Mens 2 v University (H) - 29/4/13

Mens 2 played their penultimate game (and unless some of us change our mind about availability for next week, our final game) against the University at Ecclesfield School. Our opponents arrived looking sprightly and keen with their youthful energy and enthusiasm. We arrived in our care home transport and zimmer framed it into the hall.

Keen to reduce the unforced error count before next season, which we know has hurt us this year, Captain Steve had set his team a challenge to get as many games as possible conceding only single figures (based on the away match where we only conceded more than 13 points on one occasion). It became patently clear very early on though that this was the University’s best team, with two new additions from the away match, one a good player and one a very good player, so they rotated the players to have real weapons in all three pairs.
Steve and Ben went out as top pair against the University top pair, with a decent player playing with an excellent 6 ½ ft giant, who could do deceptive flicks like Dave Henry but at twice the speed! Sweat pouring down the faces, Steve and Ben took the first end, then didn’t keep it off their best man enough in the second and lost that. The decider was a nip and tuck classic with Ranmoor 19-18 ahead when we lost serve, and a huge jump smash from their star player, scraping his head on the ceiling, saw the University take the rubber 21-19. Steve and Ben must have had a bus to catch in the other two matches, brushing them aside conceding only 40 points in 4 ends, with one opponent on each pair not being able to cope with the flick serve.
Ben - Man of the Match
Nathan went into bat with Mick trying to defend a lead in the Mens 2 Player of the Year Award stakes (to be awarded on Captain’s Night). Despite breaking a string and borrowing Steve’s spare racquet, Nathan kept going along with a resurgent Mick and beat the easiest two pairs conceding only 49 points. They struggled more against the top pair but pushed them close before losing to 17 and 21 in straight ends.
Jethron and Ian went onto the third court, barging club night aside, and edged the first end 22-20 against the third pair before winning more easily in the second. Moving back onto the regular two courts, as club night members became aggressive, they then made easier work of it winning to 15 and 13, but again we couldn’t get past the top pair, losing in straight ends but taking them to 25-23 in the opening one.
In the end a 6-3 win for Ranmoor that beggared belief how the University had only won 6 rubbers all season before this, because their top pair were quite tasty, though not in a Suarez way! All 3 pairs pushed them hard though! The opponents were friendly, honest and complimentary, so we let them play till 10pm as a reward! We’re like that at Ranmoor!
Man of the Match goes to Ben, along with Steve being just 2 points off a 100% record on the night. The poor man had to be escorted off the court at the end of club night, he looked totally wasted! Must have been the memory of his University days! As for Nathan, excluding Steve he has maintained his lead in the player stats, though Clive and Alistair are breathing down his neck with 1 game to go! The rest of the table shall remain anonymous - being only a bit of fun with a prize at the end! Our fifth win of the season from 13 games, had we won that final tiebreak end vs Graves, we would now be sat above them in the table! Curses, but at least we have stayed up!
Stat of the day (yawn) – despite finishing sixth out of eight, Mens 2 have won 91 ends by more than 3 points, and only lost 86! A shame about the 26 ends lost by only 2 points, compared to 10 won! Learning how to win those tight ends will be key to staying up next season!
Why can't we squeeze home from 19-19 more often?