Telecom B v College Norden 5th December, 2017 Division 2
The midget gems were flowing: it’s got to be College
As chairs were found for me and the non-playing College Captain, John Bromley, the courts at Norden were already busy with social badminton players and team members knocking up ready for the match.
The Telecom B ladies consisted of: Jodie Davidson, Victoria Baldocke and Gill Luker; they were to face Carol Yates, Julie Pye and Anna O’Grady for College. In the men’s, Rhys Holt, Luke Quigley and Nils McDonald for the home side would battle with James Aldred, Josh Lee and Will Pang.
In the ladies’ matches, all four games were close and were duly split between the two sides. Using her strength from the back of the court, Jodie made sure Carol and Anna really had to work hard to retrieve the shuttle; this, along with some clever placing of the shuttle into the back hand corner of the court by her partner, Gill, resulted in two very close games. There was no let up in the second ladies’, however, which was just as close. After a hesitant start, the College pairing of Julie and Anna grew in confidence with the latter organising her tactics well on court. Young Victoria used her height at the net to her advantage, allowing Gill the freedom to run behind her.
As the men faced each other, we knew we were in for more battles as the ‘dead’ shuttles began to litter the courts! In a very close first game between the home pairing of Rhys and Nils, the disguised long flick serve by Rhys was used to good effect. Intelligent placing of the shuttle, especially in his disguised drop shots, by James, and punishing smashes from Will for College, eventually wore down the Telecom gents. The second men’s game between Luke and Nils and Josh and Will, again was a pleasure to watch as all four men worked hard, frequently diving on the floor to retrieve a shot, and continuing to play from the floor in the case of young Luke! The energy of the away team pairing, however, saw both games again go College’s way.
At top mixed, Rhys and Jodie faced James and Carol. Some steady serving under pressure from the College lady, coupled with excellent retrieval skills from Jodie, brought about another close match, which Telecom eventually won setting. At second mixed, Luke and Victoria played Will and Anna for College in another very sporting game which could have gone either way. Will’s backhand cross court winners, however, proved difficult for the opposition to read, despite some very long and exhausting rallies. In the next mixed game, Nils and Gill found tough opposition in Josh and Julie. As her confidence grew in her long serve, Julie took control at the net, anticipating many of the wily cross courts thrown at her by Telecom. Quite rightly, however, this game was split between the two sides. In the final games, Luke and Victoria for Telecom played the experienced James and Carol, whose support for their team throughout the match had been unstinting from the back of the court, watching. Both of these games went to the away couple although not without a fight by the young Telecom pairing. The final game went to the home team, however, as Rhys and Jodie saw off the challenge from Josh and Julie, despite much floor grovelling from the bouncy Mr Lee!
All in all, then, a clear win for College, and yet with so many of the games so close, a match which could have gone either way. It was great to see the players’ enjoyment on court and their sportsmanship in congratulating good shots from the opposition.