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Th’Underdogs vs Hazard When Wet

Posted on January 16, 2013 | in Cambridge League, Match Report | by

A tremendous evening, rounded off with a superb dinner and most convivial peri-prandial conversation.

The first match between Tom Hartley and Rob Cassels proved to be quite a struggle, with Rob desperately scuttling round the court attempting to dig Tom’s deceptively relaxed yet penetrating serves and deep returns out of the nicks and corners. Wasting far more energy than was strictly necessary, Rob eventually emerged the victor despite the usual littany of mis-hits and other errors, devastating forces into the net (the one in the middle of the court), and creative but illegal shots off the ceiling and windows.

The next match pitted Pat Humphreys against David Hope, both of whom served exceedingly well displaying the no-doubt intentional but apparently unpredictable variation that can be achieved by well-executed overarm side-wall serves (whatever they’re called….). Pat gamely fought back from 4-0 down to take the first set, and the second was no less of a tense battle, with Pat eventually getting his nose in front after a very impressive match from both players that showed gritty determination on both sides. A bit too exciting for some of the spectators in the clubroom, by then well and truly into their second bottle of Cobra.

Last to play were Richard Holt and Karl Backhurst. To those of us watching from above, Richard could be clearly seen thinking very carefully about where to place his return to the receiver’s end to wrong-foot his opponent and then executing the plan perfectly, whether into Karl’s forehand corner or the base of the tambour. Karl on the other hand played well and pulled off some brilliant shots from the service end, using his strength to great effect (I’m glad I didn’t have to play him). But in the end Karl made his efforts tell, and a third win to Th’Underdogs ensued.

Thanks must as usual go to Peter for diligently marking our matches, while avoiding potentially lethal head-high miss-hits to the line, and standing for some considerable time in what must have seemed like sub-zero temperatures. Thanks also to our hosts Hazard When Wet for the excellent dinner (lasagne with salad) and beverages (the Sauvignon Blanc was particularly good).

Rob Cassels

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