reports winter 2012

won 1  -  lost 6

Home vs British Airways 24 Oct
On Wednesday we played unbeaten British Airways who came with a strong team minus there professional boxer and better still had a new number 1 & 2 addition to the team from the one that we had beaten 3-2 the last time around at the Sobell.
Up first with his debut for Sobell was Paul M playing at 3. Before Pau'sl debut, I made a point of asking Hernan results wise who gets the better of each other?  His reply was? He is a lot more aggressive than I am.  If anyone is old enough to remember the Tomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler boxing epic from the early 80's, this was a rematch the only difference was instead of gloves they were using rackets.
Paul was cruising and took a 2 game lead against a very awkward customer by playing tidy shots, moving his opponent around with his side wall boast then playing the killer shots.  From there onwards things took a drastic turn. His opponent started to ask for dodgy let's, dodgy stroke's and home marker Tomas was having none of it. Rackets were thrown on the floor, both players were exchanging words (none of which I'm going to use)  exchanging eyeball to eyeball, exchanging racket to racket,  which was was pure entertainment for those who was watching from the viewing gallery.  I'm sure Barry was impress with it all.   I have to say marker Tomas handle the match well even though he was force to deduct a point from the B A player.  When does that ever Happens?  Your a brave man Tomas.  Keep up the good work Barry.
Whether it was tactical or not, it work for the B A player. It disrupted Paul game and he lost the next 2.  After calming words from Tomas and myself Paul settle down and got back into the groove again. The last game could have gone either way, but the B A player kept his nerve, his mouth, his eyeball and racket and took the last game 15-10.  Thanks for that Hernan, just as well you had warn me.Lol
I have see a player making his debut over the years before, you'll have to wait a long time to get another one like this! Can't wait for the return!
Up next was Eva at 5. Rushing back from Reading to represent the Sobell and still wondering how she is going to open up her 2000 emails that she has in her inbox. 
The first game was evenly pose apart from the dodgy let she ask for and didn't get from me, and I'm pretty sure if Eva had won the first game she could have gone on to win the match, she went down 15-17 in the first and also lost the second.  Eva crawl her way back in the third to take it 15-12.  By then she was thinking about her emails and sit up's that she owes me. She lost the fourth. 3-1 down.
Up next was team captain Gp playin at 2 against a player who was a bit on the overweight side. My only tactics was to move him around the court play my usual game and ware him down.  It work in the first game and I took it 15-14.  The second game was a different ball game. My opponent step it up which surprise me and he took the second.  By then I went into relax mode which you can't afford with these type of players. The third could have gone either way and he took it 15-14.  The fourth was just one way traffic so I went down 3-1.
Tomas playin at 1 was on court the same time as I was. From what I gathered, his opponent a 32 year old,  taught Tomas a lesson the last time they met some two years ago. As you all know Tomas has come a long way in the last couple years. I'm afraid to say he will have wait another couple of years to mix it with these kind of big boy's. Down 3-0
If I was a gambling man I would have put my house on Hernan to win at 4 against an opponent who is the same age as me which is 54 and of course the father of the boxer.  After taking the first 2 games the only way Hernan was going to win was 3-0. The next 2 games Hernan went down 15-11 and 15 -12.  The deciding game was tight, long rallies and both players going for there shots, in the end the old head and experince took charge and Hernan lost it 15-10.

I think that Division 3 is the highest the Sobell team has ever been - and it is certainly challenging!

Last week we played Uxbridge. Gavin very kindly agreed to play, since we were short of players. However, he hadn't played squash since we last saw him. He was a bit off his best and lost at 5.

Tomas won at 1 against a good shotmaker. Tomas lost the first, then kept it tight and dug in to wear his opponent down and won the next 3.

Vernon played a guy with great touch *and* power at 4. Vernon played well, but went down.

Glen won at #2, against a player with a similar style, but less determination to win.

I played at #3 and won in 5 against a fit, skillful player, who was a bit off his game and error prone.

Our first win!

Away vs Hazlewood 19 Oct

Last night we played Hazlewood away. We thought we had a decent chance to win, but in the end they put out a very strong team. (With four out of five players under 26!)

Glen played their very strong #2 and lost the first game, but, well ... you all know Glen. Glen picked up amazing kills, disguised his shots well and started to claw his way back into the game.Glen won 3-1.

I played a fast, player with good shots. I had to drop sparingly since he got to most things - that seriously restricted my opportunities for winning rallies. I had to keep it tight and wait for errors. That was a very tiring strategy and although each game was quite tight, I lost them all.

Vernon at 4, played a guy who played at 2 last time we met. Vernon played well, particularly in the third, but lost.

Kevin played a bit of a maniac at #5. It was a hard and lively game, with lots of banter, well swearing actually. Kevin was playing very well, but his opponent was good and made him earn every point. Kevin won the fourth to make it 2-2, but didn't have a lot left. He kept fighting, but lost the fifth.

Tomas played last against a very talented and very quick opponent. Tomas got off to a bit of a slow start and his opponent took the ball early and played tight and into the nicks. Tomas won the third, but his opponent stepped it up again, to win 3-1.

We lost 4-1, but I think we all played well. At this level, you have to play really, really well to win.

Away vs Coolhurst 3rd Oct

Sobell began life in Division 3 with a tough introduction at a familiar club, with not so familiar faces on Wednesday and realized what life is going to be like in this league.

First on the court was Glen, who played his normal patient game against a young, fit opponent who despite not being the most technical of players was quick and fit enough to live with Glen's play.  Glen worked hard, but it was a straightforward victory for his opponent 3-0.

Playing at the same time at 4 was Adam who was playing a guy who I later discovered had played Hernan earlier in the week in a Coolhurst league match.  Adam fought hard for the first 2 games, but eventually lost both of them.  The match was looking like another three nil loss, when mid-way through the third game Adam found his groove with his lofted serve and started to win some free points off it, combined with a lot of good shot selection and a frustrated opponent.   In the fourth, his
opponent regained his composed however, extended the rallies and took the match in 4.

Next on the show court was Tomas as number 1,  who was facing the nightmare of all opponents, a 15 year kid who has been coached since the age of 6.  Tomas played well, especially given that he had just come back from holiday. It will come as no surprise that Tomas was willing to run and run. But his opponent was just too good and Tomas went down

At the same time was Kevin playing at 5.  The match started at pretty evenly, but a few silly mistakes made it an easy win in the first game for the opponent.  In the second game, a combination of better shot selection and variety of shots meant that he took the second.  Sadly, lack of match fitness and match practice meant that he couldn't keep the level of intensity required to match competitive and  lost in 4.

Last on at 3 was Hernan.  Things didn't start very well as after the 3rd rally Hernan hurt his back and started to grimace in pain. Hernan tied to manage his injury at the start of each game, then if the game was close he would really go for it. He lost the first, but ninja'd the next two 16-14. Unfortunately every effort hurt his back more. He lost the fourth, then came very close in the last game, but a really terrible let decision at about 10-12 made it too hard to get back.

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