Comb 2 v Wisewood 1 (H) - 16/1/17

Other than the gigantic AbbeydaleRanmoor are the only club to have a 2nd team in the rejigged, smaller Division 2. We are expected incredibly tough challenges throughout the season to try to retain our status at this level, not least from the visit of the 1st team of top of the league Wisewood.

We made 2 changes from the away match that saw us lose 7-2 to this opposition, me coming in for Rob and Aparna coming in for Jane, continuing our rotation policy appropriate for a 2ndteam. Our opponents also made 2 changes, and were apparently 1 deputy lady away from their first-choice side.

We knew that Wisewood play one of the extremely impressive Webb brothers at number 1 man, who holds his own in the Mens top division, so one of us had to draw the short straw and play him in all 3 rubbers, rubbers we were likely to lose. I decided to step into that battle myself, and the results went as expected, though in the 2 matches with Ben and Sam we were 13-all and 16-all respectively at one point before the opponents pushed on to win, Wisewood playing some hugely impressive badminton better than much of what Sam and I saw in the men’s top division last season.

Never mind, the match was never to be decided in those rubbers.

The strategy was to target the ladies given what we were up against in the men, though I was hoping my battle cry to the team of “make sure we see some blood on the court” wasn’t to be taken literally! Nothing against our friendly opposing ladies, it was just that the guys scared us so much!

To deliver this plan I put Aparna in to play both ladies games due to her back-court power, and Elaina and Ruth were to play the two mixed plus one ladies. Both ladies were instructed that if their male partner goes toe to toe with their opposing man, whack them over the head with your racquet a few times to remind them of the strategy!

The plan worked.

The 2 ladies’ rubbers and the 2 mixed of King Sam and Queen Elaina were won with ease. Prince Ben and Princess Ruth were not far behind when in the match’s decisive moments, they narrowly won both 1st ends in their mixed games before being beaten convincingly in the 2nd end, then roaring back to squeeze home in both!

So, a 6-3 win for Ranmoor in our first of the week’s triple headers against the best 3 sides in the division. Well done to the team, thanks everyone for playing, and thanks to Wisewood and good luck for the rest of the season.

Player of the Match – Queen Elaina (3 out of 3, without dropping an end)