Comberton 3 vs Melbourn 2
Tues 5th November
Remember, remember the Fifth of November
Last week I failed miserably to work references to Halloween into a match report. Can I do better with this one, which took place on Bonfire Night? Let’s see...
There were few oohs and aahs to be had in Roger’s fifth string match with Tom Snaith as Tom’s performance was very much a damp squib. He started stone cold and remained that way as Roger rattled through to a rapid 3-0 win, losing only eight rallies all match. Bemusingly brief for what, on paper, should have been an entertaining contest.
Next door Mark (4) was taking on a familiar face, sometime Melbourn Club Night player Pierre Ducrot. Mark was going for a long burn at first, his punishing and consistent length and power drawing errors from Pierre. He also had much success with serves to the backhand side directed at the Comberton player’s feet. A switch to more whizz-bang style in the second proved an error as Pierre sparkled on the short stuff and claimed a tight one on a tie-break. Mark went back to the extended volleys after that and re-established command, taking it 3-1 as Pierre ended the match incandescent about some marking calls.
Back on Court 2, Gareth (3) had taking his place by the fire after Roger’s brief stay. He was up against Richard Anthony, who was on top towards the end of the first game when the crowd (i.e. your report writer) settled down to watch the display. And what I saw was Gareth produce a string of consistent, patient error-free rallies to claw back an 8-13 deficit to 13-all. Once all square it was soon apparent that this had been a particularly glittering part of the barrage; the previous pattern returned and stayed in place, Gareth being a bit tight and pushing too hard for winners. He did scramble through the first on an extended breaker, but the next three went narrowly the other way as he fell 1-3.
By now Matt (2) was taking on Neil Stutchbury. This is a match-up that has generally gone Matt’s way relatively comfortably, with no suggestion of fireworks to come in a straightforward first game. However Matt then got his fingers burned in the second, making too many errors with Neil capitalising to level on a breaker. Matt reasserted his authority in the third, winning it 15-2, but then assumed that meant Neil was now a dud, approached too close and it blew up in his face as the fourth was lost. Matt got hot under the collar during this, but that just lit the blue touchpaper for a frisky fifth full of unexpected moments of sound and light that Matt gutted out 15-11 to seal victory for both himself and the team. Fire off the rockets!
That left it to Jan (1) to kick over the embers against Martyn Symmons. Jan’s usual plan of against Martyn of firing high into the air was reasonably effective, though Martyn did produced an occasional explosions when afforded the opportunity. Still, Jan was mostly in command and wrapped up a decently straightforward 3-0 success.
Skipper Roger commented “In the end we won comfortably 18-6 despite some wobbles along the way. This means we now move up to fourth in the league but, if we want to push for promotion, we will have to improve as other teams will not allow us to get away with quite so many inconsistent passages of play”