Comb 2 v Wisewood 1 (A) - 26/10/16

A new year, a new look combined 2 team. With probably about 10 of our members all declaring themselves unavailable this season unless there is an emergency, this could be an interesting year, one in which everyone keen to play will get some games in all probability!

Combined is often thought of in a mixed contest, and it can be forgotten that nearly half the games are level doubles. Our plan is to maximise the strength of the level doubles with a strong levels specialist as number 1 and mixed specialists in numbers 2 and 3.

Steve captains the side this year but rested himself first game to maximise his strengths – knowing badminton strategy and tactics but being crap at playing it! Steve gave a chance to Rob in that number 1 position for this game instead, with Ben and Sam as 2 and 3. For the ladies, Elaina went number 1, with new member Ruth and mixed stalwart Jane as 2 and 3.

We were up against a top class Wisewood first team fresh from being in Division 1 last season, probably along with Venturers favourites to win the league. Former Ranmoormember Jen playing against us at Combined for the first time.

It started like a dream with Elaina and Ruth grabbing a rubber after nearly going down in two but then easing away decisively. Ben and Rob almost matched them but just missed out, getting 19. After that it was tough going with no end in sight, but right at the death Sam and Jane grabbed a rubber and Ben and Ruth almost got one too!

Final score 7-2 but no disgrace and we acquitted ourselves well considering few of the team had played with each other in practice, which will be a common problem this season with a lot of forced chopping and changing!

We have a secret weapon though next match – we will drug Sam and persuade him he is captain, meaning his mum will get baking. Lemon Drizzle cake would be guaranteed to get the fires burning, and who knows, maybe a win?

Player of the match – Ruth (the only player to get a rubber and an end), but well done to everyone, all getting a rubber or coming close!