Mens Feathers vs Abbeydale D, 19 November 2013

Oakbrook 8 – 1 Abbeydale D

Gavin B & Simon T | Tipue M A & Glen T | Aaron G & Aamir K

Our last match of 2013 was also our easiest – at home against Abbeydale ‘D’ team, consisting mainly of some of their super teenagers.  And for the first time this season, we had our full team in action – despite Gavin’s grumbles that all three of our feathers team matches this season have fallen on the same evening as a televised England international football match.  Fortunately he chose to win at badminton rather than watch others losing to Germany at football.

In a few years, Abbeydale’s teens’ will all undoubtedly be playing at a far higher standard than any of our team ever have, but for the time being, their perfect footwork, deft racquet skills and textbook training can still be beaten by our height, strength, consistency and experience.

With Aaron unable to make it for the normal start time, Abbeydale’s team kindly agreed to play out of order, so although their pairs played in roughly the usual sequence, ours were a bit mixed up.  Aamir patiently sat watching for the first four games, as Gavin and Simon, and Tipue and Glen, both started with two straightforward victories.  Although the kids showed flashes of talent, they were unable to control it into a consistent run of winning shots.  By keeping them moving and forcing them to play shots from the back of the court that require more strength, the Oakbrook pairs took us to a 4-0 lead by the time Aaron arrived.

Our double-AA pair then took to the court, but perhaps without sufficient warming up!  For they first faced the Abbeydale first pair who had already played one game and were ready for the challenge.  With Aaron not having played feathers since last season, Aamir still fairly new to the feathers team, and neither having played together before, they struggled to keep consistency and take the game to the opposition.  Aaron’s consistency wasn’t at its usual level despite some great shots from close to the net, and Aamir found himself too often having to play a defensive lift instead of an attacking shot.  A combination of these meant that Abbeydale’s pair were let off a few times, and were given too much time to pick clever overhead shots from three-quarter court, which led to our only loss of the evening, 15-21, 17-21.

The Oakbrook pair were back on court immediately, and again they struggled to find form at the start and lost the first game, but then things started to improve as they warmed up more and got back in the swing of feathers matches.  They pushed through to win that game 16-21, 21-13, 21-19, and then soon after played their third game which they won 21-19, 21-18.  Hopefully they will be able to carry that improvement forward to our next match, although that’s a couple of months away!

To round the evening off, the other two Oakbrook pairs played their final games with similarly comfortable victories as before.  Gavin and Simon won every game to between 10 and 13, and finished with a total of 126-73; Tipue and Glen had a bit more variation with games won to figures as far apart as 4 and 18, and ended up very similar with 126-70 overall.

Thanks to the team for playing, and for doubling our points tally in the league.

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