Westholme A v Caprica Heathcare
In a very busy sports hall at Nelson & Colne College, your intrepid roving reporter didn’t have far to go to watch her own team, Westholme, take on Caprica Healthcare.
With mutterings of ‘all in all, tonight has to be better than last night’, Kevin Grimshaw – who had lost his wallet and almost his car at his previous game at Hyndburn the night before (and had to hang on very tightly to his racquet tonight) – partnered Andy Howson for the home team, against the experience of Graham Robinson and Philip Aspinall. A good natured game saw some very energetic net play from the home pairing along with the typical long rallies which suit Graham-wear-them-down-slowly-Robinson’s game. Philip’s efficient short serves and elegant court coverage eventually saw the Westholme men win both games. In the ladies’, Sue Hirons and Rosie Southworth faced the indomitable partnership of Westholme girls, Lucy Hunt and Rachael Coar. Rosie’s cross court clears and excellent defensive play forced the opposition to work very hard. Some well-judged line calls from Lucy, however, coupled with Rachael’s punishing net shots, ensured another away victory for Westholme.
Next to take the shared court, Rosie, this time partnering Angela Woodward, faced Lucy and Anne Robinson, who had kindly stepped in for yours truly whilst her calf recovers. Angela’s effective smash down the middle and fast reactions at the net earned the home team their first two games, despite some beautifully controlled cross court net returns from Anne. On the adjacent court, the men’s pairing of Kevin and Mark Jelic faced the two Grahams, Robinson and Ainslie. Another very close battle in which Kevin certainly earned his name of ‘he who knows no bounds’ as laps were almost sat upon and the archetypal “fat lady” may not have been singing but certainly hummed a few notes or two. Kevin’s strong wrist action and Mark’s determined smashes were not quite enough, however, to beat the Westholme pairing, with Graham Ainslie’s punishing long serves frequently proving too much for the Caprica men.
In the mixed doubles, Andy and Sue for Caprica faced Philip and his partner, Rachael. Continuing to dance around the court, Philip’s foot work was admired by all as Westholme continued their way to victory. Rosie next faced Lucy and Graham Robinson, once her partner, Kevin, had found his racquet. Again, Kevin’s coverage, both on and off the court, was impressive, although Graham’s full length dive to retrieve a net shot left by his partner earned the vote as the shot of the match. Sue and Andy for Caprica were next on court against the B team partnership of Graham Ainslie and Anne. Again, Graham’s accurate long serves and Anne’s confident back line calls meant the home team had to work very hard indeed for their victory. Sue’s strong net play and well controlled cross court winners, however, proved too much for their Westholme opponents.
In what ended up being the last game of the night, Angela and Mark played the Westholme pairing of Philip and Rachael. The young Westholme pairing worked hard, resulting in a round of applause when Rachael had to take off her tracksuit top! Despite some determined retrieving, both games went to Westholme. Unfortunately, the last match between Angela and Mark for Caprica and Anne and Graham Ainslie had to be given to the opposition, when it was revealed that Mark had also been playing for his Mid Lancs team on the other side of the net. I wondered where he’d kept disappearing to in such a hurry!
Another well natured game came to a close as both Blackburn and Mid Lancashire players rubbed shoulders as they skipped between the courts.