Surrey League – Purley 5 vs Spencer 2 – Match report
Last night, our second team continued their charge against a strong Purley team who boast a lot of experience within their team. With Mike P having flown off on holiday and missing the final match, a slightly depleted Spencer army proudly sported some keen squad players in the form of:
1. Youngster Charlie (on fire in the Surrey Leagues but woefully falling short of the mark within the Spencer Club Internal Leagues); and
2. The mighty Soren – an incredibly hard striker of the ball who is working oh so hard to develop some form of drop shot…!
Dan and Danny added a bit of continuity into the team who were determined to succeed against an almost full-strength Purley team.
First up was Danny at an elevated second string (a season’s highest), with our almost unbeatable club star heading into this match against a rather vintage looking Rob who is a hugely talented player but slightly past his peak. It was always going to be a battle of the youngster versus the experienced and we all knew that Danny’s chances of success would rapidly increase in the later stages of the match. What a wonderful match this was to watch! Rob took the first but worked hard for it, Danny adapted his game and got to 14-14 in the second, which seemed to almost destroy Rob but somehow Rob nicked it 16-14…! But the damage was done… Danny stormed out and took the third reasonably comfortably and then went ahead in the fourth. As the excitement levels rose, Rob pulled back despite now hardly being able to walk and pretty much limping around, whilst looking for any opportunity to slow down the momentum. However, Rob nabbed a few cheap points and suddenly found himself 13-12 ahead after a couple of foot faults from Danny. During a very close rally, Danny noted a strange bounce of the ball off the top side wall from Rob and stopped playing on the assumption that is was out of court. Unfortunately this was not the case and he forfeited the point – and the referee’s decision, despite being correct, was not particularly well received to say the least…! Rob took his second match point to steal a 3-1 victory that could do easily have been a 3-2 to Danny. Not much in it and a wonderful match to witness! Hard luck.
The mighty Soren played at fourth string, looking to finally prove his might. I don’t believe that I have ever seen Soren win a match during the many years that I have known him but I have always been incredibly excited about this eventually happening and was this to be the grand occasion…?! It looked unlikely as Soren smashed the ball into the front tin on a number of occasions as he lost the first set. However, Soren recalled that he had been to training two weeks in a row (unlike Charlie!) and had been working on his strategy and short game. Not quite perfection, however Soren fought hard and came back to lead 2-1. Could this be the night?! Maybe not as Soren lost the fourth and then behind in the fifth, as Captain Dan lost various hair that he simply cannot afford to lose any more in life…! But Soren was determine and the team needed him to be! A very good battle in the final set and a great 3-2 victory to put us back on level terms. Well played Soren and my wait is finally over…!
When your team are struggling in a match and desperately need everybody else to win against a strong home side, let me know who your number one choice would be to represent you in the next game at third string…! Regardless of your answer, we all sat rather stunned as a youngster stormed out of the changing rooms, rather proudly sporting an incredibly pink t-shirt which really did deserve a lot more abuse from the Purley team. Maybe he borrowed this from the new love of his life who we all thoroughly enjoying meeting at a recent mixed men’s and women’s squash social…?! To be fair to Charlie, his colours probably came the closest out of the team to the Spencer burgundy club colours. Charlie pretty much left himself with no choice but to win this match given some of the utter nonsense sent to the group during the Whatsapp pre-match build-up which included quotes such as “I am invincible”; “Too easy some would say” and “I’m unbeaten as a second team player”. He also commented on the fact that he couldn’t make training again and has not been playing much squash recently. He didn’t comment on whether he felt that he could get promoted back out of division 3 within our Spencer Club Internal squash leagues. Regardless of all of the chat, he actually won his match 3-0 against their regular number three Paul and my only regret was that I missed the entire match whilst battling away on the neighbouring court. Well played Charlie!
Finally, Captain Dan stepped up at first string against Paul who had beaten him 3-1 earlier in the season. Dan needed to win this match to give Spencer any hope of securing promotion. It didn’t look good as Dan lost the first set 15-11 but a change of strategy and some good coaching from other team members allowed Dan to play some “pretty good squash” and come back to win 3-1 and get his revenge from earlier in the season. Great news!