Men’s 3’s much postponed match against Basildon in Division 6B was finally played on one of the hottest days of the summer. Peter Lindholm paired up with Mike Smith to face the home side’s first pair Nigel Beer and Mike Baker and quickly discovered that Baker was a classy player and Beer, although appearing to struggle in the heat, came out with winning shots at the most inconvenient times. With Lindholm suffering from a heavy cold, the Crows pair found it difficult find any consistency with the ball holding up on the very slow courts. However they reached a 5-5 in the first set but lost it 5-7 and after they lost the second 3-6, they were pleased to find that Chris Hughes and Chris Beckingham had disposed of Chris Moulang and Simon Halson 6-4 6-1 on the other court. Smith and Lindholm breezed through the first set 6-3 against Moulang and Halson but were pulled back from a lead of 4-2 in the second to find themselves in a tie-break which they lost. By this time they discovered that Hughes & Beckingham had won the first set 6-3 against the home first pair, lost the second 1-6 but came back to win the deciding champion’s tiebreak. Therefore, the result would now depend on whether Smith & Lindholm could hold their nerve in their decider to take the 3 points. This they did decisively so, what could have easily been a losing draw became a clear win and three points which takes them to the top of Division 6B, level with Wargrave and with a match away at Reading next week still to play.
With Lorraine Fowler sidelined for most of the season and various absences making it difficult to field two teams it is pleasing to report that both Ladies’ tems played on Saturday. Ladies’ 1 faced Maidenhead 4 in Division 4A and, although the scores were respectable enough, the visiting side were marginally stronger and probably deserved their 4-0 win. Ravinder Norman & Tina Stern came close to winning sets but were unable to convert their chances, losing 5-7 3-6 to visiting first pair, Susan Carter & Karen Webb, and 4-6 5-7 to Vanessa Russell & Clementine Fox. Despite many long rallies and deuces, Jenny Partidge & Annie Atkins were beaten 6-3 6-3 by Carter & Webb and 6-2 6-3 by Russell & Fox. Nevertheless, the team are currently 4th in their division but need points from their last match against bottom club Slough to ensure survival.
The seconds travelled to Ascot in Division 5B and they achieved a losing draw with both pairs beating the home 2nd pair but with the final result coming down to the odd game. Alison Nicholson & Pauline Snell were unable to overcome the home first pair but it was great to see Wendy Miles, playing in her first match, and Penny Hemingway, playing in her second, get their first win and thereby gain the team’s first point. See the full report from Alison in a later post.