Caprica v Telecom A
It was a dark, dark night and cold, both in and out of the Sports Hall…so I was glad to find a mass of smiling friendly faces when I arrived. Amidst a chorus of ‘watch out, she’s here again!’ and ‘they’re going to start to talk, you know’, I eventually found a pen (thanks Mr Holt!) and began to scribble down my notes at the side of the court.
In the opening level doubles, Judith Hamilton, partnering first Jane Makey, and later the European veteran herself, Kath Spillane, proved a very difficult opponent for the Caprica ladies. Kate Franzke, who played with Sue Hirons and then Lisa Crewe, battled hard but Judith’s angled smash and deceptive long serve eventually wore the home side down.
Once it had been established that ‘you snooze, you lose’, the men’s doubles started on the far court. This time, the Telecom father and son partnership of Dave and Cameron Holt (who has, apparently, a lot of North West Universities clamouring for his A level results. Why am I not surprised?) faced the Caprica men of Chris Tomlinson and Kevin Grimshaw. This long, exhausting game brought out some excellent court coverage from all four men and was a pleasure to watch. Again, however, the away team proved a step too far. The second men’s produced an equally thrilling, close game. This time, Chris for Caprica played with Andy Howson, whose trick shots kept coming off left, right and centre, against Dave and the tall Scott Heywood.
At the start of the mixed, the home team were yet to win a game, but it was certainly not for want of trying. The top mixed saw young Cameron playing with Jane, against the Caprica pairing of Kevin and Sue. Despite some strong flick serves from Kevin and excellent tactical anticipation at the net by Sue, Cameron’s steady exploitation of the opposition’s back hand, coupled with strong centre court smashes, saw another two games under the away team’s belt. Next up, the experienced Kath and her partner Scott faced a very mobile Lisa playing with Andy. The Telecom pairing quickly made their mark on this match and forced the Caprica couple to chase them all the way. As the third couple of Chris and Kate for Caprica, and Dave and Judith for Telecom, took to the court, it looked like a whitewash for the home team could be on the cards. This was, however, where Captain Chris pulled out his wild card, revealed he’d just run 14 miles that day, and used his stamina to produce an excellent performance of mixed. It was one of those games where, whatever Chris was going to do, it would come off! As Dave readjusted his strings after another long, exhausting rally ( to a chorus of ‘why bother?’ from his own team mates on the bench) Caprica made the most of the two games they eventually won at third mixed. The final two mixed games between the number one and two couples both went the home side’s way, however, resulting in a resounding win for Telecom.
As I faced the cold drive home, I was reminded, yet again, of the friendly camaraderie and excellent court manners I had been privileged to watch at this fixture.