Mens 1 vs Abbeydale - (H) - 12/1/15

The first game of 2015 for Men’s 1 was also the first in a run of 3 in one week. This was a home fixture against the men of Abbeydale. Having had a tight 5-4 game away at Abbeydale, the opposition bought a very different team for the fixture at our hall. It was clear from the warm up that they had bought in some high level players and wanted to make sure they left no room to lose.

The first pair on were Steve and Rich, who faced James and Raymond. Off to a slow start, our boys lost to 13, a little shell shocked by the huge jump up in standard they were faced with. A complete rethink of strategy, playing to our strengths got us a second end win to 15. With some untimely frustration setting in for the Abbeydale pair, Steve and Rich took a strong lead in the third end and romped home to 12. Huge upset number 1 against a pair with some credentials rarely seen in our league. James plys his trade in mens feathers division one, a far cry from plastics division 2. His partner Raymond also features in the feathers team currently top of division 3. Massive shout out to our guys for taking the game to them and coming out with a win, especially after losing the first so easily.

Also on court were Mark and Sam, playing Matt and Matt, Abbeydale’s second pair. Our guys got off to a slow start against what turned out to be a really strong pair losing to 10 and 12 in straight ends. Sam and Mark came off a little dejected but can’t feel too bad as their opponents resumes read; feathers division 1 player in the team that sits top of division one and his partner, a professional badminton coach. A great performance from the Abbeydale pair using their experience to overcome us.

Arun and Prithvi went out to play their first of the night against our opponents third pair, Rich and Ben. Also both feathers players in those stronger leagues, Ben features in the first division alongside some of his team mates for the night. Our guys went out and made a huge effort, losing the first end 24-22 in a real war of shots. They took the match to 3 ends, winning to 14 but lost out in the third end to 13. A great effort from our always improving third pair against really strong opposition. 2-1 Abbeydale and a tough night ahead.

Steve and Rich, buoyed by the confidence of their earlier scalp went out to face Rich and Ben. Again they lost their first end, going down to 17. Again though they worked out a few adjustments and snook the second end 22-20 forcing a third end. A fast and clinical start, making less errors than their opponents gave us a third end win to 15. 2/2 for Steve and Rich, having to play some of their best badminton in the process.

Sam and Mark fell in straight ends meanwhile to James and Raymond, getting 17 and 13 in a match where they were forced into a lot of errors, likely due to not often playing at the pace required on this night. Arun and Prithvi’s second match saw them get 14 and 15 against the two Matt’s, a pretty good score as their captain reassured them and more than anyone else could manage on the night! Rich and Steve lost their first match of the season since forming a partnership, going down to the two Matt’s to 15 and 13, just one point less than Arun and Prithvi. It wasn’t to be a third win for our first pair who just couldn’t match their opponents this time for ability.

Sam and Mark got a three ender against Rich and Ben the third pair, winning to 17 but then going down coming close each time to 19 then 17 in the third. Arun and Prithvi had another 3 ender against James and Raymond, getting a win to 18 but going down to 24-22 and 21-11 in the decider.

Overall a tough night for our guys, but a real sign of respect to our ability that Abbeydale felt necessary to draft in the high quality of players that they did. Only 1 of their line up is a nominated team member for this season and so we cant read too much into our 7-2 defeat. Pair of the night has to be Steve and Rich who got 2 out of 3 and played some great badminton, pulling together as a pair. Lets bounce back with a mid week win away on Wednesday and thanks for all your efforts on the night guys!