Stevenage I vs Melbourn I
Weds 22nd May
Melbourn lost 0-12
Week 4 of the summer league took Melbourn to Stevenage Leisure Centre to take on the current Division 2 leaders. Eventually. The away players initially all (i.e. both, see below) made our way to ActiveFitness due to some misdirection on the league website.
There was only two of us travelling for the game as the early season availability issues added illness to the mix, with no-one able to step up to fill the gap. That also pushed Jan B and Matt W up the order to 1 and 2 respectively, which was always going to be an ask.
Particularly for Jan, who found himself up against Alice Green, aged 18 and the current World Ranking 132. A very promising youngster against a never-was doesn’t sound like the recipe for a shock, and that was exactly how things turned out. Jan managed to keep game 1 close to the mid-point, only being 7-8 down at one stage, but Alice was just figuring out her patterns and once she got those going it was completely one-way traffic. The final score (Jan first) was 8-15, 4-15, 5-15. See what you missed, Kate? ;-)
Matt then took to the court to face Robert Brooke. Good play and court position, and some excellent pick ups of Robert’s drops allow Matt to get his teeth into the game. Then a string of unforced errors from the home player looked like it would see Matt over the line. He built a 14-10 lead, but Robert saved all four points through good play and very committed retrieving x2, a slight misjudgement in attacking a ball too tight to the wall x1 (it did look tempting), and outrageous luck as the ball spat unplayably from the front wall-side wall join x1. The Stevenage player then earned his own game ball, but it was Matt’s turn to be nerveless, producing an millimetre perfect backhand drop. One more game-ball came and went at 16-15, and this time Robert pounced, forcing two errors to move one up. Effectively that was that, the home player raising his standard and Matt not quite keeping his level at as close to his very best as he had been in the opener. The final game scores were 16-18, 5-15, 6-15.