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Comberton II vs Melbourn II (7th February 2023)

Melbourn lost 4-20

A tough evening for a mix-and-match Melbourn 2nds side struggling with injuries and unavailability saw them beaten 20-4 at Comberton.

The visitors only points on the night came from Jan Brynjolffssen (1) and Jamie Ware (3) who both had leads they failed to convert. In Jan’s case the biggest bugbear was somehow contriving to throw his opening game away despite seeming in complete command when he raced into a 7-1 lead. This became 12-7, but somehow got turned around to 13-14 down. Jan saved the game-ball but not the next one as he lost it in a breaker 16-14. This would eventually come back to bite him as winning the next two only put him 2-1 up rather than claiming a straight games win. An aberration of a fourth took it to a decider which a now highly confident Alastair Maclean won to send Jan to a 14-16, 15-11, 15-13, 4-15, 11-15 defeat.

In Jamie’s case the issue was simply running out of gas – the Melbourn player fought tooth-and-nail for the first three games, winning two of them (1st and 3rd) on extended tie-breaks. The problem was when Jamie came off court after edging out a deeply nervous third 18-16 he was obviously blowing hard, something opponent Richard Anthony took advantage of by rattling through the fourth and fifth. The game scores were (Jamie first) 17-15, 6-15, 18-16, 3-15, 5-15.

The other three matches all saw Melbourn’s players fall to straight games defeats. Teenager Will Bradshaw (5) had no answer to the nous of exerpienced player (and qualified coach) Steve Swanton who beat him 4-15, 5-15, 3-15 and was clearly glad to get this one into the record books now as Will is only going to trend upwards over the coming years. Moises Estrelles Navarro (4) was also in somewhat over his head against Tom Snaith’s variety and ability to hold his shot. Moises did his usual tearing about the place to pick loads up, but it wasn’t enough and he was beaten 7-15, 7-15, 8-15. We had a somewhat similar game at a higher overall standard at second string as Colm O’Gorman found himself up against the subtle variations of Jez Cotton. Jez has left many players bemused over the years… Colm proved to be another as despite giving everything all he was left to show for it was a 7-15, 8-15, 9-15 reverse. Given that trend if Colm could have just drawn things out for another half-a-dozen games…