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Peterborough II vs Melbourn I (9th November 2021)

Melbourn won 17-4

1sts @ Peterborough (l to r): Kate, Mark, Vinod, Matt, Ed

The Melbourn First team travelled away to Peterborough for their match on Tuesday night – with a full team and no major injuries, hopes were high.
Ed Aspelling kicked off the evening on the club’s new glass back show court. Ed’s opponent was keen from the start and didn’t give Ed much of a chance to get into the first game. Ed picked his play up in the second, but unfortunately couldn’t quite nick this game which he just lost. The Melbourn player didn’t recover from this against an opponent who never gave him a chance to find his rhythm and he lost 3-0, 7-15 / 13-15 / 7-15.
Meanwhile team captain, Mark Oppen, playing on another court, had a relatively straight forward match. Using the lobbed backhand shot into the back corners removed all but a boast option from his opponent that enabled Mark to kill the ball off with a drop or low hard drive. Mark was also able to take advantage of his opponent’s loose backhands that fell midcourt to seal a 3-0 victory, 15-9 / 15-10 / 15-6.
Kate Bradshaw was on the new court after Ed and was struggling even in the warm up to find a decent length or width. Fortunately, so was her opponent in the match. He was also challenged by Kate’s high lob serve which put him into trouble throughout and gave easy opportunities for Kate to put the ball away at the front of the court. It was far from plain sailing for the Melbourn player, as she succumbed to end of game nerves in the second, losing out after a 14-7 lead! Determined not to let this happen again, she dealt with a similar scenario better in the third and then took the fourth more comfortably for a 3-1 Melbourn win, 15-11 / 16-18 / 15-12 / 15-11.
Vinod Duraiken at number two showed a solid game plan from the start. He aimed to reduce his opponent’s retrieval rate by playing a raft of superb, short, cross-court drops from forehand and backhand sides, often rolling out of the nick. This caused his opponent to move forward, but even if he managed to pick them up, Vinod positively nailed them into the back corners. The third game saw his opponent have a run of good points but the eventual scoreline was never in doubt with Vinod taking the match 15-7 / 15-3 / 15-8.
Matt Sampson stepped on court for the final match of the night. Much like his opponent from last week, the Peterborough number one looked somewhat defeated before the game had started. He had cause for this by the end of a quick first game that saw Mark outplay his opponent with excellent high lob retrievals from drops, and deceptive hold on the ball disrupting movement patterns. The second game was similarly barely contested and it looked very much like everyone would be in the bar shortly. However, the Peterborough player rallied in the third, putting Matt under a lot more pressure with some high quality play and outstanding nicks. Despite this run of better form, Matt was able to retain control and took a 3-0 win for Melbourn, 15-7 / 15-4 / 15-12.