Melbourn 1 vs Harpenden 3
Weds 12th June
Melbourn lost 5-9
The 1st team welcomed Harpenden 3rds for their latest Herts Div.2 game last Wednesday. Sadly the weather played its part in the match, in a negative sense. ‘But Squash is an Indoor sport isn’t it?!?’ you cry. ‘How is it weather dependent’ Well some recent court works had limited the flow through the extraction fans for... good reasons actually... and this was the first truly cold and wet day since that tested out the assumption. They were wrong. The flow restriction was too great, with the outside walls, the left hand one on Court 1 and the right hand side of Court 2, literally running with water. That resulted in skiddy bounces off those walls, the problem particularly noticeable on boasts as the ball straightened significantly on contact. That led to a much shallower angle than expected and, rather than balls going across the court to the opposite wall ending up in the middle of the front wall instead. Well, that’s OK for the person retrieving, right? Wrong. It’s unexpected. The player looking to attack the boast is setting themselves for a forehand and suddenly the ball is on their backhand instead (or vice versa for left-handers/on Court 2). Being wrong-footed is always challenging...
So that is what all the players had to contend with. The first two to brave it were Kate B (2) and Karl Fenwick. Kate started OK, winning the first but then began to struggle as her movement was more sluggish than usual. Life gets in the way sometimes. She found herself playing into the front too often as a result as she looked to keep the points short, which worked in the sense that they were often over quickly with Karl clutching the ball for the next serve! The Harpenden player came back to win 3-1.
Next on was Jan B (3) against Libby Montgomery. Jan led most of the way through the first two games, but he was never able to shake Libby off as she kept within a point or two with good retrieving from deep and then pouncing on chances to move forwards. Libby then took command of the key points at the death of each game as Jan found himself 2-0 down. Crisper hitting and a higher court position pulled a game back, but that took its toll as Jan’s movement slowed for the fourth which was comfortable enough for Libby to take advantage and win 3-1.
That meant Chris S (1) against Mark Godfrey-Evans was a dead rubber, as Harpenden were two strings ahead. This was a pity as it was an excellent quality match, even with the tricky conditions. Both players, being athletic types in their 20s, made a number of impressive retrieves as each searched for openings to put the ball somewhere far enough away from their foe. There was a direction to the tide though as Chris consistently won three points for every two Mark was picking up, which saw him pull away slowly in each game to win 3-0.
Skipper Jan commented “It was a pity about the state of the courts, as we had three very evenly matched strings tonight. It somewhat spoiled what ought to have been a good evening’s Squash.”