Surrey League – Bourne 3 vs Spencer 3 – Match report
Spencer 3 off to a winning start.
Last night saw the inaugural match for the newly formed Spencer 3 junior team, way down in the depths of division 7R. With such strength in depth shown in the senior squads, confidence was high for a good start to the season for the Thirds. The opponents were Bourne 3, headquartered way out in deepest darkest Surrey straddling the Hampshire border. With Bourne having the strongest team in the division on paper, it was sure to be a tough test for the Spencer junior team.
First up on court was in-form Danny at second string looking to extend his unbeaten run in the Surrey league after a fine streak of form over the winter. His opponent, Vaughan, was technically very good but struggled to cope with Danny’s pace and excellent retrieval skills. Some very good squash from both players made for an entertaining first set, which Danny comfortably took 15-11 with some excellent backhand drives. Although Danny looked under little pressure on court, the next 2 sets were tight affairs, with Danny taking both 15-13 and 15-12 for a very good first match of the season. Danny is now 9 games unbeaten and it remains to be seen how long he’ll be plying his trade at this level with senior team managers keeping their eyes on his excellent results.
On the other court was embittered demotee Charlie, with the self-styled squash hero making his first appearance at the lowest rung of the Spencer squash ladder albeit at first string. With the away fans naturally expecting a simple 3-0 victory for the outspoken maverick, there was more than a little pressure on Charlie to back up his claim that he should be playing at a higher standard. The pressure showed in the first game with Charlie struggling to find his accuracy off the serve and suffering a 15-10 loss. However, finally finding a bit of rhythm, Charlie took the next 2 games 15-11, 15-13 with some fine drives and excellent retrieval skills. The fourth game saw Charlie’s first fine of the season with a thunderous expletive as his opponent Jonny took the fourth 15-10. With the away fans expecting Charlie’s much-vaunted fitness to see him through the decider, they were left aghast as he succumbed to a meek 15-6 defeat. Charlie will be looking to bounce back next week (assuming he pays his subs in time…), and will surely have to bite his lip on the topic of the current nomination order at Spencer club.
Next up on court was Christopher’s defector Anthony, making his debut for the much classier Spencer club at number 3. Confidence was high among the away fans as his opponent Allan was clearly very much on the wrong side of 60. From the first few rallies it was clear that Allan was far more interested in calling dubious lets than actually trying to win a rally legitimately. However, Anthony was unfazed, using his court movement and exquisite length to take the first set 15-11. He went on to easily take the second set 15-2, despite his opponent nonchalantly hitting the racquet out of Anthony’s hand with clean strike of the ball. One would have expected a quick apology… and the crowd waited… until finally a 100% sincere “sorry” was forthcoming. You can’t buy class. Anthony wrapped up the third set 15-8 to take the first victory of what is likely to be many for Spencer club.
The last match saw captain Mike making a much anticipated return to the Spencer fold against probably-the-happiest-man-in-the-world Joe. Mike made a quick start out of the blocks, sailing into a 6-0 lead with the match starting at a frenetic pace. Mike then made heavy use of the lesser-spotted “backhand mis-hit” stroke to comedic effect, allowing Joe to first get back to 14-9 down, and then steam-rollering Mike into a 16-14 defeat. Away fans were hopeful that Mike would employ a few more conventional squash strokes down the backhand side, but alas they were to be disappointed as he managed to contrive to lose the next 2 sets 15-12, 15-11 via some fines for racquet rage, swearing and a comedy serve. Rumours are unconfirmed that the captain will be dropping Mike from the team next week, although he may not have a choice in the matter such is the strength of Spencer club right now.
So the first match of the season ended in success for Spencer 3, with a 9-6 overall score seeing them rise to the top of the table for a brief period. There will be high expectations as Reigate 4 visit fortress Spencer next Wednesday, with Spencer 3 looking to build on their fine start to the season.