thomas earned himself three game balls at 14-11. However Matt saved them all to force a tie-break, which he won 17-15. He then led all the way through the second, playing superbly to take it 15-10. Things changed at this point though as Matt began to tire, miss a few more drops and Thomas applied more pressure. That saw the match pegged back to two games all after 9-15 and 11-15 scores. Thomas had the early lead in the final game, but Matt recovered to level at 10-all. From here on out it was anyone’s game, and it finally went the visiting players’ way 15-13 to give Kimbolton a consolation string from the evening.