Mens 2 v Phoenix (H) - 26/4/13

Mens 2 continued their busy week with a rearranged Friday home match against Phoenix, who according to the league table will be on the brink of promotion if they win. It didn’t start well for Phoenix as they had only 2 pairs giving Ranmoor a 3-0 lead, but we failed to win an end at their place so they would still be confident.
The confidence wasn’t misplaced and Phoenix got all the points with a 6-3 win. No matter who Phoenix put in you are faced with wily opponents who make hardly any errors and wait for the opposition mistake.
Steve put Ian and Clive together, using the logic that this is fighting fire and fire and playing a pair with similar playing styles to Phoenix, but on our home turf giving us an advantage. This nearly worked – the first match being a real see saw with Ranmoor taking the first end easily, then losing the second also heavily, before being edged in a nip and tuck third. Their second match was even closer, with Ranmoor getting at least 19 points in every one of three ends, before being unluckily edged 22-20 in the decider!
Clive - Man of the Match 1
Nathan and Ben had looked a good pair in Club so this was a good chance to look at them in action. Beaten to 13 and 14 in their first game, they then took an end off the other pair conceding very few points,  but lost in three. Playing an aggressive game, this aggression probably cost them as the opponents defended most of it and waited for the errors.
Rich played with Steve who despite the bad ankle could now run on it, which is progress! This pair avoided any of the heavy losses in any end, scoring 15 or more in each, but far too many mistakes meant no ends won. 25% less errors and each end could have been comfortably won, which felt painful over the apr├Ęs match beers later!
Steve’s lack of ends won led to him being in the weakest pair on the night for the first time in 10 matches, elevating Nathan, in 7 matches, to be the only player in the squad never to be in the weakest scoring pair! This stat will determine the Mens 2 Player of the Season award, with trophy and prize, so Nath is in pole position to seize it at the moment, though 2 or 3 players are on his tail! What a loss he will be next season! Being a statistician and accountant, it wouldn’t be right for Steve to make this award in any other way!
Men of the Match (because they can’t be separated) goes to Ian and Clive. Some fantastic drops and pushes meant Phoenix only just managed to squeeze past them, and they nearly got Ranmoor the points. They look like they could be a good pairing for the future.
Ian - Man of the Match 2!
More great experience for Ranmoor in this season of consolidation, with the plan being to stay up with all members of the 13 strong squad to play at least 2 matches and get a feel for what the style of badminton is like in this Division compared to the more swashbuckling Division 4! The plan is on track! Next season we will push on and be better for the experience! Next up University on Monday!