The original fixture was cancelled pre-emptively due to impending weather. The rearranged fixture was moved to Farm Walk to take advantage of their more-weather courts. Their hospitality and welcome was well received by all of the West Heath team.
However, the weather wasn’t quite what was planned. The optimists among us (i.e. the two captains) were adamant that the fixture could start at 7pm prompt. After all, that was what the weather forecasts forecasted. However, à la Tim Henman and Goran Ivanisevic in 2001, the stop-start nature of the match (“why are we playing in this!”) was doing little to keep toys in prams and tempers unfrayed. Some rain later, the actors returned to their courts’ centres and managed to complete the full four sets before the impending darkness swallowed man and ball to the NW11 night.
The rain and delays clearly caused some trouble to The Heathens. James and Greg struggled to a 3-3 position in the first set against the third pair before the last of the rain delays. Upon resumption, they got their act together to win the next triumvirate of games and take the set 6-3. The first pair of Philip and Marcio struggled against the tough FW 2nd pairing, losing it 2-6. Equally struggling to find their feet were Sam and Tim whose loaf just didn’t rise enough in the end; they went valiantly down 4-6.
For the second round the visitors found their feet with the conditions and produced a performance much more reminiscent of their previous matches. Philip and Marcio baked the first of the evening’s two bagels whilst the other pairings each took their set with a two-to-one game ratio, i.e. 6-3. Crumbs!
Philip and Marcio put in a good effort against the first pair of Theo and John. They took the first set 6-2 but unfortunately could not capitalise on it and succumbed 4-6 in their final set. No such problems for James and Greg who managed a flattering 6-2 6-1 victory, whilst Sam and Tim let slip one game for a 6-1 6-0 bagel-baked finish.
Post match refreshments of beer and pizza went down a treat, and the 18-6 scoreline was just what was kneaded (why not continue the bakery theme). It puts the Men’s II team in a comfortable position at the top of the division. With a cushion of 23 points, the next fixture against the division’s second-placed team may make or break the season for both teams.
Roll on July 4th. Aha!