- A foggy night in Llantrisant kicked off with Paul “Sparky” Grosvenor and Daf “Stato” Watkins picking up where they left last week. Strong performances from both against a weakened side enabled both players to cement victories against much younger opposition.
- Sparky for most parts managed to avoid the wild racket swings of his wiry opponent, although at one point in the match the racket did find Sparkys’ collar bone – fortunately no damage was done and a couple of swift side steps later to avoid the bouncing racket of his opponent on more than one occasion Sparky came through the victor and more importantly unscathed. Paul wins 3-0
- Meanwhile, Stato Watkins was blowing on the ever-hot courts, struggling to find his usual nicks and that extra bounce of the ball. All that said, a Masters ready Stato put his recent weight loss, return to form and fresh tennis ball haircut to the test winning through comfortably in the end. Daf wins 3-0
- With the foundations laid, Paul “Mild Mannered” Miles and Chris “The Hobbit” Hampton took to the stage.
- The Hobbit, as with last week seemed distracted and not performing to his usual mercurial standard. It was either down to him being distracted by the looming Weekend Masters event and the fear of the draw or an overly tight steam pressed team shirt (see picture below- you decide). Despite this however, Chris as baffled as the rest of us, was 2 up in a blink of an eye. A late surge from his Llantrisant legend opponent to retrieve a game was enough to kick the Hobbit into action winning through in a tightly fought fourth. Chris wins 3-1. (Well done my Precious)
- Turning to Paul “ Mild Mannered “ Miles match, we were all breathing a sigh of relief he had not drawn Sparky’s opponent or the big Brummie, but up stepped the little known female opponent Ange. A cat and mouse contest ensued and saw the duo matching each other virtually point to point. Ange managed to break free in the first taking a deserved win. The second was an even tighter battle with both players tightening up their game and stretching themselves to the max, including an acrobatic splits from Ange. At 14 points all “Mild Mannered” called one, and his agile opponent in a blink of an eye stole the show with a cracking backhand drop from the back of the court to also take the second game.
- Despite this knock back however, a refreshed “Mild Mannered” returned to the court focused and determined to keep his winning record intact. He took the 3rd comfortably, and we could all see his swagger was back. Moving into the 4th “Mild Mannered” again stretched out a commanding lead before his opponent found her second wind and started to reel him in like a fish on the end of a hook. Mild mannered managed to save 5 match balls and before we knew it we were at a tie break. Set 3 was called and at 16-15 up Ange was again serving for the match. Following a lung busting rally and a poor front court drop from “Mild Mannered”, Ange stepped forward, held her racket up, tuned to the ref and despite clearly having the shot decided not to ask for what was an obvious stroke ball, and instead believing she had time stepped around “Mild Mannered” and slammed the ball into the tin. Priceless!!!! Players from both teams aghast and with her head in her hands Ange was clearly broken. She quickly tumbled down the mountain, and simply fell away in the 5th. Paul wins 3-2. (Sleep well Ange)
- So with the match sealed is was just down to Neale “Sicknote” Jones to top off the victory against a re-energised Mr Timms. The game was fast paced and well matched with neither Timms or “Sicknote” giving an inch. In his usual style Sicknote managed to find the extra gear in the first 2 legs but was clearly struggling for fitness on this super fast court. Mr Timms gritty determination saw him pull back the 3rd . A quick couple of words from the captain advising “Sicknote” of the fast approaching local ale house stop tap time (who by the way serve Stella) saw an energised “Sicknote” return to court like Speedy Gonzalez, to see off his opponent, as well as a World record shower and change. Neale wins 3-1 (Stella Forever)
- Man of the Match – goes to Paul Mild Mannered Miles.
Best wishes to Daf, Chris and Neale in the Masters this weekend. Do your best boyz but more importantly please don’t get injured!
- Good news is we have a bye next week so plenty of time to recover
Photos by Peter Parker aka AP (B team captain)