Thurston Vulcans 7-3 Thurston Spitfires
25/01/2016 - Sean Gridley
A few years ago Thurston Spitfires were the undisputed kings of the Thurston club, with Vulcans chasing their trawler like Cantona's seagulls. Lately things have started to change, the Vulcans now presenting a far tougher challenge especially with the introduction of their very own Supergirl in the form of Sonja Talbot. And with the first three games of the night going to five sets it was going to be a close contest.
Sonja played in position two for this match which meant taking on Paul Evans first, this is always an uncomfortable game for Sonja. Paul's excellent defensive work and backhand smash making Sonja work hard for her win in five hotly contested sets.
Spitfires' Captain Colin hasn't been able to live with Sonja for their last few encounters but with Sonja starting slowly it could have been a different story, unfortunately for Colin, Sonja wasn't to be beaten. From two nil down and with the help of a little bit of luck or what Tony West refers to as an international length coupled with some dubious nets Sonja emerged the winner in five again.
Mark Cracknell hasn't been hitting the highs of previous years this season. Again Sonja was there to make the most of it with a cracking display of spin and control proving too much for Mark.
Yves St Laurent or perhaps the Stella Cidre guy played in the No1 spot for Vulcans. I am of course talking about our very own Senior persons railcard holder Gordon Meadows.
Determination and clever tactics (a few nets from both players, although Colin didn't spot his own - he must be a fan of Wenger...) were a Match for Colin, with Gordon offering Colin no pace or spin and completely upsetting his opponent's rhythm. Talking of pace, this must have been one of the longest games of the night as Colin prowled around at the back of the court between points trying to see where it was going wrong. Fortunately for Colin it all went wrong for Gordon in another fifth set as Gordon tightened up and lost the earlier composure he showed to get to a fifth set.
Although it was mentioned earlier that Mark's form isn't perhaps what it once was, this didn't show against Gordon. Gordon has in recent times had the better of Mark but not this night as Mark walked this match without moistening his brow!
Sean Gridley was in the No.3 slot and felt a bit lacklustre as he got out of his chair to take on Mark. The way he played he was surprised to win the first game, but not surprised to lose the second this then became another five set match, with Mark winning the fourth set 13-11, setting up a promising fifth game only for Mark to collapse like a cricket team and lose the fifth 11-1.
Playing Paul is always a humdinger, Sean started in his usual manner attempting to keep Paul pushing and in the first two games Sean had the magic touch managing to befuddle Paul with very deft touches. Each player had a meeting with their team mates between games, and Paul improved his lot but Sean still managed to win in three.
Colin the Captain then dispatched Sean with real aplomb using all his guile to make Sean look guilless and win in three. The doubles was contested by Sean and Sonja for the Vulcans and their opponents were Paul and Colin, in a good natured contest both teams had a little taste of the aforementioned international length shots, but Vulcans skills extended to a few more net cords and some great rallies to emerge as the winners.