Melbourn 2 vs Kimbolton 2
Mon 2nd March
Melbourn won 20-3
The 2nds were looking to continue their recent good form as they hosted a Kimbolton 2nds side who are always tricky opponents. For example: the match at Kimbolton pre-Christmas had ended 3-2 (16-8) to us, with each side claiming a 3-2 win along the way. The 3-2 in our favour being a fight back from 2-0 down – Ben, we still owe you a pint for that one!
So we were expecting a close game. The first to test themselves was Colm O’Gorman (5), who took on Lee Moore. Colm was on top through the first game but didn’t look in total control of it. He came through 15-10 though, and then stepped things up for the next two, going for the ol’ reliable long-short game that pinned Lee deep and then asked him to cover forward at impossible speed. It finished 15-10, 15-4, 15-7.
Mark Asker (4) made a nervous start against an experienced and skilful player in opponent Trevor Coe. Despite that Mark gritted out the opening game, but was pegged back in the second as Trevor produced some excellent boasts. Fortunately Mark took stock, slowed his game down and starting to play more of his accurate drives. This resulted in him comfortably taking the third game and then staying calm to recover from a significant deficit late in the fourth to carve out a 15-10, 9-15, 15-5, 15-12 win.
Gareth Jones (3) followed on from Colm’s game as he took on Andy Rettie. The first game was excellent from Gareth as he pounded Andy into the back corners. However this was followed by some poor tactical advice to play against type and drop shot; Gareth dutifully tried it, made errors, lost confidence, saw his opponent gain it and was in a battle. He scrapped the second game as Andy let two game balls pas by, Gareth relieved to force the breaker that he won. By now Andy, an experienced and tenacious match player, was right in the battle and he took the third after building an early lead. The fourth also looked to be spinning rapidly away from Gareth as he fell 12-5 down. However as the denouement approached both players stopped going for their shots and became more conservative. For Gareth this was the right move, he had been making errors; for Andy not so much, as his attacking shots had been working! Gareth won one point back, then two, then three. Suddenly we were at 11-12, then 11-13, then 13-all. All the pressure was suddenly on Andy, and Gareth took advantage to win the next two points and escape being taken to a deciding game, instead winning 15-6, 16-14, 12-15, 15-13. He looked rather relived to be off the court.
Matt Walker (2) faced an old rival in Dave Parker. With both players knowing each other very well, it came down to whether Dave could find something new as Matt had won their previous encounters. Certainly not in the first game, as Matt was in absolutely control of the match. The next two were closer but Dave never seriously trouble Matt, who was playing consistently well and patiently waiting to make the winning shots. His 15-4, 15-11, 15-10 win was well deserved.
The top strings pitted Jan Brynjolffssen (1) against Nigel Parker. Nigel had rather given Jan the run around at Kimbolton pre-Christmas, winning 3-0 but this time it was Jan ahead throughout the opening game; he won it 15-11 though without ever feeling really in control or comfortable. Game two started well for the home player until he got thrown by Nigel clearly pulling up with a leg injury. This prompted an unwise attempt by Jan to change his game and put the ball further away from Nigel to exploit the injury. Unwise as this forcing play only lead to errors from the Melbourn player’s racquet, which Nigel gleefully exploited to win the second comfortably. Jan reset however in the third, playing on the assumption that his opponent was not injured after all and now he really began to control the front court, winning the game comfortably. Apart from the final point that is, where he tweaked a groin. Game four was a bit of a weird one, as neither player wanted a rally beyond three shots. Which was fortunate for Jan as the style of play was not exposing his hampered movement. He also had the momentum and belief now, and closed things out 15-11, 8-15, 15-9, 15-9.
2nds skipper Roger Woodfield, in his best armchair General mode, commented “In the end, this was a comfortable 20-3 win but our players had to keep their concentration and, in some cases, had to adjust their games to overcome their dogged opponents. This excellent effort keeps us on track for a chance of league promotion.”