Mens 2 vs Firvale 2 (A) - 18/04/17

The final showdown arrived between the two promoted teams with an away trip to top of the league Firvale 2.

Mens 2 had two options – either win 9-0 which would need them to crush Abbeydale away in their final game, or win by any margin and hope they lose their final fixture so we win the title by 2 points.

The first option was never going to be on against this class side at Firvale who are a similar standard to PMC2 who have just gone up to Div 1 with our 1st team. So we picked a side to get the 5 rubbers we needed, Sam / Dave and Rob / Ben as usual, then in theory it was Rich / Hijas, both of whom were / are going away and had to make a special effort to play. This was because of an adductor tear I suffered in the Abbeydale win 2 weeks ago that hasn’t had me able to get in or out of a car for 2 weeks!

Hijas was ill so had to pull out the day before, so I decided to go to a physio, get diagnosed, massaged, painkillers in and strapped up and see if I could hobble around and get us a rubber, so putting out an unchanged side again. The trouble we’ve had this season getting a full side out….

The night didn’t start well – Ben smashed a racket in two in the warm up and in the first hour Ben / Rob and Steve / Rich had both lost 2 rubbers winning only one end between them. Sam and Dave had saved the match though by winning their first one, so we were 4-1 down and wondering if we should just settle for promotion.

This Ranmoor six are unbeaten for a reason this season though and started to move through the gears. Sam and Dave grabbed their second against the top pair, then Rich and I turned around a first end defeat against the pair that had just beaten Ben and Rob, winning in three. That groin massage Rich gave me must have helped…ahem! Ben and Rob then had to repeat the act against the top pair and this time found their mojo, tightly sharing the first two ends before romping home in the third.

4-4 now and all dependant on Sam and Dave against the tricky third pair. They lost the first end and and were behind 19-17 and 20-18 in the second end, so it was looking grim. Suddenly King Dave started smashing winners at the age of 163, and Lord Sam morphed into Lin Sam, jump smashing winners himself. They grabbed the second end 22-20 and by this point Firvale were broken, and we won the third end easily, winning the match 5-4 and doing the double over Firvale. HURRAY!

We probably won’t win the league, Firvale will win their final game away to Abbeydale in all likelihood, but we’ve proven that this six are the best six in the league, winning every game we have played together, the three defeats all coming where we have at least 2 players missing. 

Thanks to Firvale, a very fair side who will deserve their title if they get it. We simply haven't had the full side out enough times and they have.

Well done to all the guys, 11 wins out of 14, including the full squad with Jiang, Mick, Tom, Snowden and Hijas all playing their part through the season too and winning some crucial rubbers.

Pair of the Match – Sam and Dave (a heroic 3 out of 3)

The Wish I Hadn’t Done That Award – Ben (for smashing his racquet into two parts in a warm up)