Surrey League – Spencer 1 vs new Malden 3 – Match Report
Three is The Magic Number – Spencer 1st vs New Malden 3rd
De La Soul knew it and now so do the Spencer 1st Team after keeping their 100% start to the season to climb to the top of division 4 with a hard fought victory over New Malden. Given none of us had played for two weeks since the Reigate match there were a few pre match nerves. However a hard fought 3-1 victory, 14 points out of 15 and three wins out of three were secured.
First up was third team super star Charlie elevated to the giddy heights of the first team playing against New Malden’s bottom ranked team player Sam. Now some might be lured into thinking this would be an easy victory for Charlie. I certainly did. However the ol’ league rules confounded us. Players who join a club too late to be nominated have to be put at the bottom of the rankings and Sam proved to be a far more adept opponent. A bit of a slug fest commenced as both players struggled to adapt to the warm court with the ball regularly popping up from over hitting. Charlie was fastest out of the blocks in the first and his pace around the court saw him take a 1-0 lead. Sam controlled the centre of the court in the next two as Charlies length went the same direction as his on-court fashion sense to fight back to a 2-1 advantage. Some clever drops and pace changes from Charlie disrupted Sam’s rhythm to level at 2-2 before Mr Duckworth’s lifestyle caught up with his lungs in the 5th game and a narrow 3-2 defeat.
On the other court Grant was facing a tricky opponent in Andrew. Still nursing an ankle injury, Grants movement isn’t 100% confident at the moment and in Andrew he was facing a very technically strong opponent whose was capable of punishing poor shots. I was busy marking the crowd favourite Charlie so didn’t see too much of this one to be honest. Although I could hear a fair bit if chat between both players and the marker which is always the sign of an enjoyable summer league match. In depth post-match analysis (over a San Miguel) basically implied that Grant wasn’t going to lose this one and once he has worked out how to win after dropping a narrow first game 15 – 17. From there it was about execution. Well done to Grant and the tie levelled at 1-1.
I headed on court against Steve at third string and manged to scrape a 3-0 victory despite breaking the strings in my racquet and playing with a broken spare for most of the 2nd and 3rd games. Steve was finding his was back into the game after a bit of a break and was unable to capitalise when he got in front of me. A tough rematch is certainly promised. Spencer 2-1 up with just Jamie to play.
Jamie played Luke at 2nd string. Similar to Andrew, Luke was a wily (young) opponent who knew how to disrupt the rhythm and flow of an opponent’s game. The first two games were shared and very closeat 15 – 17 followed by 15-12. By this point Jamie’s advantage in movement and fitness were obvious and two weeks off court were working their way of out his system. Using that unbelievably infuriating cross court drop Jamie pushed Luke forwards to great effect and largely controlled the final two games to seal a 3-1 victory.
Whole match was played in tremendous good nature (not always the case in the summer leagues) and some eye opening Berlin stag party war stories swapped in the bar afterwards! Looking forward to the rematch.