Surrey League – Spencer 2 vs Sandown Park 2 – Match report
They say that points win prizes and so it was proven during last night’s delightfully close encounter where Spencer Squash Club’s second team lined up against a strong Sandown Park side who were described as “almost invincible” by our previous opponents last week. No wonder there was such a strong home team support including at one stage seven males and five of our Spencer Ladies team members. A huge crown for this big occasion…!
First up at fourth string was Jason, supported throughout by his wine-drinking wife Dana. Jason lined up against a slightly less agile Mike in what was always going to be a key match within this contest. The courts were swelteringly warm after having the heaters on during the Monday night training session, despite it being such a lovely hot day (!), and it was no surprise that Jason’s speed allowed him to pretty much pick up everything that Mick played. However, Mick was no pushover and hit a combination of some very tight shots and lots of disguise to nick the first game 15-13. Jason then used his superior speed, fitness and some impressive volleys to pull back and comfortably won the second set 15-4, before nicking the third 16-14 after coming back from 14-11 down. Mick then tired as the match progressed and Jason wrapped up a strong final set 15-6 for a 3-1 victory. 1-0 to Spencer the huge celebrations from the wine-drinking WAGs…!
Over to Mike P on the other court at third string against Geoff, who Mike pointed out had a ranking of over 2,200 points prior to the match. There was no need for this to worry Mike given his recent form however Geoff is a very capable player and comfortably took the first set 15-7. After some good strategy tips from Leon, who has now temporarily relocated back to London after an emotional farewell from Milton Keynes a few hours earlier, Mike pulled back the match and took the second set 15-12, before losing the third 15-9. Geoff steamed ahead 7-3 in the fourth and then tweaked his hamstring, but had enough of a lead to battle through to a 15-9 victory to take the match 3-1 and level the tie overall.
Up stepped Dan at first string against a very tall and spritely young Jack, who moved incredibly quickly, volleyed everything and possessed a few nice top spin drop shots. It looked like it was going to be a battle of the volley, however Dan managed to keep the ball fairly low and attacked more aggressively the usual at the front of the court. Both players ran lots despite the alcohol fumes from the balcony and Dan stormed ahead 16-14 and then 15-13 in two very close sets where Dan won the key rallies within both. There is a reason why Jack has a ranking of 3,400 points and this showed during the third set where he was more clinical and made most of his attacking shots count to pull back 2-1 with a comfortable 15-7. However, Dan reassessed his game and attacked again to take the final set 15-9 and wrap up a 3-1 victory to put Spencer 2-1 ahead on the night…!
Over to our half-marathon runner Leon at second string, struggling with aches and pains from the previous days 13.1 miles and the realisation that marathon running would be much easier if he actually did some training in advance…! Leon was up against a strong second seed player called Charlie who has a ranking of 3,270 points (not to be confused with Spencer Club’s Charlie who has half the number of ranking points and who normally loses all of his matches 3-2…!) This was no easy game for Leon and he still seemed to be running along at a monotonous pace as he lost the first 15-2, a quite incredible scoreline…! Leon improved during the second set and narrowly lost 15-11, before winning the marathon third set 16-14. The fourth set proved too much and was pretty tight at 10-11 until Charlie won four consecutive rallies to clinch it 15-10 and win the match 3-1.
This meant that both teams were tied at 2-2 and were also tied overall at 8-8. Jason took one for the team and recalled some basic GCSE mathematics techniques in order to correctly calculate that Sandown Park won more individual points on the night, hence taking the final countback bonus point. A very close match with all four individual strings ending up at 3-1. A lovely competitive fixture played in fine squash spirit and some fun drinks in the Spencer Clubhouse afterwards along with the many home supporters. Well played all and this leaves Spencer nicely played at mid-table but with lots of challenging matches to come. Bring on tomorrow’s huge home match against Purley…!