Hunts Couty 2 v Stamford Green Man
As the season heads into the last quarter a perusal of the league tables finds Stamford in a very strong position. Currently 53 points with only 5 matches to go including tonight’s. Maximum points tonight would make our position almost untouchable requiring the second place team to take maximum points (20) for the remaining four matches and Stamford to average less than 7 per match.
First on tonight was Simon (super sub) Richardson against Peter Dampney. Simon was looking to avenge his only other appearance for the team when he had a crushing defeat against Frank Lee in January. Simon was exceptionally “fired up” for this one and could be found pacing up and down the balcony area and scowling at people as he focused the mind in preparation for his titanic battle. As the game got underway Peter got into the groove early and playing a good short game forced too many errors from Simon. As the points drifted away, Simon kept his focus which at times was burning holes through Peter, but couldn’t stop the flow, as Peter took the first 9-3. Some exceptionally visionary advice from the captain during the break saw Simon’s game improve and he took control of the second producing some good kills. A valiant fight from Peter couldn’t stay with Simon’s pace. 9-6 to Simon. The third turned into a marathon battle as both players realised the importance of this one. Fortunes went both ways – as the tension rose and the odd error crept in, Simon’s racket could clearly be seen ricocheting around the court as it was propelled with some disgust! Finally though it was Simon that came out on top to steal it 10-8. 2-1 to Simon now and as the fourth began fitness began to tell as Peter started to flag. Simon took full advantage and romped through to take it 9-2 and the tie 3-1. Well played.
Simon Barker went next against Andy Fuller. Andy was clearly not overly confident as he told Simon before the game started “You won’t have much trouble with me tonight – I’m not up to much at the moment.” He did put up some resistance in the first though but Simon did enough to take it 10-8. The next two were comfortable wins 9-1 and 9-5.
Jon Oakley played Dave Moream and as normal Jon had a slow start suffering from lack of energy having wasted much of it explaining to the lads what a stressful day he’d had (again). Never mind Jon – half term soon and another couple of weeks off! Anyway I digress. Dave being that bit sharper to the ball took the first 9-7. The second saw a more active Jon as he started picking up the short balls and put Dave under pressure. Able now to dominate the T Jon took the next 9-3. The next two went Jon’s way 9-7 and 9-5 as Dave was unable to deal with Jon’s game.
Mark Smith on next against Paul Goodman. The first was very lively with both players running for everything. Errors from both players though meant the game could of gone either way. Finally Mark nipped in at the end to take it 9-7. The second went the same way but Mark this time making more errors and allowing Paul to take this one 9-5. The third finally saw Mark playing well and by cutting the unforced errors out was able to take control and dominate the third and fourth taking then both 9-3.
Finally Yorkie was on against John Ford. Yorkie was much too strong and given too much time on the ball demonstrated by his numerous lucky nicks and backhand cut drops from the back of the court. John was unable to get into the match until the third having lost the first two 9-6 and 9-1. He did produce a battle in the third making Yorkie work for his points and produced a game point but was unable to clinch it and Yorkie did the business 10-9 to take the tie 3-0. 5-0 to Stamford and another 20 points in the bag!