Cambridge 1 vs Melbourn 1
Weds 13th November
Melbourn lost 2-20
The 1st team knew they were in for a tough night at Cambridge when Kate (4) and Jan (5) found themselves up against James Powley and Simon Scott respectively! These are very strong players to be as low in the order, even for Division 1. It’s a tough old league this season…
The matches were predictably one sided, though both Melbourn players just avoided a bagel game, Kate claiming two points from 10-0 down in her second and Jan grabbing one at the same stage of his opener. Other than the middle game Kate was playing very well, defending and moving excellently, pouncing when she had a chance and forcing some errors with good depth. However, it always looked like Powley had an extra gear if needed, which was what happened at the end of each game. Much the same was true of Jan against Simon in his second and third. The score stayed decently tight up to mid-game, before Simon stepped on the gas and pulled away in both.
Next one was Mark (3), who also faced a player who has played regularly and comfortably one string higher if not two in the form of Ali Dawson. Mark put in an impressive performance in the opening game to scrap his way to a Game Ball at 10-9. He had half chances in this rally but didn’t convert and lost the breaker 12-10. The second was even more galling as it also went against Mark despite needing an extended tie-break that eventually ended 15-13 to Ali. To have played out of his skin and still be two behind was gutting, and that Mark couldn’t quite sustain the level and intensity in the third was far from surprising, though he still get it competitive as he went down 11-7. A fine performance that really deserved the reward of a point for the team. But it wasn’t to be.
Next on was Malik (2) who took on David Champion. The first game went against Malik as he was forced deep. He recovered to win the second with some spirited play and hard chasing and lunging that extended rallies and drew errors from his opponents racquet. At this point things looked good as David had been struggling physically, but he found a second wind that denied Malik the chance to take advantage and instead in was the Cambridge’s players relentlessness and accuracy that triumphed as he won 3-1.
The final match of the evening pitted Matt (1) against Owen Ledger. This was a contrast in styles between Owen’s rhythmic attacking and Matt’s wilier approach of consistent defence that was looking to set up the unexpected counter-punch. Basically there was a decade in age between the players (I’m feeling generous) and that explained their respective styles, Owen relying on his still nearly teenaged legs and Matt having a more nuanced gameplan built around his experience of Squash at this level, identifying patterns and setting traps. And essentially the two approaches cancelled out for 45 minutes or so. Owen took the first, Matt struck back for the second and the third went to a tie-break. This was decisive though as Owen grabbed that; Matt might have won 3-1, but given the energy already committed coming back to snatch a 3-2 looked unlikely. It didn’t happen.
Skipper Mark commented “This was another tough defeat, but the team is set and ready for our next match against Hunts County.”