Letchworth 2 vs Melbourn 1
Weds 3rd July
Melbourn won 12-4
Melbourn's first team played away to the ever-characterful Letchworth last Wednesday. Heading across with a fairly strong team, Melbourn's hopes were high.
Kate Bradshaw kicked things off at 3 string with a promising start. Playing confidently and accurately, she nicked the first 16-14. However, a lapse of concentration and energy levels saw her form dip in the second, while opponent Max Lloyd restarted with renewed focus and hard hitting. The match followed this format throughout, with an ebb and flow which saw the Melbourn player perform well in games 1 and 3, and her opponent stepping up in the 2nd and 4th. Thankfully, Kate regained her concentration and determination, giving her more speed to the ball, better position on shots and greater accuracy, volleying through the middle and finishing off with a host of volley-nicks into the forehand front. By the fifth, Max was struggling to keep up with the pace and couldn't maintain his courtwork, leaving Kate to finish off the game comfortably, gaining the team's first win of the night.
Mark Oppen was next on court for Melbourn against Jason Tinsey, who is well-known for his tricky style and preference of the leisure centre boast above any other shot. Unfortunately, this reminded Mark of how much he had liked to use this shot in previous years, and the two of them got into something of a boast-fest, sometimes creating outstanding winners, but often not. Excessive and inappropriate use of the reverse angle boast was frustrating and entertaining the crowd in almost equal measure. As the game went on, the clear message for our player was to keep it simple and not to get dragged into the scrappy game. Mark took this on board and played tidier squash. Executing straight, deep drives and volley lobs for longer spells, he managed to get into a winning position in the fifth and final game, which he eventually won 15-11…with a volley boast.
Our final player to step up was Chris Shaw at 1 string. Looking and feeling confident, even though he had forgotten his shorts, the outcome of this match was never in doubt. Moving faster than Neil Morgan, playing more accurately, working his opponent around the court and often trapping him at the back with superbly-judged height and length, Chris swept to a 3-0 victory just in time for the plating up of dinner. (Thanks go to Mark for lending Chris his 'lucky shorts'.)
An excellent and entertaining night for both teams, with great hospitality as ever from the Letchworth crew.