Thurston Spitfires 8-2 Stowmarket Jaguars
23/11/2015 - Colin Baxter
This was a re-arranged match from the first week of the season. These teams had met the previous week with the Stowmarket team coming out on top 6-4.
The first game saw Paul Evans (Spitfires) play Sandra Balaam (Jaguars). Just like the previous week Balaam took control and hit through Evans defence, winning the game in straight sets. Mark Cracknell (Spitfires) then played Chris Smith and took a 2-0 lead only for him to be pegged back to 2-2. In a cagey deciding set it was Cracknell who came out on top.
Colin Baxter (Spitfires) then played David Gough who was playing up in the 1st Div for the first time. Gough gave a good account of himself and Baxter had to concentrate to win in straight sets. The game between Cracknell and Balaam saw Cracknell taking yet another 2-0 lead only to be caught again at 2-2 with some smart change of tactics from Balaam. Cracknell however, weathered the storm with some good play of his own, taking the final set and reversing the tables from the week before. Evans then went on to beat Gough in another tight game, winning 11-7 in the deciding set. Gough was certainly holding his own, at this level.
Baxter then played Smith with some mesmerising rallies of spin and trickery from both players. Baxter’s curly wurly shots were just a bit too much for Smith and again went on to win 3-0. Cracknell then took another 2-0 lead against Gough and when Gough stormed back in the third set 11-3 it looked like Cracknell was going to be pegged back for the third time in the evening. Cracknell however, had other ideas, taking the fourth set 11-9, giving him a clean sweep for the evening and a much needed boost for his confidence. Baxter then faced a really difficult encounter against Balaam after a fairly comfortable win against her the week before. Balaam won the first set 12-10 after being 10-6 down and looked really sharp with some explosive attacking play, taking the second set 11-7. Baxter on the ropes had to dig deep, changing tactics slightly and took the next 3 sets 11-4 11-6 11-5 to take the game.
Evans in his last game of the evening just couldn’t get to grips with Smith and went down in straight sets. The doubles saw a very tough tactical encounter with Balaam and Smith taking a 6 point lead in both the first two sets, only for Cracknell & Baxter to get back on level terms in both games, of which they won the first set 13-11, only to lose the second set by exactly the same score. The Spitfires pairing then took control of the game winning 3-1 and giving Spitfires an 8-2 victory on the night.