Hit and Miss B v St Matthews 2nd October, 2017
It’s a family affair
After a quick warm up, the match was soon underway: the chat at the back of the court veered between ‘Is it too soon to pinch a slice of Rees’s birthday cake?’ (yes, the master baker himself, Phil Rhodes, was playing tonight!) and the debate of were the Parry men wearing their own shorts? Apart from that, there was Stewart Hope as the very proud granddad of Isaac, the British judo champion, and the 50 year celebratory thank you that Roefield gave to Bunty Meadows following her coaching marathon which started at Ribblesdale, before moving to the Parish Church and on to Roefield. We have some very talented and committed people in our league!
Anyway, on the match. In the ladies’ doubles, the games were split with the two youngsters for the home side, Aqsa Adam and Sophie Nicholson, taking on the experienced pairing of Andrea Walmsley and Aliya Ayub. The second ladies’ match was also split, this time with Cheryl Parry (I am not calling her Chezza Pezza, Rees!) partnering Sophie, and a different Andrea (Mason) pairing up with Aliya. On the adjacent courts the Hit and Miss men, Martin Meadows and the indomitable Phil Rhodes, had an excellent game against St Matthews’ captain, Brian Chappell, and Hefin Parry (yes, Dad/husband was playing for the opposition, but more of this later). The rallies in this game seemed to go on forever (were the shuttles slow?) and there were some delicate disguised drop shots from Phil to really test the fitness of the away pairing. As in the ladies’ games, however, this match was likewise split between the two teams and the fixture remained even. In the second men’s game, Phil partnered the young Parry, Rees, against his Dad, Hefin, and Stewart Hope. Again, there were some long, exhausting rallies with very effective centre court smashing from Rees. When the bionic knee support came out for the home team, however, the St Matthews men knew they were in trouble.
As the mixed pairings went on court, there was still all to play for. At top mixed, young Aqsa played with Martin against Andrea Walmsley and Brian. There was some thoughtful, tactical play from Martin as he pushed the opposition around the court and excellent short serving from Aqsa. It was the next mixed doubles’ game, however, which the spectators had been waiting for, where Cheryl and Rees faced Hefin, playing with Aliya. Never an easy thing playing against your own family (and, at times, with them!) the Parrys battled with grace and were all still speaking at the end of it. Phil and Sophie were next up against Andrea M and Stewart. Phil’s delicate net shots and drops from the back of the court ensured another very tightly fought match. Cheryl and Rees then faced Andrea W and the wily Brian who, were it not for some very controlled serving from Cheryl at the end, would have sneaked the first game of mixed from the home team. After a bit of a breather, Andrea M and Stewart faced Aqsa and Martin in what was to be the last game of the match.
All in all, then, though the score sheet might not reflect it, a very closely fought match played with friendly competitiveness and rounded off by a delicious slice of coffee cake. Perfect!