The second team’s second match was another away fixture at Brampton, against their 3rd team. The match took place directly opposite the sun, which had just about disappeared behind a building in time for the fourth and final set. Even Philip, in spite of his protestations about being too chic for sunnies, was seen sporting a fetching pair.
And a good job it did him and his partner, Dan. The third pair got off to a terrific start, against their 1st pair, by winning the first set without dropping a single game. The rubber came to an end, and was heralded by Dan’s cry of ‘yes!’ as he framed a deft volley away for a winner. Their second rubber was a little less one-sided than the first, but it was taken for West Heath by a score of 6-3. In the final rubber, Philip took a nasty tumble, and grazed his knee on the carpet/sand courts. Nevertheless he soldiered on, and with Dan’s elbow a little ropey since the off, the invalided pairing comfortably closed out the final two sets 6-1 6-1. A loss of just 5 games is an excellent statistic for a previously untested partnership.
In a very much tested partnership, Greg and James were mostly ruthlessly efficient throughout the four sets. Against the third pair they recorded a bagel and were disappointed to lose a game against the first pair. However, James is certainly blaming a little bit of that on the wicked sun. Not sure who Greg is blaming… But in spite of such gut-wrenching disappointment they warmed themselves up after rather a pause and claimed 6 unanswered games against the second pair. Second set languidness prevailed again at the beginning of the final set, but they contrived to close the rubber out 6-0 6-2. It gave them plenty of time to admire, with beer in hand, the other two matches in action. As requested by Marjan (congratulations on the golf!), we stayed on court until the allotted time of 8.30pm to give her time to hotfoot it from Muswell Hill and get the excellent supper on the go.
Marcio was put with the recently recruited Sam, who was making his début. A steady hand to calm the nerves expected from a debutant entering a body as august as the West Heath Men’s II team (NE Division 5 don’t you know!). They got off to an excellent start (like the other two pairs, in fact) and recorded a 6-0 victory against the second pair. They continued well against the third pair and conceded just the one game to win 6-1. They then faced the skilled, if erratic, first pair but prevailed with consistency and flair. Recording a scoreline of 6-2 6-3 they performed as requested from the captain, and continued the winning ways of the first pair.
The top slot in the second team had been occupied almost exclusively by the Greg/James partnership throughout the 2015 season, and the captain’s relinquishing of it was meditated by having lost to Sam and Marcio in a 5-set thriller on Saturday. It was so thrilling in fact, that the participants had a break for a hasty cup of tea after the first set. This was followed by three more sets, which were then followed by pizzas and more tea. The deciding set, with the 1st pairing up for grabs, was the opening match of the West Heath grass court season. Sam and Marcio prevailed in that deciding final set, and earnt their right for the top spot against Brampton. And well deserved too!
Congratulations to all the team for recording a 24-0 victory. It puts us in an excellent position ahead of what will be a testing encounter against Brondesbury III. We played against their fourth team last season, and now have the pleasure of inviting their third team to play on the grass on June 1st.