Team: Andrew, Jon; Pater, Harry; Max, Richard
Player of the Match: Max
Being in good form and in good spirits following their first win of the season last time out, it was the perfect time for Mens 2 to take on Paces 2, the team who were promoted with them last season and on paper one of their best chances of points this season. With reliable all-rounder Pete standing in for Ben, it was a strong team, which ultimately proved too good for the opposition.
Jonathan and Andrew were the only unchanged pair from last time and continued good form by beating a decent Paces 1st pair in two (15 & 17). Pete and Harry took on the 2nd pair who had some dangerous shots, but still the Broomgrove pair prevailed in two easy games (11 & 8). Richard Clarkson and Max completed a first round whitewash by defeating the Paces 3rd pair easily (7 & 10). 3-0 Broomgrove.
Then, a split in fortunes; Max and Richard continued unabated and although the games got progressively closer as they moved up through the Paces 2nd and 1st pairs (23-21 in one of those games), they were barely ever in trouble and finished their days work in 6 games. But whether it was a slip in Broomgrove energy levels or maybe Paces had been provoked in to an angry response, the other two pairs began to find life more difficult.
Jonathan and Andrew narrowly avoided severe embarrassment, coming from 19-17 down in the first against a poor 3rd pair, and needing 3 games against the 2nd pair – 3 wins out of 3 on the scoreboard, but much less convincing than Max and Richard, and that the quality of badminton in their first rubber had suggested it would be at the start of the day.
Pete and Harry would suffer most, losing to the top Paces pair narrowly in two (20-22 in the second game) and going to three against the Paces 3rd pair, who by now were the definition of grit and determination, fighting hard to earn their team respectability on the scoreboard. Pete and Harry were still playing well and had levelled it up by taking the second, but a close final game (20-22) went the way of Paces.
Final score 7-2.
Expectations for Mens 2 this season are difficult to pin down; our own matches and results between other teams suggest survival and progress at this level are more obtainable than perhaps a promoted side would initially expect; but the minimum was 4 wins from 4 against promoted Paces and a beatable Graves side, and with 2 out of 2, that is a goal we are well on track for, with room still there for our own improvements.