Frank Lee v Stamford Green Man
Confidence was high in the team for this return match against Frank Lee after the cup success 2 weeks ago. Richard Barker was unable to play this week due to his THIRD holiday since Christmas so Simon Richardson was called up from the bench.
First on court was captain Simon Barker playing James Richardson. James started well playing a good short game catching Simon napping and took an early 4-0 lead in the first. A step forward from Simon stopped these winners and playing good length squash forced James to the back. Under too much pressure James now allowed Simon a comfortable recovery to take the first 9-4. The second saw James working harder and after an even game Simon lapsed and threw four points away to lose the second 9-7. 1-1 and a close match looked on the cards but Simon upped the pace causing James to struggle. The next two games went to Simon comfortably 9-2 and 9-4. One to Stamford.
Simon Richardson was on next against Dave Savage. After some reassuring words from the team such as “Richard only dropped 4 points when he played at 5 against this team” Simon started well. Playing controlled squash, allowing himself time to settle in Simon played some good rallies, hitting a good length to control the first and take it 9-6. The second started the same way as Simon forged ahead and confidence grew. This brought his downfall. Simon suddenly decided to go for winners from everything and hitting too many tins, Dave was back in the game and with his head up did enough to take the second 9-7. 1-1 now and suddenly Simon was looking in trouble. Dave capitalised on Simon’s errors and continued through the next two games to give Simon a right good savaging to take the tie 3-1.
Jon Oakley was playing Chris Boswell next door. Chris was very fast around the court covering Jon’s “disguised” drops and unorthodox shots. A tight first game saw Jon just edge it 9-7. The second Chris made fewer errors and taking the ball early forced Jon to the back of the court. Struggling to find his form Jon made error after error hitting more tins than a blind man in a supermarket. Chris kept his game steady to take the second 9-6. During the break Jon gave himself a good talking to and unable administer corporal punishment on himself, decided that detention was the only answer if he didn’t pull his socks up. This obviously worked as the errors reduced enough to just gain him the advantage as he took the next two 9-6 and 9-6 to secure the tie 3-1. 2-1 to Stamford now.
Mark Smith on next against Jake Lowber, a somewhat sturdy player. The first few rallies were closely fought and after Mark had bounced off Jake a couple of times attempting to go through him he changed tack and took the long way round. Some nice boasts and excellent retrieving gave Mark the lead as he took the first 9-1. The second went the same way for a comfortable win 9-3. Concentration then failed Mark as he came out for the third in a coma. 3 minutes later it was 9-0 to Chris. Playing Marks favourite track and talking to him softly during the break revived him from his coma. The forth saw a revitalised player as he swept through Jake 9-1 to take the tie 3-1.
Finally Paul York played Terry Reynolds. An old adversary for Yorkie who had had some tough matches a few years ago. Terry though on this occasion seemed to be struggling for fitness and carrying an injury as Yorkie was able to comfortably control the game for an easy 9-1, 9-2, 9-3 victory and the match to Stamford.