Stamford Green Man v Crown Lodge 1
Still recoiling from last weeks defeat and with an injury list worse than Casualty at PDH on a Friday night the Stamford lads were cautious about any predictions for this match. With both Yorkie and Richard now injured and unable to play, a first appearance for Paul Swift and the return of Simon Richardson (now almost a regular) was the order of the day. The team order for tonight was Mark 1, Jon 2, Simon B 3, Simon R 4, and Paul 5.
First on was Simon R playing Robin Attlesey. This proved an entertaining match with Simon playing some tight accurate squash, matched equally by Robin. The first game was tight with Robin just nicking it 10-8. Simon came back strongly in the second for a comfortable 9-3 win. Good squash in the third from Simon as he again dominated the game keeping Robin under pressure to take it 9-6. Fortunes changed in the fourth though as Robin fought for everything to take it 9-4 and level the tie 1-1. The fifth saw both players working hard until finally Simon had match ball at 8-7. Unable to clinch it Robin clawed back to 8-8 and continued on to win 10-8 and take the first tie 3-2.
Paul Swift was on the other court against Peter Askew. Paul started well, taking the ball early and controlling the game and did enough to force mistakes from Peter and take the first 9-6. The second saw too many errors from Paul and it was the turn of Peter to take advantage of the “free” points to take it 9-6. The next two games were taken one each to make it 2-2. The fifth saw Paul struggle to keep consistency with Peter now in control and finally taking it 9-3 and the tie 3-2.
So Stamford 2-0 down and in trouble. Jon Oakley on next against Paul Swallow. A very strong start form Jon playing great width and length added to some excellent retrieving saw a convincing win 9-0, 9-2 for the first two games. Jon relaxed in the third and this let Paul back in as he fought hard to take it 9-4. The fourth saw a more determined Jon as battled well and stepped up the pace to take the game 9-8 and the tie 3-1.
Simon B on now against Stephanie Marriot. After Jon Oakley’s fawning display, that destroyed the pride of men folk when he played her during the first half of the season and barely scrapped a win 10-9 in the fifth, Barker was determined to set the record straight. Simon took about tackling a somewhat unorthodox style of movement from Steph with vigour and after two close games Simon was 2-0 winning them 9-7 and 9-6. It was Simon’s turn to relax now and suddenly Steph was back in the match. Simon was now getting more and more frustrated trying to cope with Steph’s style he had to resort to the occasional “dropped shoulder” as he made the effort to get around Steph. Steph took the third 9-4 and the fourth 9-7. 2-2 and game on. The fifth though proved an anti-climax as Simon took control and stepped the pace up for a comfortable 9-1 win.
With the match squared at 2-2 now the pressure was on Mark playing Robert Murfitt. A quick first game with Mark either playing winners or tinners as he lost it 9-7. Much the same in the second but without the winners as Mark continually found the top inch of the tin to go down 9-3. A pep talk from the captain and top tips such as “don’t hit the tin” obviously worked as Mark came back in the third to take it comfortably 9-1. Was this the comeback? Sadly no, as the fourth saw Mark again finding the tin, letting Robert back in to take it 9-4 and the match 3-2.
So another loss for the Stamford boys. If only I had a football boot to kick around! Another tough one next week, Portugal Place.