Comb 2 v's Nomads (A) - 14/11/12

A 2nd game of the week for Combined 2 saw a visit to Nomads over in Rotherham, a team relegated from Division 1 last season & whom we had played with Mens 1 a few weeks ago. Our side showed 2 changes with Deepak & Jane dropping out to be replaced by Rich J & Cindy playing their  first combined games of the season & forming new pairing with Cat & Dave W respectively.
 
Captain Dave H had a busy day, following meetings in Glasgow he then had to film a special Top Gear episode based on him driving down the motorway at superhuman speeds, but when he realised that his TomTom was smoking he decided he had better slow down, so cancelled the filming, and cruised into Thryburgh Leisure Centre at a steady 60mph, just in time for the start of the match.
 
The team were in for an initial shock, as they turned up to find that Steve had decided to reject the England Reserves fixture and watch the true professionals at work instead!  The shock was based on the fact that the biscuit availability would now be much reduced.....
 
The hall was red bricked, solid floor and freezing cold, and the early shuttle tests were struggling to get half way into the opposite court!  Steve was overheard giving Rich some last minute advice of his usual tactical sophistication - "Just whack it as hard as you can, there's no way you'll hit it long tonight".
 
The home sides players were of the usual upper league mixed doubles style, with experience, placement, touch and strategy allied with good forehand and backhand clears, solid defence and a very effective smash when finally called upon.  The men weren't bad either!
 
Cat and Cindy were the first on court with Rich & Dave W going on the other court.  The girls did us proud in winning their game in 2 ends against the two weaker ladies but when Cat and Lesley took to the court the third lady turned out to be deceptively powerful and dominated during the course of a two end win. The boys tried hard but couldn't quite get past their wily opponents either who used a good mix of shots to win out 16 & 14 against Rich and Dave W, and a similar scoreline against Rich and Dave H. 

The score after the level doubles was 3-1 to the home side so a battle would have to take place for the mixed to turn the tide.  Dave W & Cindy debuted their pairing against one mixed pair but couldn't outwit the clever play of the man & occasional killer eye of the lady.  Lesley had the short straw playing the outstanding lady in both opening games, and she and Dave H also found the mixed approch of their opponents difficult to crack as they also went down.  With only pride to play for Rich & Cat tried to keep Cats mixed record intact but the lack of practice seemed to tell as they were manouvered around by a very clever pair. Rich played all three of his games in his debut at this level against the mens captain, a man for whom an unforced error is as rare as hen's teeth!

Dave W & Cindy at least looked like they were gelling together as they pushed their opponents all the way in both ends only losing 16 & 18 with the help of some "close" line calls by the opposition just a yard in front of the Ranmoor team bench!  Last on Dave H & Lesley couldn't manage to overcome the other pair leaving a defeat of 8-1 for the team to mull over as they left the hall, storming away from Steve who was trying to take the team photograph. 
 
As the team left in dismay, Dave even forgot his shoes.
We remain though in the top half of the table after two early wins, so can still go into our fourth game in 2 weeks time in good heart. Nomads showed us the way to play mixed doubles badminton, and if we can take some of these tips into our remaining games, especially on home turf, then the league had better watch out!!