Stamford Green Man v Hunts County 2
The team arrived early at the club for a team photo for the paper and official handing over of new kit from AWARE Promotional Merchandise in Peterborough. After much pruning and argy bargy in the line up, the photos were taken and dressed in smart new kit we took on Hunts County.
With major pressure not to be the first team player to drop a match and a tub of probably the best ice cream in the world awaiting the player dropping the least amount of points was proving a good incentive to stay focused.
Yet it again it fell to the Barker brothers to kick the match off with Richard to play Peter Dampney. Richard started well, playing controlled squash and keeping the ball away from Peter. A comfortable first game saw Richard through 9-3. The second game went horribly wrong as Rich had the game from hell, finding himself out of position, hitting poor shots and generally playing very muppet like. This cost him the game 9-5 and tied it 1-1. A slightly more invigorated Barker came for the third but was still drifting the ball around the court with no conviction. Some poor finishing from Peter kept Richard in the rallies and remarkably came through to take the third 9-3. The fourth was much the same but Rich kept his head to take it 9-5 and the tie 3-1 to maintain his unbeaten record.
Simon was on the other court against Andy Fuller. Attempting to end his run of, some would say loose (ish) squash, Simon went for plan B which was to up the power a bit more, after all his motto is “if in doubt – hit it harder.” This had the following effect: The first was the slightly more erratic nature of the flight of the ball (given that all parts of the racket were used in an effort to gain more power ie frame, handle and occasionally strings). The second was that although not exactly tight, with the ball travelling at light speed Andy did have problems controlling his own shots. This gave Simon plenty of loose balls to put away. Too much pressure for Andy allowed Simon a fairly comfortable win 9-5, 9-6, 9-4. Was the ice cream in the bag?
Mark Smith followed Richard on, to play Paul Godwin. This had the makings of a good match, as both players are good runners. Sure enough the first couple of rallies saw some major running. Paul settled down quickly and made few errors. Although the rallies were tight it seemed Mark made the mistake first and allowed Paul to take the first 9-5. The second saw an immediate improvement in Mark’s game as he took control. Tight drives and playing short to move Paul about allowed Mark a convincing 9-1 to level it 1-1. The third was a marathon with both players running and retrieving superbly. A very entertaining and tense third saw Mark under pressure and after one unforced error he just had to check to see if his racket could fly. After retrieving it he got back into it to just steal it 10-8. Disaster for Mark in the fourth as he seemed to switch off and Paul took advantage with a quick and easy 9-3 win to level it 2-2. Pressure was on Mark for the fifth, as the match report for the first to lose (unless it’s me) will be harsh! The game started closely with both players chasing everything; then Mark sneaked a couple of points and stretched the lead to 7-3. Excellent battling by Paul saw around seven handouts at 7-3. Would Mark collapse under pressure. Nope. He came through to take the fifth 9-3 and the tie 3-2. Well played.
Jon Oakley was playing next door against Dave Moreau. Dave pulled some tricky shots out of the bag but struggled to match Jon’s game which has to be said was somewhat in disarray for most of the tie. Fortunately Jon was able to do enough to keep Dave under pressure and though by far not his best performance, (in fact joining Richard in the muppet club and even managing to look like Fozzy bear) he took the tie 9-5, 9-6, 9-7. A comfortable win but not enough to nick the ice cream from the captain’s grasp. Could Yorkie do it?
So here it was the last game; Paul York against John Ford. From the off John looked a threat to Yorkie, picking up his hard drives and well hit cross courts and returning them tight and to a good length. Yorkie struggled to find his own game and made loads of errors. Ears were blocked as Yorkie’s shrill cry of disdain was heard after every point as he lost the first 9-3. Encouragement from the captain (as the ice cream was now safely in the bag) during the break and words of wisdom such “hit it harder” had the desired effect. The second saw Yorkie make fewer mistakes and start to work John hard. This gave him the edge as he took it 9-5 to even things up. Much of the same for the next two games, with errors reducing even more and the cut drop shot working again, giving Yorkie them 9-6 and 9-5 to take the tie 3-1.
Another 5-0 win. Home next week to Ely where they have an ex pro playing 1 for them. Best of luck Yorkie. Take no prisoners.