Mens 2 v Oakbrook 2 (A) - 7/3/17

Mens 2 had a tough challenge against an Oakbrook team who had pushed us hard at our place and who don't necessarily stick all their best players in their 1st team, seemingly preferring to keep longstanding pairs together. Their 2nd team thus contains some very good players.

Our challenge was compounded by us being without 3 members of our squad. Jiang was unavailable having played 3 or more times for the 1st team (I lose count of the number of times I argued this shouldn't have been stripped from our Captain's Guidance rules). Rob was away, and Rich was unavailable too. That meant Hijas coming in for roughly his 5th ever league match, and Snowden coming in for his 3rd.

In the end the young newcomers did fantastically well, some great play but an understandable inexperience in knowing what shots to play against new opponents, and in predicting what shot the opponent is about to play. That's the great thing about playing, it builds up that experience, so bodes well.

The rest of us struggled to help our partners out, not quite rising to our normal level. Sam and I both had tweaked knees, Ben was aching from Mens 1 the night before, and Dave has so many ailments it's not worth him mentioning them!

So we battled away and Steve & Hijas then Sam & Dave both beat one of their pairs reasonably comfortably, but then a couple of crucial tight 3 end defeats saw the match gone before Sam & Dave squeezed home in 3 ends in the final dead rubber of the night.

Final score - 6-3 to Oakbrook, well done to them. A step too far for us on the night and we now need to win minimum two, maybe three, of the final three games to go up. Hopefully we have everyone available for them and we can wrap up an excellent season.

Pair of the Match - Sam & Dave (2 out of 3)