Mens 1 v Westfield - (H) - 18/4/16

It was a potentially deciding final fixture for Mens 1 against a Westfield team we had already beaten away, but due to the hall being unavailable for exams in December this fixture has been rearranged on a date which, unbeknown at the time, it turned out one player from each of our three pairs was unavailable.

Captain Rich had the best excuse of the season - spending the evening at the Jessop Wing inducting new member James into the club! Congratulations to the new Woolgar family from the team tonight and the watching Shiraz, Ben and Mick.

Steve took over as captain after Rich picked the pairs with Chee slotting in for Big Rich, Little Rich slotting in for Prithvi and Dave slotting in for Mark.

It turned out that we all beat the third Westfield pair, Steve and Chee getting the first rubber of the evening on the board comfortably to 13 and 16, followed by Sam and Dave who deliberately lost the first end 29-30 just to say they had been in a sudden death, then eased home in the next two. Arun and Rich edged the first end to 18 then romped home to 10 in the second.

The second pair containing one of the Westfield coaches and another strong player caused us some problems though. Arun and Rich got to 13 in both ends, Steve and Chee also got 26 points, this time via 16 and 10. Dave and Sam took them close though. Despite comfortably losing the first end they replied in turn for the second and lost the third narrowly to 19 with some aggression in the final few points not quite paying off.

So the match, and maybe the season, hinged on how we did against the youthful top pair. We thought we had a chance when we heard them say how strange it is to play with plastics, but it was not to be.

It proved the reverse of who did best against the second pair. This time Dave and Sam were comfortably dispatched to 14 and 6 after running out of steam in the last rubber of the night. Steve and Chee pushed them close, recognising that any shot not quite orthodox from us tended to end with a Ranmoor point. However, in a match decided by errors plus some brilliant play all round we lost narrowly to 17 and 16 with a handful more errors per end than them. Arun and Rich pushed them close also, losing to 16 and 18 but benefitting from lots of successful drop shots.

Our much changed side proved to be just a tad short of being enough to get us the win, but we got a crucial 3 rubbers, leaving us 9 rubbers ahead of Westfield who now have two matches to play (Broomgrove and Venturers) and are level on points and can't finish above us if they fail to win another game. Venturers and PMC2 are also hovering around us and each have loads of fixtures left so we sit tight and see how the dice fall at the end of the season.

Well done to captain Rich for picking a side with three pairs who did equally well and so came close to getting the win. Thanks for playing everyone this year.