Surrey League – Spencer 3 vs Virgin Active Surrey 4 – Match Report
Last Thursday saw Spencer 3rd’s entertain Virgin Active Surrey 4th Team at the full capacity Spencer Dome.
Charlie was up first in his bid to end his tortuous run of 3-2 losses. Up against him was 19 yr old child prodigy Callum.
Callums warm up was intimidating, as he nonchalantly thumped the ball with ease time and time again, as charlie adopted the more orthodox 2 good drives, one less good, clip it back across court strategy.
In a close first game Charlie did well to limit it to keep up and limited it to a 13-15 loss, as Callum exhibited some excellent shots forcing Charlie into two unforced swear fines. In the second game, Charlie came out fighting and in a mirror of the 1st, won 15-13.
Callum’s superior fitness and reading of the game started to come thorugh in the 3rd as he took it comfortably- stepping up the court aggressively when charlie was at the front to hit some great reaction volleys. It became clear he was running away with the game and Charlie wisely adopted the strategy of refusing to run for anything not in his immediate swing circumference, saving his beans for the fourth and potentially final game.
After an extended time break due to a blood injury to Charlie’s shin”I’m going to wait until we’re a few points in and then take a time out to annoy him”, Charlie sportingly took a longer water break giving him time to recover and for coach Danny to offer some coach carter like advice. Its boiling, take 5% off of your shots to stop it rebounding off the back was the general gist. Charlie stormed to a 4th game 15-9, setting up a gruelling 5th and deciding game. Unfortunately it wasnt to be as the young lad’s consistent hitting and bounce just edged Charlie out. A valiant effort and another 2-3 defeat to add to Duckworth’s unlucky streak.
On the other court, Anthony was taking care of business in another 5 set thriller. Anthony is flying high this season, creeping into the Top 10 in the world at one stage just behind Gregory Gaultier after an impressive debut!
After a slow start which had Anthony kicking himself, he came out storming in the next two and was back to his old self chasing everything down and forcing mistakes from Philip through his high intensity and consistency at the back. After some super long rallies on a very hot evening Philip edged out the 4th set setting up another 5th set for Spencers. In the end it wasnt even a contest and Anthony romped home 15-5 as his superior movement came through in front of a ballistic home crowd of markers and other players. Another good win for Anthony, who has improved beyond recognition this calender year. In the aftermatch interviews, Anthony told the press the secret behind his success was “lekker lekker bru, springbok, bakkis botha, biltong”. Wise words indeed from the young man making waves up and down Fieldview.
Up next was Danny Mac- not to be confused with former evil twin Dan MacKay. He was looking to rebound back after his unbeaten streak since November was vanquished at New Malden for the 2nds last week. Up against him was veteran Shaquil. What he lacked in legs he more than made up with in power as a few rip roaring drives left danny standing alone in the T scratching his head and big Shaq deservedly took a close first game.
Some cracking advice from new coach Charlie- “frist 5 or 10 points- dont go for any winners” had Danny storm into an early lead. Some hyper-extended rallies, unnecessary lobs and “deliberately weak volleys” later had Danny take the 2nd game and then the third 15-4 as Shaquil’s legs started to give way.
The 4th game was more tight but Danny took it home for a comfortable 3-1 win. Spencer leading 2-1 all eyes now fell on Freddie ‘ironman’ Comber.
The first started at a frantic pace with both players seemingly intent on breaking the ball on a very hot Court no.1, with eventually Dom, the impressive 16 year old Virgin (player) taking the first game.
A cracking 2nd game saw Freddie move his opponent around and make his fitness count thanks to some expert coaching from new coach Anthony. Some great drops later including the the trademark Freddie backhand volley drop was the right strategy and he rightly took the 2nd game. Unfortunately Dom took the next two very tight games which were played at a ferocious pace and intensity. The hot conditions meant both players were winning points as the ball would fly out into the middle of the court. With court 1 still shaking from the effects of the hitting, the players retired to the bar with a 2-2 draw (9-9 in games).
An early email exchange on Friday morning involving Suhail and the world professional squash association it became apparent that there had to be a winner and it was to go down to points. Spencer snuck it in dramatic fashion 231- 222, in great part to the high losing tallies from Charlie and Freddie. A tight game and another win and an incredible 4th 2-2- result in a row for Spencer 3rd team.