Men’s 3 beat Reading at the 3rd attempt!

This was Reading’s home match in Division 6W but it was agreed to play it on Crowthorne’s courts because of the state of Reading’s.  On the  original date, the courts were icy and play was not even started.  On the second date, heavy rain prevented play and on Sunday it looked as though the match would again be rained off as it was still pouring down at 9:00am.  However, with a window in the weather now forecast, the match went ahead.  Steve Stow & Mike Smith played were 1st pair with Andy Johns & late replacement Peter Lindholm playing 2nd.  Stow & Smith struggled against the 1st Reading pairing of Carlos Palacio & Gerard Cousins; although Stow was playing well enough, Smith was fighting off the effects of a cold and took time to get any rhythm.  Stow held his service but Smith was unable to hold his in the first set and it was lost 2-6 and it was a similar pattern in the second until Stow lost his service after a disputed call when trailing 1-4.  At 1-5 down  the Crowthorne pair broke the Reading service for the first time and Smith held his to make the score 3-5, although this only delayed the inevitable with Reading winning the rubber 6-2 6-3.  It was better news for the Crows on the other court where Andy Johns & Peter Lindholm took the first set 6-4 against Mark Graham & Adam Iddon and cruised through the second 6-0 to give the Crows’ side a 1 game lead at the halfway point.  With it likely to be a close result, Smith & Stow tried hard to keep their game tight and reduce the number of games their opponents, Graham & Iddon, won and this worked well as they took the rubber 6-1 6-2.  Johns & Lindholm had secured the win by this time by taking the first set 6-3 against Palacio & Cousins, continuing their fine form from the first rubber.  They lost  the second 2-6 and it was neck and neck in the deciding tie-break until the Reading pair pulled away to take it 10-6.  The 2 points for the win puts Crowthorne 3 into 5th place,  going above BCS 3 on rubbers won/lost, so the result of the final match next week against Basildon is now academic; the team cannot finish lower than 6th and clear of the relegtion zone.