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Melbourn I vs Hunts County II (3rd November 2021)

Melbourn won 20-0

Melbourn’s First team had the luxury of a home match last Wednesday evening.
Following a narrow escape at Ely before half term, the team were keen to give themselves more breathing space. Ed Aspelling (5) was up first and did a great job of holding his nerve again. With characteristic solid play, he overcame Lee Palombo 3-0 relatively quickly. The key passage in the match was the second game where Ed trailed 8-2, but a refocus on length and positivity saw him turn it around to take it 15-10. It was plain sailing thereafter.
Captain Mark Oppen was next up against Jonathan Pittmas, a tall and rangy player at 4 string. Having not found form a fortnight ago, Mark was looking determined this week. Although the opposition was not as tough as at Ely, Jonathan was still tricky to play against given his height and reach. To counter this Mark focused on keeping rallies short and going behind Jonathan to make him turn. Gladly this worked as Mark won through, again 3-0.
Kate Bradshaw was back at 3 string for this match and, like Mark, keen to make amends for a below par performance in the Ely match. With improved levels of concentration, her serves hit the mark well and caused her opponent, Tom Horton, a lot of trouble. This enabled Kate to capitalize on weak returns which she chopped away into the front of the court. Her calm wavered for a few points, but she quickly regained control in the 3rd to take another 3-0 victory.
Vinod Duraikan came in at 2 for Melbourn and played his usual well-measured, calm and clever squash. He felt a little slow to start but some lengthy, high pressure rallies at the end of the first game saw opponent Matt Ainley tire and Vinod then took control for the rest of the match ending in a comfortable 3-0 win.
Matt Sampson went on against an opponent, John Williams who already showed signs of defeat before the match had started. Although the outcome was never going to be in doubt, John was struggling with movement due to injury and knew he wouldn’t be able to keep up with Matt’s play. The Melbourn 1st string, playing the ball with disguise and hold, along with variety, made quick work of the match and brought in another 3-0 scoreline in favour of the home team.
Skipper Mark commented "We played very well. There were a couple of close games where Hunts could have taken a point of two, but we upped the pressure in those moments. Everyone played solidly, particularly when it counted most."