Blackburn Seniors A v Westholme A 16th November, 2022
‘That’s me in the corner’
An altered venue to Hyndburn resulted in a slow start to the fixture before it was all steam ahead on all four courts at 9pm! It was encouraging to see so many down to Blackburn Seniors’ practice, as
9 players battled it out under the careful watch of coach, Michael Patterson. Another friendly face, wearing his Westholme hoodie too, was Nigel Holt, busy handing out murray mints as he dropped a racquet off for Rick to re-string.
The ladies were up first: Jenny Woods and Joanna Holt for the home team, facing Jenny Brookfield and Maxine Watson. Fresh from her county veterans’ victory at the weekend, Jenny Woods played exceptionally, with clever deceptive drop shot approaches to the net. The Westholme number 3 lady, however, Jenny Brookfield, definitely had the bit between her teeth and, coupled with some beautiful tumbling net shots from Maxine, the away ladies got the two opening game.
Once I’d been instructed which side was his best for photos, Nathan Whitehead, partnering a new player to our league from David Lloyd in Midlancs, Matt Timms, the men’s game commenced. Jason Lim and Michael Finch for Westholme, battled with great spirit and determination but the might of the Seniors’ smashing power was too much for them. I don’t quite know how it happened, but somehow I missed Nathan’s full length dive in this game; rest assured, it was spectacular, and a testimony to his 100% commitment.
Level in the match, the two ex-Westholme students, Jenny and Emma Dean, faced Jenny Woods and Claire Edmundson. The experience that the home pairing are now gaining from their veterans’ matches made for another very entertaining game which was fairly split between the couples. Unbeknown to the opposition, however, Claire had over-stretched during this game and, although she battled bravely through her first mixed game, she then had to retire injured for her final match. The Blackburn ruling of an alternative player stepping in came in to play, however, and Jenny Woods finished the fixture off in style.
Both number two gents, Lewis Gregson for Seniors and Aiden Sui for Westholme, had waited a long time for their match: it did not disappoint. Delicate drop shots from Jason and energetic movement around the court from Aiden were not enough for the strength of Nathan (who did his second dive of the night – again missed by my camera but, again, quite spectacular) and Lewis, stepping up to the A team which I can see will soon become a regular occurrence. There was much puffing and panting on court (naming no names) and both games fell to the home team.
The number 1 pairs of Matt and Joanna and Michael and Maxine were next up – along with a raft of games as suddenly there was court space. The away pair fought with heart and determination but were no match for the powerful Mr Timms. Aiden and Emma played well against Claire and Lewis, running the home pairing close in both games, but not quite close enough. It was a similar story when the Westholme number 2s faced Matt and Joanna, with both games going down to the wire but falling to the home side. It was lovely to see Aiden’s enjoyment of the game, however, as he realised how close he had come. Having finished off Jason and Jenny Brookfield at number 3, playing with Nathan, Jenny Woods then substituted for Claire in the final game, partnering Lewis against Maxine and Michael. Fatigue probably played a factor in this final game being split between the teams.
This was a well fought, well played match. Congratulations go to Blackburn Seniors A for their 14, 4 win.