It’s that time of year where the new League season rolls into view once again – and this year there are a few differences!
The biggest change is undoubtedly the addition of a third night just for matches. With the large numbers now turning up regularly for club nights, and no possibility of booking extra courts on those nights, taking two courts away for matches wasn’t really an option. So the decision has been taken to book two courts on Thursday evenings for all our home matches. Club members are welcome to come down and cheer our teams on in any of the matches – pom-poms are optional!
As well as an extra night, we’ve also entered a second Mixed team in the League. Sadly other clubs have had to drop teams resulting in just the one division. This means plenty of games for each team including, of course, two inter-club matches – a chance for some friendly rivalry no doubt!
And finally the summer has brought some new faces to our teams for the upcoming season, the unfortunate loss of Alan Lee as his job search took him to pastures new and the exit of those returning to their studies away from home. Good luck to Simran and Beth as they start university, and to Isha, Dan and Sunil as they continue – we look forward to seeing you back at the club sometime in the holidays.
The end of March saw the Mixed team travel up to Lichfield to take on Three Spires. Having lost 9-0 at home earlier in the month, albeit with some good play having gone unrewarded, it looked like another tough night ahead. However this time the good play did earn some return. With chances in most of the rubbers, it was almost with some disappointment that we ended up losing 6-3.
Thank you to all those who have played in the Mixed team this season, and enjoy the break until next year.
Tonight we had a Mixed match against Three Spires, our last Mixed home match of the season. After a bit of a slow start in the first couple of rubbers, the next two were much closer and each required a third game. More close games followed too, but sadly all the hard work went unrewarded with the match ending as a 9-0 loss.
With February drawing to a close, there have been three matches in fairly quick succession. Tuesday 21st saw our Mens 1 away at TP Riley-Norton 2. With Matt out injured, Richard stepped in to fill the gap. As usual with matches against TPRN, there were plenty of close games – the usual two-hour match time eventually extending closer to two and three-quarters! However it ended up as a 7-2 win so the long night was well worth it.
Friday 24th brought TPRN to us for a Mixed match. With four of the first eight games needing a decider, the match over-ran and we had to concede the last match due to a lack of time. Unfortunately however there was nothing riding on it, with the result having already been decided, and so it ended as a 7-2 loss.
Then on Monday 27th the Mixed were in action again against Reedswood 2, our closest rivals in the division, but with three changes meaning each pair was different. Once again tight games were the order of the day and another four games went to a decider. Thankfully time was not an issue though and our increasing strength in depth shone through, with the final result a great 7-2 win which probably ensures our place in Division 1!
Tuesday evening saw the Mixed team travel to local rivals Tiki. Sadly although the clubs are so close geographically, on the night there was rather more distance between the teams. Up against a very strong team we struggled to compete, with only one rubber needing a decider.
On a better night we might have nicked two or three games, but there wasn’t much going our way tonight, resulting in our first 9-0 loss of the season.
January came to a close with three more matches in quick succession. Friday saw the Ladies playing Hamstead Manor over at Tipton. Unfortunately despite the usual effort and endeavour, it ended with a familiar result – a 6-0 loss.
Never ones to be down-hearted, the Ladies tried again at home on Monday night. This time the opponents were Cannock. Once again some close games followed with several games going to a third rubber. But sadly we were unable to pick up one of those deciders. So again we were left with a 6-0 score that didn’t truly reflect the night.
Following hot on the heels of these matches, on Tuesday the Mixed team took on Reedswood 2. Having picked up games in both losses to their first team, the hope was we’d be able to improve on those scores and perhaps push for a positive result. With four or five of the nine games going to a decider, it was a tough night – but one which finally ended with a 6-3 victory!
The Mixed team travelled to Chasetown to face TP Riley-Norton last night with a couple of changes to the usual side due to the early start and illness. Many thanks to Evelyn and Simran for playing.
Against strong opponents it was always going to be a hard night to get a result. Some tight games followed but sadly we were unable to pick up enough to give us a closer result, ending up with a 7-2 loss. But with the home tie to come in a month’s time, who knows, perhaps we might be able to turn some of the close games our way.
Starting the season with games against last year’s champions and then the runner’s up was always going to be hard-going. Our third match on Monday night was the return with Reedswood 1 so there was no let up. Plenty of effort couldn’t overcome their greater consistency, and despite some close games we went down 8-1.
The Mixed team now has a long break in the fixture list until late January. At least when we return, we should have a better chance of getting something from the games.
Monday night saw the Mixed team hosting near-neighbours Tiki who are always a strong team. We were going to be up against it and so it proved with an 8-1 loss, although a couple of very tight games might have gone our way on another night to give a better look to the result.
Our Mens 2 team travelled away to Pinfold on Tuesday night which meant a change to plastic shuttles. The game turned out to be a very close affair, going down to the last game of the night. However all the effort paid off and we came away with a 5-4 win!
Tonight saw our first match of the new season, a Mixed game away at Reedswood 1. They only who won the League last year – so a nice easy game to start off with! Despite much effort and energy, we were up against a better team and ended up losing 7-2. However to take a couple of games off them (and other games could have been a little closer with a few less errors) bodes well for future games.