Mens 2 vs Wisewood 3 (H) - 27/03/17

Our “game in hand” against the top two was played against a strong Wisewood 3 side that a bit like us has lost games due to the difficulty getting the full side out to play. The side we faced was strong, with players who sometimes play at a far higher standard. It was yet another incredibly tough night – how often have we said that this season in this fantastic division 4?

We had a full squad to choose from so tough decisions were needed, Hijas being the most unlucky to miss out. The expectation was that everyone would need to take something if we were to stay in the promotion shake up. I shook up the order, putting Ben and Rob last so their better fitness could cruise through three successive rubbers with no rest.

As it turned out, we won at least an end in all 9 rubbers, which meant we had a chance of getting 5 over the line, in fact we did more, with a 6-3 win.

Steve and Rich, then Sam and Dave, got us underway with two three end defeats, making us wonder what was in store.

Things then got better with Ben and Rob beating the third pair in straight ends followed by Sam and Dave beating the top pair, which included a 25-23 classic. Ben and Rob then went on again beating the second pair in straight ends, then while Steve and Rich were playing another tortuous three-ender they went back on and beat the top pair in straight ends too! A fantastic full house for Ben and Rob again in straight ends, with all three wins coming in quick succession after Steve and Rich’s first game and before they had finished their second! Who said you need long rallies in badminton? These guys are on fire as a pair right now.

That put us 4-2 up. Steve and Rich had lost the first end against the third pair, before easily winning the second and being 18-13 down in the third. A bit of tough love and straight talking sorted us out, and we didn’t put a foot wrong after that, winning 22-20 to take the rubber and the match, but needing a IV drip afterwards!

Two rubbers to go, Steve and Rich went on again against the best second pair, winning the first end then losing the second to guarantee a 9-end night, sadly losing the third too to give Wisewood’s pair their second win.

Sam and Dave cut it fine yet again, matching Rich and Steve’s 22-20 third end win against the third pair which included Sam nearly blinding their captain, and in a dead rubber! Luckily, all ok.

A great win ahead of the two-match top of the table round robin that concludes the season. We start with Abbeydale, and hopefully it will be a fun, fair and competitive match.

Pair of the Match – Ben and Rob (when did they last lose a rubber in Mens 2?)