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Melbourn I vs Towers (18th January 2023)

Melbourn I lost 8-19

Mark Oppen at string 5 had a somewhat up and down match as he struggled with his fitness on the night but thankfully his touch to the ball and shot selection helped him out as he levelled the match 2-2. With a big push in the deciding 5th game, Mark won the game 11-7 and his match 3-2 (11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 4-11, 11-7).  

Vinod Duraikan at string 2 had a close and testing (aka...epic!) opening game that thankfully saw Vinod win it convincingly 14-12! The second and third games were close but unfortunately Vinod lost these to a very close 10-12 & 9-11. The fourth game was looking to be a turnaround in levels as Vinod took control of play, executing some great lengths and injecting his excellent short shots into the game that gave him the fourth an impressive 11-2! The deciding fifth game was close again between the two players. Vinod's shots were not as tight as from the fourth game and his opponent was now adding pressure by extending out the rallies. It really could have gone either way but alas Vinod had to accept the 8-11 loss in the fifth and so his match 2-3 (14-12, 10-12, 9-11, 11-2, 8-11) 

Miles Jeanneret at string 3 was up against an experienced player whose solid play gave Miles a tough opening game but thankfully the result went 12-10 to the Melbourn player. The second game was close again and Miles had game ball a couple of times but his opponent kept the ball tight that turned the game ball advantage around and Miles unfortunately lost in the second 11-13. With the games level pegging going into the third, the Melbourn supporters were keeping everything crossed the third game was won quickly - fitness was looking to be a match decider for Miles. Indeed, it was clear from the third game Miles was struggling with his match fitness as the game points were gradually being consumed by his opponent and he lost the third game 5-11. The fourth and what would be final game of Miles' match was close as he kept going but all the willing from the crowd couldn't change the 1-3 match result as Miles lost out from staying in his match (12-10, 11-13, 5-11, 9-11) 

Mike Herd playing at string 4 had an excellent opening game, winning it 11-7 after playing tight length and by adding some of his trademark boast shots to vary play. The second game saw his opponent keeping more in the rallies, creating closer, nip-and-tuck points and although Mike had game ball his opponents’ tenacious retrievals kept Mike from converting. It was looking like Mike could have kept the game alive but it was not to be the case as his opponent gained game point and the second game was lost 10-12. The third game was very similar to the second, not much in it but Mike was looking the favourite (obviously!) and although another game ball chance for Mike, he wasn't able to convert and lost the third 11-13. The fourth and what would be final game of the match was not as close as the previous games and unfortunately Mike lost the fourth game 5-11 and his match 1-3 (11-7, 10-12, 11-13, 5-11)

Last to play was Melbourn's first seeded player, Chris Shaw. The opening game was high pace as both players worked hard to play accurate squash. Chris played well and thankfully won the first game 13-11. The second game was a good level but Chris' opponent was making less errors and Chris' length was not as effective and so the second game was lost 7-11. The third game saw Chris working hard to stay in control but some errors from his racket gave his opponent the advantage and then the game 5-11. Chris worked hard in the fourth game to keep his match alive and it was certainly a close fought game at it went to 10-10. Unfortunately, Chris wasn't able to convert this to a win and so he lost in the fourth 10-12 and the match 1-3 (13-11, 7-11, 5-11, 10-12)

Skipper Mark Oppen commented: It really was a close result, especially from Vinod's match and along with the game ball advantages Mike and Miles had the teams overall result could have been quite different.