Stamford Green Man v St. Ivo
Still unbeaten Stamford went into the match confidently. First on court (as they were the only ones to turn up on time) were the Barker brothers.
Richard played Jeremy Hyde. After a good knock up (waiting for the remaining Stamford players to arrive so we had a marker!) the game began only for the first crisis of the night to hit us. First point of the match saw Richard lunge for a shot and tweak his achilles. In true, team commitment tradition, Richard soldiered on venturing only inches from the T going for winners from anything – and hitting most of them. Helped by St Ivo not having their full strength team rich playing a weaker No5 cruised through 9-6, 9-6, 9-4 having moved no more than a step from the T. He then rapidly sped home to his personal physio for some ice and sympathy.
Simon played Jack White (a slip of a young lad). The match started with some vigour as Jack’s pace had Simon in awe. However once he’d sorted Jack out with a few mishits, bodyshots and acceleration rarely seen in a thirtysomething squash veteran, Simon took control and had a comfortable first game 9-4. The second went the same way for another 9-4 win. Jack, still running like Linford Cristie on speed got back into the third but Simon’s experience overcame to steal it 10-8 and take the tie 3-0.
Jon Oakley went next against a tall and wiry Bob Taylor. After a casual start by Jon, Bob built a lead up in the first and forced Jon to start running around. Some entertaining rallies saw Bob working very hard and Jon took advantage to take the first 9-7. More pressure on Bob in the second saw Jon comfortably controlling the rallies and working Bob hard. 9-3 to Jon. The third went the same, 9-6 to Jon as Bob practically imploded the court as he tried to suck more oxygen in. 3-0 to Stamford.
Mark Smith went next against Malcolm White. The game was delayed 5 minutes as Mark reeled of his list of injuries (just on the off chance he might start to lose). Once underway Mark started moving freely once a lead had been established. Good squash saw Mark take the first 9-3. The second saw Malcom sharper as he took shots earlier and Mark started to struggle. Then the second crisis of the night occurred: Mark suffered a twisted sock. After much cajoling and encouragement the said sock was righted and play continued. This setback clearly affected Mark as he lost the second 9-1 and the third 9-7. A strategy rethink at 2-1 down saw all injuries put on hold as Mark stormed the fourth 9-0. Malcolm, somewhat shell shocked that his opponent had been practically in his grave a game ago, couldn’t step up again and Mark took the fifth and the tie 3-2.
Finally Yorkie went on against Nigel Taylor. Yorkie’s power was too much for Nigel and even though Yorkie was looser than a size 16 dress on Maxine from Corrie, he still kept Nigel on the back foot. A safe 9-6 win in the first followed by a struggle in the second with Nigel gaining a couple of game points before Yorkie pulled it back to take it 10-8. Nigel struggling on stamina gave Yorkie an easy third 9-6 and the tie 3-0. An excellent result 5-0 and another 20 points in the bag but probably with the loss of Richard for a couple of games with his achilles injury. Off to the subs bench for me to call up one of my super subs.