Week 9 Caprica Healthcare v College 7.12.16
‘I’ve got my eye on you John Bromley’
The match got off to a prompt start at 7:30 in what was a very busy sports hall at Nelson & Colne College. As cyclists in Santa outfits rode around outside, the sound of shuttles being hit rang crisply through the air. #tryingtogetintothechristmasspirit
I settled down to watch the first ladies’ match, ensconced next to Mr Bromley himself, chief scorer and font of all knowledge for the visitors, College, and knew I was in for a sociable evening. Captain Sue Hirons, partnering a newcomer to the Blackburn league, Laura Beard, against Cecile Planque and the ever competitive Anna O’Grady. Both of these games were neck and neck, with College only losing out due to a good run of serving at the end by the steady Sue. The second ladies’ match, played between Laura and Olivia Frank, this time against Anna and her partner Carol Yates (fresh from her visit to the Palace where she rubbed shoulders with Princess Anne before being snubbed by a Lady in Waiting!) proved another closely fought battle. Anna’s determination and enthusiasm to learn and improve were impressive and a definite driving force in this up and coming team. Again, College were unlucky not to take a game from the home side – the aces themselves being evidence of that.
Over on the men’s court, the visitors were not so fortunate. Jonny Bradley and Ian Bythell quickly asserted themselves upon the young pairing of Paul Ainscoe and Will Pang (well, young to me!) despite some brave battling. In the second men’s game, however, Andy Howson’s injury, as he partnered Ian, gave the visitors a glimmer of hope when Will and James Aldred almost won College’s first game in a match which went down to the wire and setting. Heavily strapped on his right calf, Andy bravely struggled on and the Caprica duo won both games.
As the curtain was pulled across between the two sides of the hall, would the mixed games turn the tables for College? Off to a splendid start, Sue and Jonny faced Cecile and Paul, in two very evenly matched games. Cecile’s aggression at the net forced the home team to work extremely hard for every point. On the adjacent court, the number 2 couples of Olivia and Andy for Caprica and Carol and James for College, eventually brought the first success of the evening to the visitors. In another closely fought battle, the games were split and College were up and running on the score sheet – that magnet secreted off court had suddenly started to work wonders! The freeing up of the bottom court meant that the number 3 couples could also play: Laura and Ian against Anna and Will. The second game in particular was very close with College again unlucky not to at least split the two games. As the final two mixed games were underway, and John was given the immortal instruction to be on the lookout for a blonde French lady who needed money (wonders never cease but John definitely thought his luck was in!) it was up to the energetic James and his partner Carol to get another game for the visitors on to the score sheet, this time against Sue and Jonny. Despite her bad back (apparently the physio had passed her fit to play – that morning!) Carol had some lovely reaches at the net, combatting effectively the opposition’s sharp counter attacks. Strong, accurate short serves from Jonny, however, and Sue’s quick reactions at the front of the court, eventually saw another split game. The final game of the night saw Olivia and the injured Andy, now noticeably limping, face Cecile and Paul. The second game was especially close with College, again, unlucky not to split.
Well done to both teams for a very sociable and competitive match.