Team: Andrew, Jonathon; Harry, Pete; Max, Rich
Player of the match: Jonathon
After beating top of the table Grenhilheg on Wednesday, Mens 2 travelled to Abbeydale full of confidence, despite knowing that this would be their toughest test yet. A massive game difference in the league table reflected their dominance over this division.
Broomgrove got off to a flyer, up a game in two and losing a close opener 23-21 in the 3rd game (Max and Richard Clarkson). Harry & Pete finished the job in two (both games by just 2 points, against a really solid 2nd pairing), whilst Max and Rich succumbed in their second game. Andrew & Jonathan’s opponents moved up a gear to level their match, and the worry was they would be too good again in the 3rd game – but it turned out to be a close one, with the Broomgrove boys tweaking their tactics to get control of more points. A tense finish just went the way of Abbeydale (22-20). 2-1 Abbeydale.
Andrew & Jonathan suffered the same fate against the Abbeydale 2nd pair; a hard-fought win in the 1st game, losing badly in the 2nd then losing out again in a close 3rd (21-19). Harry & Pete played another solid game against the Abbeydale 3rd pair – both times keeping in touch with good net play and movement, but both times just being taken 21-16. Max & Richard’s famous stamina and defence came to the fore again and ensured the Abbeydale top pair had to fight hard for every point, losing to 12 and 14.
5-1 down and the league points gone, Broomgrove continued to battle hard for precious game-difference and got their reward with Andrew & Jonathan beating the 3rd pair in two more hard-fought games. Harry & Pete again got in to good rallies with the 1st pair but lost to 11 & 8, before Max and Richard took to the court for their last game. It was more heroics and another agonising 3-setter but once again a 2-point margin just went the way of Abbeydale in the 3rd.
7-2 the final score, but the game hinged on 3x three-setters, and each of the deciding games was won by Abbeydale to just 2 points (22-20, 21-19 & 24-22), meaning that a swing of just 6 points across the scoreboard would have secured a 5-4 win for Broomgrove.
They told us afterwards that we were easily the best game they’d been given so far.
Player of the match: Brilliant stuff from everyone, Harry and Pete won a game, Max and Rich gave their team-mates everything, but for the second time in a row I’m giving it to Jonathan, since we were only 4 points away from a clean sweep of a really great Abbeydale side that asked a lot of new questions of our abilities.