Comb 1 v Stocksbridge 1 (A) - 14/11/13

Combined 1 played in our most northerly away fixture on Thursday, facing newly promoted Stocksbridge 1, in Arctic conditions at Stocksbridge High School. A late-late withdrawal from Captain Rich Woolgar (due to work pressures) meant a (literally) last minute call-up and heroic effort by Dave Henry, to make up the team. A small detour on the bypass and getting stuck behind a slow tractor meant Karen's team bus was a little late arriving, but finally we joined Mark and the match got underway. 

In the first matches Claire and Helen started strongly taking the first end 23-21, but despite pushing them all the way, dropped the next two games to 17 and 19. Sam playing with sub Dave H struggled to get going in the icy conditions, losing out to a strong pair. Helen was straight back on for her second ladies with Karen, and it was another three-ender, this time finishing in Ranmoors favour. A win down to some great attacking play from Helen and - to quote Helen (she made me promise to put it in!) - Karen was 'on fire'! A particularly pleasing outcome when Ranmoor seem to have a knack of losing these games that go to three ends! Mark and Dave H put up a good fight, just losing to 19 in the first and 13 in the second. 3-1 to Stocksbridge. 

Into the mixed, Sam and Claire comfortably beat the opposition's second pair, whilst Karen and Mark (playing together for the first time) also took a point from their third pair 21-12, 21-8.
Unfortunately Dave H and Helen couldn't take anything from their mixed match which meant we needed to take both the final two games if we were to come away with a win - 4-3 to Stocksbridge. 

Sam and Claire started slowly against the third pair, losing the first end 23-21. In an unusual twist, when Sam and Claire were back in control in the second game, the opposition male player withdrew due to injury, handing the game to Ranmoor. 
Meanwhile on the next court, Mark and Karen comfortably took their final game against the second pair, to 11 and 14. 

So a satisfying, if uncomfortably close, 5-4 win for Ranmoor - well played all! Particularly well done to the Combined 1 ladies for contributing and taking what turned out to be a valuable point!!
Doing our best penguin-huddle pose in the ice-cave!