Men's 1 vs University Staff (H) - 28/10/13

Season opener for the Men's 1 team and we faced a strong side in the shape of University staff, last years runners up, having only lost 3 games all season, two of which were to the league champs! With one pair missing in the form of Dave W and Andy C, Steve and Ben stepped up as a pair from the second team to play alongside regulars in Dave H and Rich and Sam and Mark. After promotion last year this was our first foray as a team in division one and we expected a tough one, which was just what we got!

The opening round of 3 games saw Steve and Ben make a quick start winning their first end but going on to lose in 3 to a strong pair on the night. Sam and Mark made a slow start and went down in 2 ends, having led 18-14 in the second. Rich and Dave got Ranmoor off the mark with a crushing 21-7 21-6 win, playing some great stuff, against the opposition's weakest pair on the night.

The second round of games saw Sam and Mark get into the swing and win theirs, playing some incredible badminton to put away a pair that got everything back and had incredible defence against the smash of our guys. Steve and Ben maintained their great tempo but lost out to strong pair in the end despite getting plenty of points in both ends and putting up a great fight. Rich and Dave lost out in theirs in straight ends getting outpaced by the young and quick pair. 4-2 university.

Final round and we unexpectedly still had a chance to win the match, needing all 3 of our games to take it 5-4. We had assumed little chance of a victory before the match and it still seemed a tall order with 3 from 3 needed. Sam and Mark took their final game having really got into their stride and ended with 2/3 for the night. Rich and Dave followed suit and picked up their second point of the evening winning in 3 having lost the first end. Steve and Ben took their first end and all of a sudden things looked on for us and a potential 5-4 victory. However their opponents fought back and got level at 1-1, going on to win the third and take the match 5-4.

New captain Sam collapses after realising his knee
support was on the wrong leg!
A great effort by the team, Well done to Sam and Mark who are still forging a partnership in their first season together. It was a particularly good performance from Sam given that he managed to play the whole evening with his knee brace on the wrong leg! Thanks to Ben and Steve for stepping up 2 divisions and giving a good show, winning some great rallies, taking a few ends and stretching their opponents all the way.

The most plaudits must go to Sam's mother who kindly donated flapjacks and 'an awesome coffee cake' (thanks for the evaluation Karen) that were promptly snaffled by the whole team. 

Thanks finally for the support from club night members who gave us some good encouragement as we took on our opponents. Looks like we can really compete this year, lets get the hard ones out of the way, last year's champions Broomgrove is our next stop, Friday night in an away fixture.