Melbourn I vs Nuffield 2
Weds 15th May
Melbourn lost 4-9
Melbourn 1sts hosted St. Albans side Nuffield 2nds in our third Herts Division 2 match of the summer.
First on were Matt W (3) and Kim Mansfield. Most of the rallies were even, up to the point where Matt put a backhand volley-drop in. Kim was getting increasingly exasperated at this, as if Matt couldn’t keep doing this. We knew he can, and that is what continued to happen as Matt always held a comfortable edge and won 15-10, 15-10, 15-9.
Next on were the first strings, Kate B taking on Ryan Fitzsimon. The opening rallies looked exhausting as both players were picking everything up. The level of play was very high, and the movement and stretching of both players exceptional, but one pattern was not so good for Melbourn – at the end of most rallies, Ryan had won them. The pace slackened off a little in games 2 or 3 as it had to, which benefitted Kate as it meant her best attacking shots were no longer coming back. She also held a good lead at one point in the third (8-4) before some crucial mistakes gave Ryan momentum that he cleverly used to finish off a 2-15, 11-15, 9-15 win.
That meant Jan B (2) versus Julian Craxton was a decider. The players have met before, and that wasn’t to Jan’s benefit – memories of being repeatedly wrong-footed abounded. Now, I won’t be the only player to experience that against Julian, but it ain’t fun! For two games, this pattern repeated as Julian waited, reversed and won rallies. A tactical tweak suggested by Kate worked wonders in the third and offered a way forward for future meetings, but this one was over a game later as Julian reasserted and sent Jan down 6-15, 6-15, 15-13, 7-15.
Skipper Jan commented “There was some good Squash played, in an enjoyable evening.”