Broomgrove mens 1sts kicked off their season with an opener against their bogey team PMC1! The opposition playing a non orthodox style and a sports hall which slows down our attacking style has over the years, meant that the opposition more often than not took the spoils from these encounters. However Broomgrove, full of confidence from a good finish to the end of last season and a strengthening of the squad with the addition of Steve and Rich, were ready to rumble and hopefully kick off the season with a win.
Mike Jones took it upon himself to handicap his play by wearing 2 pairs of tracksuit bottoms, 1 being thermal lined, in an attempt to warm up his legs, however the rest of the squad were struggling to cope in the humid hot hall in just our shorts and rather fetching pink and black t-shirts.
The first three rubbers began with Joe and Mike playing first pair, Craig and Rich playing as second pair and Adam and Steve playing 3rd pair. Adam and Steve quickly dispatched the opposition 21-9 in both games, in what would be the only easy rubber of the day, Craig and Richard unfortunately missed out in 3 ends against the opposition pair in a match with a few questionable line calls, whilst Joe and Mike played excellently to beat the opposition 1st pair in 3 ends, the margin of victory in each game being only 2 points. 2-1 to Broomgrove after the first set of rubbers.
The 2nd set of rubbers were equally as competitive with Joe and Mike dispatching the oppositions 2nd pair in 2, 21-11, 21-15, quickly followed by Rich and Craig winning in 3 close ends against the opposition 3rd pair, 21-19, 16-21, 21-12 to set up the match at 4-1, however PMC1 wanted to write the script in their favour as the PMC1 1st pairing battled to beat Adam and Steve in 3, 21-9, 19-21, 17-21, so 4-2 to Broomgrove going into the final set of rubbers.
Going into the last set of rubbers Broomgrove knew they couldn’t take their foot off the gas against a feisty opposition who would battle to the last to claw the match back for a win. Joe and Mike uncharacteristically failed at the first attempt to secure victory losing in 2 against the opposition 3rd pair, 25-23 in the second end. Rubbers 8 and 9 ran in tandem with the score currently 4-3 to Broomgrove, Adam and Steve playing the opposition 2nd pair and Craig and Rich playing the opposition 1st pair. The first set of games went in Broomgroves favour winning 21-11 and 21-16, setting up a tense finale. In the end Adam and Steve kept their nerve to win the second rubber, in which the lead swapped and changed innumerable times, ending 24-22. Meanwhile Craig and Richard took the rubber to 3 ends for the 3rd time on the night losing 23-25 in the final end.
This meant every pair from both teams won at least 1 rubber and no pairing won all 3 of their rubbers.
Overall a very close game and a tough start to the season, (Broomgrove winning 446 points to the oppositions 401 points on the night), a positive result at a hall we usually struggle, should set us up well for the rest of the season. Once fully fit and no players struggling with illness we should go from strength to strength. Next up University Staff at our alternative home venue. Peter and David may be available for this match to provide the skipper with a selection dilemma and hopefully an equally competitive and friendly match will ensue.
Man of the Match- The stats below don’t lie, Steve and Adam were the strongest pairing on the night and given Steve’s ill health and nerve to clinch the winning rubber the man of the match goes to Steve Dow, as the prodigal son returns to play for Broomgrove mens for the first time in over 5 years.
Joe and Mike
Rubber 1 21-19, 22-24, 21-19. Rubber2 21-11, 21-15. Rubber 3 12-21, 15-21
overall points won 133, points lost 130, = +3 points
Craig and Rich
Rubber 1 21-16, 15-21, 23-25. Rubber 2 16-21, 21-13, 15-21. Rubber 3 21-19, 16-21, 21-12
Overall points won 169, points lost 169, = level
Steve and Adam
Rubber 1 21-9, 19-21, 17-21. Rubber 2 21-11, 24-22. Rubber 3 21-9, 21-9 overall score +19
Overall points won 144, points lost 102, = +42