The Travails of Two. Match report by Neil Wheatley.
Dinosaurs Revived. Chiefs 4 Dinosaurs 6
Another Div 2 marathon match at Colebridge on Monday with Dinosaurs emerging triumphant, thanks mainly to a remarkable display by skipper Brian Morris.
The opening set was the usual youth v experience, with Sam Henderson again adapting his game to match veteran Jim Connor’s consistent pushing. A see-saw set eventually went Sam’s way 8, -12, -9, 11, 8.
It took a while for Dan Ranford to find the best way to play Mike Credland’s steady blocking, but once he did, only a slight stumble in the 3rd game, prevented a 3-0 match leveller.
Set 3 started, like the other two, with a deuce game that went to and fro before Brian Morris squeezed home 16-14 and repeated that with an 11-9 second set. Opponent Neil Wheatley got himself back into the match winning the 3rd game 11-6, but missed several attacking opportunities in the next, leaving Brian a comfortable winner.
The Credland / Connor 4th set, was similar to the opener – another 5 see-saw games, going Mike’s way 9, -8, -9, 9, 4.
Although they lost the second game, Sam and Mike maintained their unbeaten doubles run without too much difficulty against Jim and Brian, but the following set saw a remarkable come-back by Brian in his match with Sam, who looked like carrying on where he had left off against Jim by opening up a 2-0 lead. Brian’s late decision to take the game to Sam with some trademark backhand drives got him level, only for Sam to recapture the initiative in the final game and look the odds on winner. However Brian was not to be denied and his late rally saw him pull level at 10 all and then win the next 2 points convincingly.
After Dan Ranford had recovered from an opening 11-5 loss, he got his hitting back on track and easily defeated Neil, but after Mike had opened up a closely fought 2-0 lead against Brian in the next set, the latter had to dig deep to claw his way back into his match, but did so convincingly winning the next three, 9, 8, 5.
Jim Connor made sure of the 3 points, coping easily with a frustrated Neil’s change of bat, before Sam gave an excellent display of counter hitting to defeat Dan and conclude another long 42 game evening’s entertainment.
Man of the Match? No doubt - Brian Morris.