Mens 2 v Firvale 3 (A) - 21/11/16

It was a testing night of weird challenges, strange conditions and a race to the line - in short, everything that could go wrong was there, but Mens 2 stayed unbeaten whenever we have the full side out, with a 6-3 win, to go 4-2 for the season and with a hope of promotion, this was the night when the chrysalis turned into a butterfly, so to speak. Explanation to follow.

One from each Ranmoor pair was late due to the appalling weather, and the match was meant to have a 6:15 start ending no later than 8:30. Quoting league rules we started at 6:30 but in truth it was more like 6:50 with the weather, so if we hadn't finished in time we would have had to forfeit the rubbers, a fact I hid from the team to avoid distracting them but subtly egged them on to get a move on to the 5 rubbers we needed! We even tried to round up substitutes but luckily none were needed.

I entered the sports hall with its sumptuous lights to find a 5-a-side match on, and found the Firvale team in the small gym - aaaarrrggghh, horrendous strip lights and no tinted lenses. Hospital or looking like a knob? I went for the latter. Dark shades, Miami Vice badminton ensued with an objective of at least 1 rubber, luckily Rich and I had a crushing win with an easy to see slow yellow shuttle before narrowly losing in 3 to the top pair and then losing to the final pair with the quick white shuttle virtually invisible to both of us in the bright white lighting. Air shots are great, aren't they?

King Sam and Dave got off to an unusually slow start with a loss against the third pair, with all Sam's smashes coming back. A team pep talk identified that it was a night for drop shots, so the King got back on his throne with a crushing two rubbers to follow, but was this the pair of the night? No.

Rob was tactically late back from Leeds, throwing the plans into disarray, but he arrived in time to pick up his burgeoning partnership with Ben in what is starting to look like a tactical masterstroke on my part if I do say so myself. Well, I have to contribute in some way, don't I? Despite the horrendous journey, no warm up, the shuttles of varying speeds, strong opponents, and the tricky fast court conditions, they had three crushing victories. Ben thinks Rob is the younger and fitter one, and that's the secret. Ok Ben, but if that's criticising you, what the hell does it make me (or Dave)??? Rob thinks they were on fire all night, and he thanks Ben for giving him a tattoo while they played. Sounds like a Bromance to me.

Great job by the lads, just sitting on the shoulder as we start the second lap of the season. That's it for Mens 2 and Combined 2 until January (playing 7 games out of 26, bloody hell, it will be a busy 4 months from Jan). A mini close season awaits. For me, daily 5k runs from Dec 1st, strength training, and a month's alcohol break from Christmas. That bloody young buck Rob is making me feel old, and I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet!!!!!

Pair of the Night award - Ben and Rob
The Wish I Hadn't Done That award - Ben, for giving Rob a "tattoo", otherwise known as a huge welt right at the back of his neck. That's what happens when you try to whack every shot as hard as you can!