Hit and Miss A v Blackburn Seniors A Norden Sports Centre 10th October, 2016
Battle of the big boys or ralgex meets tiger balm?
Two strong teams met head on at a curiously quiet Norden Sports Centre in what proved to be a very competitive and close match. First up, newly signed Amy Ashrafi for Hit and Miss, partnering the tricky Alison Leaver, faced Jo Holt and Amanda Hodkinson. After two highly competitive games which left the spectators exhausted just watching, the home side drew first blood, winning both games. On the adjacent court, however, the Seniors’ men, namely Nathan Whitehead and Olly Gregory, took Chris Hoyle (another new signing from the MidLancs league) and our very own Keith Ashton. Still suffering from the weekend’s indigestion, there were times when Nathan seemed to be having trouble breathing on court: fortunately, this did not stop his mega smash! The match was duly split, one game a-piece.
In the second ladies’ match, Alison partnered the queen herself, Cheryl Parry, with Amanda this time pairing up with Claire Edmundson for Blackburn Seniors. Both games were neck and neck and went right to the wire: the match, quite rightly, again was split, one game each. Things were getting interesting! In the final men’s game, the experienced partnership of Abdul Malik and Keith for Hit and Miss, faced the energetic Olly and Captain, Rick-come-and-see-us-when-we’re-winning-Smith. (This was, by the way, when ralgex faced tiger balm!) In an unbelievably closely fought match, the Seniors’ men were most unlucky to lose the first game to setting, and were again close on the heels of the Hit and Miss pairing in the second game.
At the onset of the mixed, then, the home team had started to pull away from their opposition, at 6 games to 2. Up to the plate stepped Nathan and Jo, as they faced the MidLancs partnership of Amy and Chris. Some sharp anticipation at the net by the Hit and Miss pairing and excellent all round retrieval from both couples, saw the match split. The number two pairs then met each other, with the cousins, Cheryl and Rick, on opposite sides of the net. The Hit and Miss couple played some elegant cross court shots in another neck and neck battle. Eventually, however, the power of Abdul’s smash and the quick anticipation of Cheryl at the net proved too much and both games fell to the home side. As Alison and Keith at number 3 stood up against Amanda and Olly, Hit and Miss were edging ever closer to yet another victory. With effortless court coverage, Keith and the sprightly Alison added another two games to their team’s score. In the final two matches, Claire and Rick for Blackburn Seniors faced Amy and Chris. Despite some lovely jump smashes from the Hit and Miss gent, the away team battled long and hard, eking out a well-deserved one game each. As Nathan, now fully recovered from his indigestion, went on court with Jo for the final match against Cheryl and Abdul, the victory might already have been Hit and Miss’s but the glory for who was to win the most games for the away side was certainly far from over. Blasting his way through the Hit and Miss pairing’s defences, Nathan came off a just winner, with four out of six games under his belt.