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Herts Summer League - Melbourn 2 away to Berkhamsted 4, 18th June 2024

Hoping to continue winning ways, Melbourn 2nds travelled to Berkhamsted looking to put in another good performance.


The 2nd strings played first, with Matt Walker taking on home player Grant Kleiner. Grant is a deceptively quick, skillful and experienced player, very hard to take points off. The first game went somewhat along expected lines with Matt's movement, accuracy and shot-taking seeing him dominate, even if he wasn't translating this dominance into score. He did persist however and powered through to take the game 10:15.


Matt, while playing well in general, decided that tonight he was going to miss winners by the bucketload, and doing this against someone like Grant was not going to end well. Deeply frustrating for Matt that he dominated for long periods of the next 2 games, but handed away point after point with unforced errors. The 2 games followed a similar pattern with Grant gratefully accepting the points and contributing with some deft drops and much of his trickery.


Matt had to win the 4th to stay in it. Grant was also up for it and was moving well, using all his experience to keep it close. At 10:10, the momentum had swung slightly to Matt, but again he handed Grant a couple of cheap points. Grant brought his accuracy and trickery to bear in closing out the game by taking the last 3 points, demonstrating how difficult a player he is to play against.


Next up at string 3, Moises Estrelles Navarro was in determined mood as usual, confident in his ability to retrieve and outrun his opponent but also looking to outplay Andy Worwood of Berkhamsted. The first game ebbed and flowed, chaotic at times, but always entertaining. Moises was staying in it, knowing his fitness was likely to be a factor, and sure enough he ground it out to win it 12-15.


Both players were fighting for every point, and the second was even closer, could have gone either way. Moises was starting to show a little more structure in his game and this got him over the line, taking it 13:15, Andy perhaps frustrated that he deserved a little more than finding himself 2 games down.


Moises' growing confidence in his capabilities showed in the 3rd, where he started to noticeably dominate, making better decisions and moving Andy around the court more effectively. Combining drives and deep cross courts with some boasts and drops, Moises forged ahead and was not to be caught, taking the game 8:15 and the match 0-3.


At string 1, a winner takes all clash between Colm O'Gorman and the home player James Barron. Colm won the toss and served first to James' backhand. Looking over to acknowledge the start of the game, he watched James stand against the wall, intent on returning with his forehand. This didn't put Colm off and he served as usual, chased down the inevitable drops from his opponent to pick off points. James' unorthodox style didn't faze Colm and while Colm was doing most of the running and retrieving, it paid off and he took the game 8:15.


James double down on his tactics, but added in deep drives and tricky boasts to make a real fight of the second game. Trading game points to 18:18, Colm steadied himself to find some length and put James under pressure, and taking the 2 points necessary to take the game 18:20.


The 3rd game was close again, Colm struggling to deal with James' variation in his shot taking. Again Colm retrieved relentlessly to nick the game 13:15 but felt the pressure going into the 4th, also tiring a little. Colm decided to change it up, knowing that he risked not having the stamina otherwise. Deeper serves, more pace on his drives and dropping at every opportunity meant Colm cruised the 4th game 2:15, taking the match 1-3 and therefore Melbourn win on the night.


Melbourn captain Colm noted 'great to see Moises take another win with a strong performance again, it's been a really good league for us so far and hopefully we can keep it up through the holiday period'.