Mens 2 v Beaverhill - 4/3/13

Following the bitter disappointment of the narrow defeat to Graves, Mens 2 bounced back with a whitewash of Beaverhill, who are second in the table and have now completed all of their fixtures with a 9-5 record. The defeat may cost them promotion as it is likely one other side other than 100% Wisewood will lose only 3 or 4 times.

Our friendly opponents could only muster up two pairs due to injury and training camp, and it was two of the better players that we faced away from home who were missing so we were confident going into the match.

Steve and Alastair were reunited at Pair 1 after Alastair was rested against Graves due to rotation, given the large pool of players we have available to play. Alastair proceeded to show his disdain of this idea to his captain by smashing his racquet across Steve’s non racquet hand, leaving a big red welt that was only partially concealed by the suntan from the warm weather training camp in the French Alps! In fairness it was a 50/50 shot, more than can be said for club night later on…

Our first pair played solid stuff, dominating the net and dropping to defence with a nice rhythym, and dispatched the first pair 21-10 and 21-13. The second pair has a player from their usual first pair, loaded with power, and a player from the third pair last time we played them. Despite dozily conceding 5 straight points when having 8 match points in the first game, Ranmoor cruised through the second with flick serves leading to straight winners on 5-10 occasions! 21-18 and 21-10.

Clive and Ben stepped in as Pair 2, with Ben still full of va va voom following his excellent debut for Combined 2 last week. By their own admission it was a little chaotic at times, but some really solid play led to them beating the first pair 21-18 and 21-18, then the second pair much easier 21-9 and 21-16.

Ian and Jethron were pulled in as third pair, having never played together before, even in club night, but needs must. They actually gelled well, but the ring rustiness led to the first end going down 21-23 against the second pair. The second was the important end and it was tight but our boys edged it 21-18 and then pushed through the third, with a 21-15 win and some future potential for a good partnership. Against the first pair they matched the scores of Clive and Ben, digging deep for a 21-18 and 21-18 victory!

So a 9-0 win to Ranmoor and good luck to our visitors in staying clear of the pack in second place and clinching a promotion. Man of the Match goes to Alastair, despite the assault on his captain, for the best points difference. We have now matched the Graves home win vs Beaver Hill, and with our superior rubber difference would have been favourites to finish higher if we had edged the home fixture two weeks ago. But, as Sophocles once said (new member!) – “I have no desire to suffer twice, in reality then in retrospect”! So we will just crack on instead and see where it takes us!

The one man wrecking ball taking on Mens 2
Another amusing anecdote to finish (well the protagonist found it amusing anyway). The final club night match of the evening saw Sam and Steve reunited playing Ben and Arun. The latter pair were really pumped for this one, with “come on” being yelled frequently. One early rally (turned out to be the last rally) ended with a great shot and a “come on” from Arun, which Sam unbelievably reached and returned to the amazement of the opponents. A weak return went straight to Steve, which he put away. Unfortunately, Sam had become quite giddy after his heroics and decided to play singles, leaping across the court to play a smash which had already been hit, so instead he smashed his racquet down, straight on Steve’s racquet index finger knuckle, who was mid follow through. Within seconds the finger was black and swollen, the game was abandoned, and after typing this match report with my left hand, a trip to Minor Injuries for an X-Ray will result! I have never seen Sam so amused, but with 4 Mens 2 matches in 14 days, he will be on the naughty step if it is broken!