Melbourn 2 vs Saffron Walden 2
Mon 11th November
Melbourn won 18-7
Melbourn 2nds hosted new opponents in the form of Saffron Walden 2nds in this Cambs Div 4 Winter League match.
First on court was Mark Asker (4) facing John Goodfellow who played for Melbourn last season. This was a close encounter between players of different styles with Mark playing his usual power plays against John’s tactical game. The first game was particularly tight after John pulled ahead to 12-9 but a strong response saw Mark win it 15-13. The next game was also close with Mark being regularly caught by some excellent forehand drive boasts. Once again, Mark player exerted enough pressure to force errors in the latter stages and take the game 15-10. The third game turned out to be the last game and no less close than the preceding ones. Again Mark won it and the match 3-0.
In a break from the usual order the first match next door was the top strings, Jan Brynjolffssen taking on Kirk Archibald. It would prove extremely evenly matched. The first went the visitors way as Jan clawed back a 13-8 deficit but then lost the tie-break. He also lost the second but then recovered with consistent deep hitting to take the next two. Kirk built another lead early in the fourth, and though Jan again clawed things back, saving two match balls, he couldn’t prevent Kirk ending the match 15-13 with his umpteenth backhand counter-drop winner.
James Storer (5) started well and confidently against Brian Finch took the first game 15-10. The Saffron Walden player fought back with some effective drop shots and boasts to take the second game, but James responded well to the set-back and and won the third. The fourth game proved to be decisive and went to Brian, who was more consistent and tactically effective. This was exciting squash but James was tiring and with more errors creeping in, the deciding game slipped from his grasp and the match was lost 2-3.
Gareth Jones (3) was pitched against Warren Harper, an unorthodox but very quick player who literally threw himself into the match. Lunging pick-ups and diving returns all made for an unusual spectacle but Warren could not break down the game of his much more experienced opponent. By keeping his composure and playing his regular brand of squash, the Gareth gradually overcame his opponent and won 3-0.
This left the match score 2-2 and it was down to Matt Walker (2) to beat George Atterbury in the final string. Matt started well enough and took the first game comfortably. Then his opponent upped the pressure with some amazing touch shots which unsettled him. With the score now 1-1 and the momentum with George, Matt needed to do something special. He raised his game and the pace of the play to prevent his opponent controlling the rallies. Under great pressure, Matt recovered from three game balls down at 14-11 to just win the game 16-14. The fourth game was no less tense with both players producing some great shots. Pleasingly, Matt kept his cool and won it again by the narrowest of margins and the match 3-1.
Skipper Roger Woodfield was watching the match and commented “This was the closest match this season and could have gone either way. Under great pressure Matt delivered a hard fought victory to secure this excellent 18-7 win”