Portugal Place v Stamford Green Man
Recent results had not been good for Stamford and tonight’s match saw another new face in the team, Adrian Hargreaves. Yorkie was back post injury but Richard B was still sidelined with a pulled calf. Tonight’s team order is Yorkie at 1, Jon Oakley 2, Adrian Hargreaves 3, Si Barker (captain) 4 and Si Richardson at 5.
Si Richardson was up first against Stewart McTavish. Simon, fresh from a weekends skiing, commented “I always play crap, straight from skiing so I got a game in yesterday and got the crap game out of my system” He then went on court and preceded to play crap! Seriously though Simon was up against a very strong player and as determined as Simon was to rally the ball up and down the wall Stewart picked the ball off putting it away consistently. Simon ran for everything but couldn’t contain Stewart who had a comfortable win 9-0, 9-4, 9-2.
Captain on next who was determined to seek revenge on his opponent Jaques Van Oorschot for the 3-1 defeat during the first half of the season. Jaques though had other ideas and Simon, making way too many errors, made the task easier for him. The first went to Jaques 9-3 by simply taking the ball early and keeping Simon under pressure. Simon played better in the second but with still too many errors inexplicably lost it 9-1. The third saw a valiant fight back from Simon as he finally managed to force some errors from Jaques, but couldn’t do enough to steal it as Jaques took the third 9-7. Stamford now 2-0 down and in trouble again.
Next on was Adrian playing Jaco Vermaak. Adrian had an excellent start with Jaco making unforced errors to allow Adrian an easy 9-3 in the first. The second saw Jaco tighten up, find a better length and take control of the rallies. Adrian’s turn to make the errors as Jaco took it 9-7. The third was an excellent display of quality squash as both players hit accurate shots around the court. Adrian though always just had the edge and took the third 9-2. The fourth was an almost exact copy of the third as Adrian sealed it 9-2 and the tie 3-1. Was the comeback on?
Jon Oakley on now, against Hussein Said, (who made Yorkie work very hard in the first half of the season). Hussein started slowly giving Jon time to settle in. Jon, looking sharp around the court was quick to pick up everything and caught Hussein with the short ball. 9-3 to Jon in the first. Hussein stepped up in the second and Jon, looking a little too casual made the errors to give Hussein the second 9-6. The third began with a much more focused Jon playing excellent length and width, retrieving superbly and even when under pressure finding a great shot to get out of trouble. Hussein had no answer to this as he buckled to a 9-0 defeat. The fourth followed on with Jon totally dominating for a convincing 9-1 win to take the tie 3-1 and square the match 2-2.
Finally Yorkie was on playing Ben Bradshaw. Pressure was on Yorkie as the match relied on his result. The first saw Yorkie a little cautious (technical jargon for moving round court like a slug on a go slow) which we put down to him protecting his recently injured calf. This allowed Ben an easy ride in the first to take it 9-6. The second, Yorkie came out on a mission and suddenly found that extra half a yard and massacred just about everything into a selection of nicks. Ben found himself moving up to two paces forward of the T just to give himself a chance of picking the ball up before it bounced for the fourth time. 9-1 to Yorkie. A nail biting third then commenced as Yorkie threw in a few tins as well as the nicks and with Bens confidence lifted his retrieving was awesome. Yorkie stuck to his game though and snuck the third 9-7. The fourth was a real battle and with Yorkie’s little legs starting to fade the tension spectating was high. It was very even up to 7-7 then Yorkie clinched a point to give him match ball – but couldn’t finish it. With Yorkie’s tank about empty he didn’t need a fifth and finally on his third match ball a winning kill secured it for him 3-1 and the match 3-2.
Well played the top three and Stamford back winning. That result secured promotion to Cambs div 1 next year. Brampton at home next week and then the following week the cup semis at home. Come on the big boys!