Westholme A v Seniors B 23rd January 2017 – Very smart, boys
My apologies (again) for missing a week: I was all sorted to write a report on my own match against St Philips in the new courts at Blackburn College but unfortunately this match was postponed the day before. A poor excuse, I know.
I decided to stick with my own team, however, for this week’s report, as we faced the young crew of Seniors B. Looking resplendent in matching blue kit (tops and shorts!) it has to be said that, for style, the Seniors’ boys put their ladies to shame (despite a rumour going round of buy one, get two free).
Enough of the fashion, on with the game! In the opening ladies’ matches, Jenny Brookfield and Lynn Hosegood for the home team, faced the strong partnership of Jess Portas and Emily Cholmondeley for Seniors B. Two very closely fought games were duly split between the couples, following some quick attacking net play by Lynn, fresh from her county veterans’ success at the weekend. Next up, Captain Claire Banfield (hehe) partnered the ever bouncy Jenny, against Seniors’ Captain, Helen Shanks, and Emily. Although play had to momentarily stop as all applauded Emily’s shot of the season, an excellent back hand drop, the Westholme ladies soon found their stride on court and took control of both games.
In the men’s doubles, Mohammed Suleman and Graham Robinson for Westholme, faced the first of two very well-dressed Seniors’ players, in Matt Cole and Brad Savage. As focussed as ever, Brad was quick to pounce on anything in the air and the Westholme men defended with a vengeance. Some efficient tramline smashing from Matt, however, eventually saw this close battle duly split between the pairings. Next up, the A team reserve, Maz Hazwar, bravely stood up with Graham to face two more smart players as Brad partnered the kneepad king himself, Michael Boothman. Despite some very spirited rallies, the young Seniors’ pairing were eager to assert themselves on the experienced Westholme partnership, eventually winning both games.
The match, then, was evenly poised at four games all as we went in to the mixed doubles.
First up for Westholme, Sully and Lynn faced Jess and Matt for Seniors B. Some close line calls from the home side brought the game to a neck and neck finale, which the away pairing narrowly missed out on. On the adjacent court, Maz and Claire for Westholme played Michael and Helen. Having lost the first game, the Westholme pairing changed their tactics and stopped lifting to the nifty left hander. This seemed to work and the match was drawn, one game a-piece. As the number three pairings of Jenny and Graham for the home team and Emily and Brad for Seniors, walked on court, the Westholme B team practice (yes, that’s how seriously Helen Wharton has them training!) ended and Anne Robinson came down to support her husband. Well, when I say ‘support’, perhaps that’s too strong a word. As Graham rubbed deep heat in (and I drifted back to the Tiger Balm/Deep Heat debate of the Seniors A v Hit and Miss match) Anne fed me lots of gossipy tit bits – fortunately, none of them printable in today’s report! What I can tell you is that it’s Graham’s birthday on Saturday and he moves up in to the next age bracket in his successful veterans’ career for Lancashire and England. Anyway, I digress – rather a lot! Jenny and Graham won both their games, after which Sully and Lynn really showed us how it’s done by emphatically beating the number two pairing of Helen and Michael. As Claire and Maz tried their best to retrieve the shuttle smashed at them by Jess and Matt, the match had fortunately already been won by Westholme.
My thanks go to Jenny who added up the score sheet, and to Anne and Graham who picked up the shuttles and put the courts away. The last word must, however, go to the smart new outfits worn by the Seniors’ men – but you can judge for yourself in the photo gallery.