NOTE: Dummy scores (based on the Match Report), which will be corrected on receipt of the scorecard.
Match Report (Courtesy of Dave Wackrill)
Flamstead 1st 5 - 5 Adeyfield 1st
Muz Flatters to Deceive
With Mark York crying off with illness at short notice, and no one else in the squad available, we drafted in Barnets League player, Muz Janoowalla, on an emergency registration for this match - a tough one to start the defence of our title, after two frustrating weeks of postponements due to the unavailability of our premises. Muz is a great addition to our team and should win some sets for us in future, though unfortunately, not this week.
Muz started his Hemel debut in the most spectacular fashion possible, ripping through Nick Denney’s erratic defence like a dose of salts, for an 11-0 opening game win. Perfection. That was as good as it got, however, as once those wicked forehand loops started going astray, there was no plan B to fall back on, and Nick took the set in 4 games. Muz also went to 4 with Biao Wang and Angela Smith, so you can see he had his moments in those sets, too.
We were lucky that town champion, John Bullard, was in the team as, with no disrespect to the opposition, this is usually likely to mean 3 wins. John opened with a 5-game set, just managing to overcome Angela’s free hitting style, but he then came unstuck against Biao, who had already beaten me 3 straight. Biao is in terrifyingly good form at the moment, with those flat hits of his seemingly never missing the table. He’d already thrashed Hemel no. 1, Michael Wilkins, in an Aylesbury match on Monday, and brought his form with him to Flamstead, going on to complete a hat-trick and take the man of the match award.
I usually have close games with Nick, and this time was no exception as the impetus swayed one way and then the other. I kept him at bay in our first game, but Nick took an 8-4 lead in the second, only for me to come back and, dare I say, ‘nick' it at deuce. He won the third comfortably enough and shot off to a 3-0 lead in the 4th, but then dropped the next 7 points, so it was virtually ‘game over’, for my win. A much needed one, too, as it was only our 2nd success to Flamstead’s 4, at that stage, a scoreline which quickly moved on to 2-5 after Biao beat Muz.
So, it was down to John and me to salvage something from the match and the reason I’m writing this is because WE DID IT !! John got past Nick, and I managed to beat Angela for the first time ever (after years of trying). Suffice to say that Angela was not at her best, and missed some kills that she would have normally gobbled up. That just left the doubles, which John and I took 3 straight.