Match Report - Thurston Vulcans v Bury Vikings

Thurston Vulcans 6-4 Bury Vikings

28/09/205 - Sean Gridley

Thurston Vulcans first match of the season was against an underpowered Vikings squad that was only able to field two players. Amid the disappointment of only being able to play two games each that night the Vulcans were quietly happy to start the evening 3-0 ahead!
First match of the night was between Sean Gridley and David Unwin, as usual the proceedings start with a knock up that sees both players practice their forehands and backhands with gusto, the match then continues with Sean trying to be as canny as possible to negate Dave’s ever reliable topspin. Dave claimed he was still “knocking some rust off” and although he dropped the third rubber he certainly didn’t look too short of wd40 in a 3-1 win.
Andy Janes then faced former Div 1 player Alan Brafield, both players looked a little short of match practice but Alan soon found his range with a series of three ball kills using a forehand that left the usually decent defence of Andy’s flat footed, Alan 2-0 to the good. Andy then regrouped and Alan’s forehand lost some of its accuracy for Andy to level quickly, this seemed to affect Alan’s choices, picking too many wrong shots and Andy remained on top of his tactics to hold on for a 3-2 victory.
Sonja Talbot now faced Dave Unwin, Sonja doesn’t struggle with Dave’s topspin when her foot work is good, being able to soak up quite a bit of attack before succumbing to Dave’s consistency. Despite this Sonja knew she had to beat Dave to the initial attack and the “lefty” produced some great forehands to push Dave back and take a lead 2-1. As usual Dave didn’t panic and after imbibing some 3-in-1, the rust fell away and he used his heavily loaded backhand to good effect overwhelming Sonja, her timing starting to fade with fatigue, Dave winning 3-2.
Sean now had to face Alan, both players very familiar with each other after some close previous meetings. Fortunately for Sean he was off to a flying start with Alan unable to reproduce the big hits he’d conjured up against Andy, for Sean to be two rubbers up in no time. After his poor start Alan threw all caution to the wind taking the third rubber to deuce - probably wondering why he hadn’t gone for it from the outset - but Sean clung on to close it out and win 3-0.
Dave came into his third game well lubricated, and continued with his usual strong topspin against Andy who had no real answer to Dave’s attack, for Dave to win 3-0.
Sonja against Alan has seen some close encounters in the past but not this night. Although Sonja struggled with Alan’s blistering forehand, rarely returning it once unleashed she knew that it was all about successful attack if she was to win. To this end Sonja used her lovely effortless backhand to constantly put Alan under pressure on his forehand, he did manage to counter punch occasionally but was unable to live with the consistency, Sonja recording a comfortable win 3-0.
The doubles was an interesting match, with the untested Vikings pair against the reliable duo of Sean and Sonja. As predicted the Thurston pair took the first two rubbers for a 2-0 lead, but a lack of concentration on their part or an improved understanding from the Vikings saw them take the third set from ten each. This was the turning point as now it seemed that some of Dave’s lube had rubbed off on Alan and Thurston never really looked in the game again for the Vikings to win 3-2.
An enjoyable evening was had by all with the Vulcans winning 6-4 grateful for the gift of three games forfeited by the Vikings.

Author: via Bury St Edmunds Table Tennis League
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