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Melbourn I vs Berkhamsted II (15th June)

Melbourn won 9-4

Kate Bradshaw (2) was the first match on against the wiley drop-shot master Keith Farnham. The first game started with both players trying to suss out each other’s game plan resulting in a nip and tuck game that took us to 14-14 all. Unfortunately for the home team, Keith managed to nick the next two points and the first game. The second game started much the same before both players started to use their deft attacking drop shots to greater use. Kate, in particular, hitting some lovely cross court winners and giving herself two game points. Unfortunately, that’s when Keith started living up to his nickname giving him the second 17-15. The third went the same way as the first two with both players hitting some fantastic winners and a very close game went all the way to the wire again. Unluckily the third was snatched by Keith 15-13, giving Berko a very close 3-0 win in the opening tie. 
Next on was Chris Shaw (1) making his first appearance for Melbourn this summer and what a debut performance it was to be. Chris started the match against his opponent Kevin Hall at a high pace, setting the tone for the rest of the match, with the first rally being no less than 40 shots. The tempo stayed high for the remainder of the first game with Chris moving his opponent around with ease; taking the game 15-4. The second game started as the first finished with Chris keeping his opponent at the back of the court and ensuring Kevin always had to play one shot more than he wanted. The second game went the same as the first, finishing with Chris taking it 15-4. With the high tempo of the first two games and warm court temperature, the crowd thought the third game would be a slower affair with more attacking shots. How wrong they were. The third carried on in the same vain as the first two with Chris looking to close out an emphatic 3-0 win by keeping his opponent on the back foot throughout and claiming the third 15-4. 
With the match poised delicately at 1-1, it was time for Mike Herd (3) to enter the heat (quite literally) of battle against the imposing Roger Greenfield. The first game started with both players probing away and building rallies before attacking. It was also noted by all watching that neither player seemed to want to ask the marker to make any decisions, with both players deciding to play through any interference. Mike managed to take a 3 point lead at 8-5, which he held onto for the rest of the game; winning 15-12. The second was a scrappy affair with both players losing their line and length and making too many mistakes. Mike, having saved three game points, succumbed to the fourth; losing 17-15. With the match tied at 1-1, the third game was an important one to win. Fortunately for Melbourn, Mike found his line and length in the third and managed to move his taller opponent around the court, building a significant lead which he converted to a 15-5 win. The fourth was a closer affair with the Berko player hitting more winners than he had managed in the previous game. With both players continuing to play through any interference, the fourth was equally as close as the first two. Mike with a 14-13 lead was sent to the back forehand corner. Roger knew the only shot available to Mike was a boast and Roger positioned himself to receive it early at the front of the court…Fortunately for Mike the boast rolled out of the nick winning the game 15-13 and clinching the match 2-1 for Melbourn.