Week 8 30th November, 2016 – Seniors B v Abacus A
Invest in some knee pads, Seniors!
Well, the evening at Norden started well with some classics from the Senior Smith family! You will be pleased to hear that Steve eventually did go home with his wife, but not before I’d been told about the Naughty List kept under lock and key and the potential for naming and shaming! The buzz of the club’s latest fund raising and social event was still humming in the air: raising £210 for macmillan nurses at their Hyndburn extravaganza where badminton was played and cakes were eaten is no mean feat. Well done to all who played, supported and organised this laudable event.
On to the game in hand – Seniors B, under the expert control of Captain Helen Shanks, got down to an excellent start in the level doubles, winning the men’s and ladies’ events. All in black, Emily partnered the enthusiastic Amanda Hodkinson against the away team pairing of Rachel Hillary and Alex Bullock. There was some sharp net anticipation by Alex amid extremely long and exhausting rallies. Eventually, however, the strength of Amanda’s centre line smash saw the home side victorious. In the second ladies’ match, Amanda partnered Captain Helen against Alex and the experienced Julie Blackshaw. The away pairing made good use of the whole of their opposition’s court and Julie’s tidy net play ensured another very competitive game.
Over on the men’s court, Brad-I’m-not-grumpy-I’m-just-concentrating Savage, partnered the Seniors’ third man, Matt Cole against Rob Brocklehurst and Paul Hooper, who had stepped up to the Abacus A team. This match saw some tight net control from Rob and elegant drops from the back of the court by the number 3, Matt, for Seniors. Eventually, however, the home side came off as winners. Next on court, Matt paired up with Michael Boothman, to face Paul, this time playing with Darren Veevels. All four men were pushed to the limit in these games, which saw some very generous calls from the left hander, Darren, as well as very brave defence at the net from Michael. The full length dive that the aforementioned seemed to be unable to stop himself from performing, however, on to knees which were already sore, necessitated a short break in the game before a hobbling Michael was able to continue, knee support in place.
After some very closely fought doubles games, it was in the mixed that the away team started to come in to their own. Top mixed, between Emily and Brad for Seniors, and Rachel and Rob for Abacus, produced some delicate net shots from Rachel and ended up split, Abacus’s first game of the match. The second mixed pairings of Helen and Michael and Julie and Darren saw some exhaustive court coverage from the enthusiastic Darren and full use of her racquet from his partner. Both of these games went to the away team. As the number three pairings faced each other, namely Amanda and Matt for Seniors and Alex and Paul for Abacus, it was still all to play for. Despite a very close second game, excellent net tumble shots from the Abacus man proved too much for the away pairing. The final two mixed games were all very close, resulting in two split matches.
As Helen counted up the points and the broken feathers were swept from the court – there were a lot of dead shuttles that night – I realised, yet again, that the score rarely gives a just reflection of the play.