Stamford Green Man 1 v Abbotsley 1
The Barker brothers got the match under way with Richard playing Dave Goulden and Simon playing Steve Francis. Richard held his own during the first but struggled to find form. He battled well but Dave stole it 10-8. Richard couldn’t find a winning shot in the second and whilst playing like a girl Richard also appeared to have limited concentration span and whilst deciding what to cook for tea promptly lost the second 9-1. This seemed to unnerve Dave as he took it onto himself to fall apart in the third. Richard having decided on when to wash his hair next took advantage and recovered a game winning the third 9-1. Tension was high on the balcony wondering who would mentally collapse in the fourth. Both players though hung in there and played some “nice,” “after you” squash but with no real desire. Dave finally stealing it 9-8 and the tie 3-1.
Simon on the other court was playing Steve Francis. Simon was on a roll unbeaten in league squash this year and began the match in confident form. Steve struggled to deal with anything that wrong footed him and Simon took full advantage winning the first two 9-2 and 9-2. A fight back from Steve in the third, as Simon drifted off, gave him a 9-1 win and allowed him back in the match. A sharp talking to from other team members soon sorted Simon out and he had a safe 9-1 win in the third to take the tie 3-1.
Rob Vivian was on next playing Tony Barker. The tie started well with both players playing good squash with some excellent rallies. Rob though was unable to find a winning shot and Tony stormed off to a 7-1 lead. Rob finally found the shots needed to finish the rallies and began the fight back before finally losing the first 9-7. With a sound game plan now in action Rob continued moving Tony around and working him hard. Good tactics as Tony struggled to find an answer to Rob’s excellent length and accuracy losing the next three games 9-2, 9-5 and 9-1.
Next up was Mark “did I tell you I’m carrying a few injuries” Smith playing Simon Scott. Mark struggled in the first as Simons fast and accurate squash put him under pressure. Once the injuries had warmed fully though Mark began leaping around the court like leaping thing on drugs. This helped considerably as Mark put up a strong fight in the second, but too many errors again were costly and Simon stole it 10-8. Two down and Simon took advantage of Marks injuries, which with defeat looking imminent, were now demonstrated by a very major limp causing the team to wonder whether casualty needed informing. Fortunately on completion of the tie, which Mark lost 3-0, a significant improvement was noticed.
So with the match all square at 2-2 it was down to the captain, Paul York playing Colin Usher to give the Stamford their first victory of the season. The odds were looking good for Paul as Colin took a while to warm his stiff, tired and heavily bandaged knees. Some hard hitting in the warm up suggested some exciting squash to come. The first began with Colin pressurising Yorkie and keeping him on the back foot. Uncharacteristic errors from Paul lost him points and Colin took the first 9-7. A close second saw Paul make better use of his sort game moving Colin well and taking it 9-5. A revitalised Colin worked hard in the third doing enough to take it 9-5 but working very hard. This showed in the fourth as Paul had a comfortable 9-0 win. So it was all down to the fifth. Not only the 3 points for the tie but the 5 points for a team win rested on this last game. Both players played cautiously, neither wanting to make mistakes but Paul edged away. The balcony were chewing finger nails as Paul eventually got to 8-6 match ball. Surely this was it. First win for Stamford this year. No. Colin saved the tie. The battle ensued and after having 4 match points Yorkies bottle completely collapsed as Colin won the match on a serve Paul failed to make contact with and which my Granny could have volley nicked.
So with Stamford “much stronger” this year we have yet to win a match in Cambs 1. Come on captain – ice cream is not enough on it’s own to motivate your team. We need results!