A gritty performance which blew the lights
Week 3 saw our intrepid reporter braving the dizzy heights of Division 1 and trying, as always, to do far too much – play and write on her own match. As Captain of Westholme, my team mates must have wondered if I’d left my racquet on the bench and was trying to play with my pen instead. Hopefully this report on their battles on court will go some way to make up for my own lack lustre performance.
As soon as the Hit & Miss men, Captained by Ashley Gibson, walked on to the courts, the lights blew a fuse. Was this an omen we wondered? Nick Hodgson’s fast cross court smashes and clever net play frequently had the Westholme opposition grovelling for the shuttle. But grovel they certainly did as many of the closely fought games bore witness. Andrew Finch and Graham Robinson were particularly unlucky in their men’s game against Ashley and Nick. Fresh from his European title as Over-60’s singles champion, Graham was determined not to go down without a fight. Andy, likewise, played superbly, often reaching the unreachable shot and surprising the opposition with his winning returns. His diving days may be drawing to a close, but Andy’s perseverance and desire to win are as keen now as they have always been.
In the mixed doubles, Sam Ames who had stepped in last minute for Westholme partnered Lynn Hosegood in her first match for her Blackburn team. Lynn’s tight net play and excellent short serving consistently forced the opposition to lift the shuttle, which Sam was ever ready to bury. Hit & Miss, however, do not often live up to their name, with far more of their shots being hit than missed. Defensively, the experience of Julie Bates and Abdul Malik coupled with the power horse that is Nick Hodgson and his partner, Caroline Grimbaldeston, were enough to see off any Westholme challenges. The single game won by Westholme on the night belonged to Lucy Hunt in the ladies. Lucy covered the court behind her partner with her usual quiet efficiency, unleashing her strength in smashes which very rarely came back. It was Rachael Hodgson, however, who impressed the opposition with her court coverage and positive attitude. This was a pleasure to see.
The score in games does not do this fixture justice in terms of the closeness of so many of the matches. At the end of the night, however, it was an emphatic victory for Hit & Miss as they move inexorably to the top of Division 1.