Vets put on a Show

First winter match for the Vets 1st team (yes we are running 2 vets teams this winter) against old rivals Henley who always seem to beat us 3-2 ish.  The team:

1) Simon  2) Rick  3) Kerry  4) Sohail  5) Ken

First up to the plate was Kerry who was quite frankly awful for the first 2 games & 6 points.  Despite playing a fellow at least 10 years his senior, Kerry could barely string a rally together. However at 6-0 down in the third, Kerry started to play and kept it all together to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a 3-2 win.

Soh started on the adjacent court but his opponent’s knee gave way midway through the first game.  No way that he could carry and Soh got no opportunity to get sweaty (nor argue with the marker in his usual manner). A knock with was had with Simon later. 3-0 win

Rick followed Soh on court.  Rick’s preparation consisted of helping Mac move house during the day – probably not that wise for a fellow who has tendency to get injured just by being awake.  Rick lost the first game but presumably the aches and pains wore off as he rattled-off the next 3 for a good 3-1 win.

Simon played Irish Jim with whom he’s had a few good battles in the past including their previous encounter which was a 9-0, 0-9, 9-1, 6-9, 9-0 win for Simon!  No such mucking about tonight as Simon won comfortably in 3.

Ken, making his debut for the vets, was last on court, played a steady game and came through a tidy 3-1 winner.  Ken was strangely absent from the pub afterwards.  The remainder of the team are hopeful that this was down to Ken’s choice and not because nobody had remembered to tell him that:-

1) we go to the pub afterwards

2) which pub (Black Horse for future reference)

3) food and beer are supplied at a nominal cost

If any of the above 3 statements are true, your teammates apologise profusely and hope that you will talk to us all again.

So overall a 5-0 (20-4) win for HVets first team and a great start to the season. Man of the match has to be Kerry for his comeback from 2-0,6-0 down.


The Old Gits v. Henley (Dec 2011)

The team: –

1) Simon
2) Adrian
3) Kerry
4) Dave
5) Mark

Henley got off to a bad start by sending only one player to HLC (the other four were hanging around at Frogmore wondering where the home team was)

So Dave got going first (he being the only person with an opponent).  An ultra-competitive game was had with swearing and “hands-on-hips” attitude aplenty.  Dave lost the first, won the second, lost the third won the fourth and couldn’t quite keep the momentum going in the fifth.  A 2-3 defeat, but 2 points in the bag for Hart.

Mark played a heavily sun-tanned tri-athlete, who it transpired, isn’t the sort of tri-athlete who does the mamby-pamby olympic-type triathlons, he does the real ones:- full marathon, couple of miles swimming and 100 odd miles on a bike.  So when Mark won the first game, it wasn’t because he’d worn his opponent out.  Triathlon man was merely warming-up and proceeded to take the next 3 games. A 1-3 loss for Hart.

Adrian lost the knock-up against an opponent who played carefully measured sensible strokes that were a joy to watch.  Once the starting-pistol had fired though, Adrian was like a terrier on a mission – head down, 100% concentration and barely an error from his racket.  After a 9-0 first game, Adrian tightened the screw and swept his opponent aside for a brutal 3-0 win.

Kerry was playing the Henley OAP.  I didn’t see any of Kerry’s game but he assured me that his 3-0 win was a classic and represented only his 2nd vets match win ever (the previous one being against Henley).  Not sure whether that’s 100% correct or not, but of course you must make allowances for us old-blokes, what with memory loss and all that…

So Simon had the honour of playing the decider against a handy Irishman.  Simon raced ahead, taking the first 9-0, then proceeded to lose the 2nd 0-9.  Game 3 was the tightest of the bunch going 9-6 to Simon followed by a 9-1 win for the Irishman.  You’re getting the picture now aren’t you – topsy-turvey or what?  Anyway, suffice to say that the decider had to be a 9-0 one-way or the other and yes it went to Simon.

Overall a 3-2 (17-8) win for Hart Old Gits

Vets Brave Show

1) Kerry
2) Chris H
3) Dave
4) Sohail
5) Mark

Us old codgers showing great keenness – we all arrived in the wilds of Henley together and on time and we started in reverse order with Mark and Sohail

Mark (5) was playing a drop shot merchant who kept wrong footing him and was soon 4-7 down at which point he had a surge of energy and came back to take it, first blood to Hart.

With the next 2 games Mark again gave away big leads but this time could not pull them back and was 1-2 down. The fourth was going no better but suddenly at 4-8 down the luck changed – the serve was out and Mark started to play like a demon, out-dropping his opponent. 2-2. Surely his opponent would be deflated and Mark on a high; Mark does not like to make it easy so gave away a few points, but then remembered his opponent was slow and knackered and the drop shot returned together with disguised lobs to see out a Hart win 3-2

Sohail had been boosted by a youngster on reception saying he was taught by Sohail and what a great teacher he was! He bounced around the court despatching winners at will and it was soon 7-0, just needed to finish him off. Then a loss of concentration and suddenly the game was gone, but never mind, a bit of concentration would change that, surely! Unfortunately not, and he was then 0-2 down. The third was a different story, back to the beginning of the first with winners everywhere for a comfortable game. Sohail was back we thought, but no he found the tin again so a 1-3 loss

Dave was now on playing a guy with a lethal forehand, but on the plus side he could not run so Dave only needed a reasonable drop shot, – except he kept hitting the tin. The first 2 games were close but Dave lost both of them, this was not looking good. Dave starting to scowl but then he started to make the drops and stopped feeding the forehand, so things turned round & he won the 3rd. In the fourth he was rampant 9-0 so all over now; but then somehow 1-5 down in the 5th against an opponent who could no longer move! Dave changed tactics and stopped hitting it to him to run out a 3-2 winner.

So onto Chris (2), his opponent had great touch around the court and could play good wrong footing shots. However, he has never played a Chris before. He ran forwards, backwards, sideways, bounced off walls, did not understand the concept of being wrong footed and had an uncanny knack of finding the nick. The first 2 games were shared but Chris’s non stop running and apologies for accidentally getting to the ball and finding the nick were starting to get to his opponent. In the end Chris just wore him down for a 3-1 win

Kerry at one looked apprehensive as his opponent had just returned from playing in the world veterans finals. First both players put their strapping on, Kerry won this by adding a heavy duty arm bandage. On with the first game and 3 minutes later it was over, Kerry had no idea were the ball was going and by the time he did it had bounced at least 3 times. So into the second and it was soon 0-5, but then Kerry actually retrieved a shot, and then another, finally he had worked out were the ball was going. The whole match turned and it was Kerry playing winning drops and attacking lobs that were hugging the wall. Only one rally got past 4 shots, so deadly were the winners from both players (in Kerry’s opinion anyway). In the end Kerry ran out a comfortable winner 3-1.

In the end a close match but Hart old codgers took it 4-1

Man of the match has to be Mark for coming back from jaws of defeat

Princes send Hart home as Paupers

The team:-
1) Simon Wood
2) Dave Wroe
3) Steve George
4) Sohail
5) Mark Corr
Aided and abetted by Stephen, Jan, one working PA system and a flip
chart score board.

First off was Sohail who ran and ran, got fairly worked-up but couldn’t
convert his changes against his former rugby-player opponent.  Even
Jan’s (who was sitting next to the beer) microphone-enhanced dodgy
marking couldn’t save Sohail who went down 1-3 (I think)

On the flip-chart scoreboard court Mark raced into a 1-0 lead – well he
was about 7-3 up and finally clinched it 10-8.  Unfortunately it was a
bit of a struggle from then on for him, as his opponent’s tight lobbing
ground Mark down and he too succumbed 1-3.

Dave followed Sohail and swiftly took the first game 9-0 and proceeded
to drop the next 3.  His opponent got better but Dave didn’t so that was
a fair result really !

Steve, who initially talked-down his chances, played a steady safe game,
with economical leg use and some tidy strokes. He never looked
particularly troubled (apart form a wobble in the 3rd game) and came
through a comfortable 3-1 winner.

Simon’s opponent was aiming to double (to 2) his points tally from their
previous encounter. With iron-fisted marker Steve on hand signals, and
Jan on flip-chart, Simon cruised through (on a sore ankle) to a slightly
scruffy 3-0 win.

Overall a 2-3 defeat for Hart old gits.