Second Team Match at home to Bounty 2
I was hoping one of the team would have reported this match because there were 3 highly entertaining matches worthy of a report. I would like Zul, Tom, Elliot, Paul, and Mac to vote on their man of the match for this one…
The team: Paul, Elliott, Zul, Tom, & Mac
Here’s the story. Elliot injured his hand on Monday and could not hold a racket, I eventually found a replacement (Damon who played in the first team), meaning that Paul dropped down to play in the seconds. Then Simon rang on Thursday to say he was suffering and after he called Elliott, decided that Elliott was in a better state than him. Its the “Okey Cokey” thing!
Paul went on first and demolished his opponent 3~0.
On the other court, Ol’ Seafarer Cap’n May took was not finding it so easy. It was a pretty even match, but Tom, for all his effort found himself 0~2 down, 9~7, 9~7, but it was clearly a match where there was still hope. True to form, Tom came back and edged the third 9~7. The fourth was no different, except it was even tighter, went to 8~8 – both players were still playing high tempo squash, but Tom just seemed to hold his nerve at these crucial points a bit better. He took the game 10~8 to make it 2~2 and then the decider. No different, no quarter given, but Tom managed to nick it 9~7. “CLOSE” was an understatement – in racing parlance, he won by a whisker.
How was Elliott getting on? Well, remember, not only a bad hand but also recovering from an injured Achilles. He could be forgiven for taking it easy. Indeed, it was a slow start, the first 2 games were lost, but in true Elliott style, he fought back to win the next 2. However, it was not to be – the fifth got away from him and it was a 3~2 defeat.
Mac’s mind was not on squash. Not content with moving out of one house, he goes one step further than most and moves his mother too!. A busy weekend ahead, and the performance on the night was not the usual one you get – and his 0~3 defeat, meant that it was 2~2 and all on Zul. A very similar scenario to the thirds!
Zul was playing well, against an opponent of similar standing – reflected by the score in the first two games – 5~9, 9~5. Zul picked up the pace in the third and comprehensively outplayed his opponent, winning 9~0. Even-stevens again in the 4th and difficult to see which way it was going until from 7~7, Zul’s opponent picked up 2 more points. All square then going into the last. Again tight, and Zul was pushing the boundaries of his fitness – fortunately he did not quite go over edge and came from 7~6 down to win it 9~7.
An excellent win to start off the season.
The third team were also at home – to Greenacre 2, and the team: Rick, Adrian, Chris, Kerry & Cate
What a night! What a week…… I am giving myself 11 out of 10 for effort! Finding 15 players to play on the night was pretty difficult and I don’t want another week like that – more to the point the third team remained strong and came within a whisker of beating Greenacre.
Up first Cate and Adrian. I did not see a single shot of Cates game but when I came off she was beaming. An excellent 3~1 win gave Hart a great start. Unfortunately Greenacre leveled things up with a defeat for me – Kerry said he was impressed with a couple of my shots – but there were too many that did not come off and despite a gargantuan effort to win the second, it was a 3~1 defeat.
Kerry took over from Cate and within about 60 seconds was 2 games down – 9~0, 9~0. Not at the races, so Elliott gave his Dad a “talking to” and it worked, or else it was divine interference, because KS then went on to win the next 3 fairly comfortably.
Rick had the task of winning at one – poor old Rick!! No 1 in Div 2A – that is a tough role, but Rick was still smiling. He did OK, but his opponent was better, and it was a 3~0 loss.
Down to the wire then – 2~2 and young Chris making his comeback thrown in at the deep end, up against a very experienced Scottish International lady vet. It was going to be tough, but Chris played out of his skin. 9~6 9~6 he won the first two and Hart 3 was on the brink of a startling victory, their first match in Div 2! Could he keep it going? Answer: yes he could – he got to 8~3, match ball, but then he hit the buffers. He was tired, understandably so – and that 1 point was so elusive, it never came. The Scottish vet used her experience, dug in and did all the right things, taking advantage of Chris’s tiredness and his lesser experience. She won the game and the next 2, and Hart missed out by a point. Never has “So near and yet so far” been so true. Chris, well done – a fabulous effort. Hope you have a good weekend.
9 points then – not a bad return in the circumstances – and it certainly offers us confidence that Hart 3 can compete at this level.