It’s another Holt Show, folks!
Well, as if last week’s father and two sons from the indefatigable Holt family of Telecom wasn’t enough, this time it was the turn of Mum, Tina, Captain of Telecom B team, to show off with two of her boys – Niall and Rhys.
The away team ladies of Andrea Walmsley and Julie Atkinson got off to a strong start against Telecom B’s first couple of Gill Luker and young Annabelle Baldock. Andrea’s confident anticipation at the net, coupled with an excellent work ethic from both ladies, meant the opposition were at full stretch in their court coverage. On the adjacent court, the men, namely Nils McDonald and Rhys for Telecom and Captain, Brian Chappell and Hefin Parry for St Matthews, had two hard fought matches which concluded one game apiece. Again, however, it was the away team ladies, this time with Julie partnering Aliya Ayub, who were quick to assert themselves upon their opposition of Tina Holt and Annabelle. Despite some lovely encouragement from Tina, Julie’s punishing cross court drop and careful accuracy throughout both games meant a double victory to the St Matthews’ ladies. In the final doubles’ game, the two brothers, Rhys and his youngest brother, Niall, finally stepped up to face the wily Stewart Hope and Hefin. I don’t know what it is, maybe just remembering playing with my sister all those years ago, but there’s always something special about siblings who partner each other. The understanding which only comes from knowing someone through and through was evident in the Holt brothers’ play as Niall unleashed his powerful smash, bringing a much needed double game score for the home team.
It was still all to play for as we approached the mixed doubles on 3,5. Top mixed pairing of Gill and Nils faced Andrea and Brian in what proved to be a neck and neck first game. Accurate cross court drops from the Telecom pairing had Brian scampering hard to retrieve the shuttle. Excellent anticipation at the net, however, saw the opposition win the first game before going on to secure the second. Next up, youngest son, Niall, partnered his Mum, Tina, against the experienced Mr Hope and Aliya. In a match that even Stewart described as ‘hard work’, the Telecom pair eventually came away with both games, despite some long rallies. When the third pairings of Rhys and Annabelle took on Julie and Hefin, the young Telecom partnership battled hard. St Matthews’ experience, however, eventually came through victorious as Hefin – who it was rumoured had left the floor when he jump smashed (he started this rumour and I failed to capture it on camera!) – punished the home couple with his centre court smashes. The final two mixed matches between the alternate 1 and 2 couples were all very close, hard fought games. St Matthews, however, proved too much for Telecom, who came out victorious yet again.
Along with the rumour about Hefin and his jump smash, there was another rumour circulating about the pocket dynamo herself, Pauline Whitehead, who played her last games for St Matthews last season before she was crowned sports personality of the year. Yes, Pauline, even Stewart says he is missing you!