St. Neots 1 vs Melbourn 1
Weds 29th January
Melbourn lost 6-15
Melbourn mixed 1st team match kicked off with a battle between little and large again - the Brobdingnagian Grant Mankee versus our junior rising star Mumin Bilen. When they met at Melbourn in the first half, it was an epic battle and the return leg turned out just the same. With Grant long-limbed and hard-hitting, Mumin used his movement, deception and Grant’s power against him to secure a win in another tight 3-2 battle.
Matt Sampson was next on as his opponent needed to dash off early that evening. Unfortunately for Matt, Chris Reeve had a ‘win and leave’ focus about him from the start. With vastly improved levels of fitness since the first half (apparently all of St Neots team have been training in the gym for a few months!!), Chris was able to gain the advantage. It was clear from anyone who knows Matt’s capabilities that he never really got started in this match, but to his credit, Chris kept his focus and capitalised to take it in 3.
Malik stepped up next for us and put in an excellent and typically energetic performance against the seasoned Matt Nankivell. Malik’s speed and reach was too much for Matt and the junior enjoyed a solid 3-0 win.
Sadly, the next two matches did not show the same pattern for Melbourn. Kate Bradshaw met an ex-Melbourn team member in Max North. Despite some good spells of play and fluid movement, Kate was unable to maintain sensible decision making throughout the match, giving away too many free points to Max who took the match in 3 games. Mark Oppen also found his opponent, Chay Da Silva, too strong. While Mark was competitive in the first, Chay used his stretch, movement and fitness to outplay Mark who went down in 3.
So, another loss for the Melbourn in what is rapidly turning into a battle for survival in the top league!