Mens Feathers vs Phoenix, and vs Rawmarsh, February 2014

Oakbrook 6 – 3 Phoenix

Aamir K & Simon T | Tipue M A & Glen T | Ibrar K & David R

Rawmarsh 9 – 0 Oakbrook

Aamir K & Simon T | David W & John W | Ibrar K & David R

Two matches in close succession for the feathers team in early February.

First we hosted Phoenix.  As always, Simon said at the start of the match it would be 5-4, because it always is against Phoenix.  Except for the first time in about five years, he was wrong.  Aamir and Simon got off to a good start, getting to match point against the Phoenix first pair – at which point Simon became useless and hit everything out, leading to a 21-17 21-23 7-21 loss.  The other two pairs followed a similar pattern against that first pair, of winning the first game, and losing the next two.

But against the other two Phoenix pairs, things were a lot smoother.  Aamir and Simon won both theirs in straight sets.  After going down 20-22 in one of theirs after a long gap watching, Tipue and Glen warmed back up to win theirs comfortably to fifteen or below, with a solid defence providing the base for winning attacking shots.  Ibrar and David, not to be outdone by the regular A-team pairings, also won theirs to 15 or below, except one blip in the middle game of a three-end rubber – between the two of them, the produced a really good variety of different attacking shots to keep their opponents working hard.

So the end result was 6-3 to Oakbrook – the highest win we can remember.  And to think it was closer to 7-2 than to 5-4!  Perhaps we’re getting better?

A few days later, Ibrar and Dave were called on again to play for us in place of Gavin (still injured) and Aaron (still on an oil rig in the North Sea).  But with Tipue and Glen unavailable also, we required our most experienced substitutes, David and John, to play for us as well.

Pushing the definition of “…and District” of the league formerly known as “Sheffield and District”, Simon probably had the longest trip of over 26 miles to the venue, and was glad of a car-sharing effort, something the Oakbrook men rarely seem able to organise despite how often the ladies manage it.

Rawmarsh are new to the division and almost certain of being promoted to division 2 next year.  At home earlier in the season, a 2-7 loss saw Gavin and Simon scrape two wins while the opposition got used to the blue lines, so we weren’t expecting victory in this one either.  Even with three of their normal team players missing, Rawmarsh were still a little too good for us all round.  Aamir and Simon were the only Oakbrook pair able to take any of their games to three, but after losing four points in a row from 10-11 to 10-15 in the third end, weren’t able to come back, and it ended up 21-14 16-21 21-15 to Rawmarsh.  Their final game of the night finished 21-19 and they showed glints of promise, but not enough for a serious challenge, 105-142 overall for the night.

Meanwhile our subs were putting in good performances as well, but were unable to take any to a third end.  John and David W played well enough to get 21 in every best-of-three rubber, if not in every game.  They finished up 81-126 for the evening, and got the best scores of the evening against Rawmarsh’s first pair, 18-21 13-21.  Ibrar and David R weren’t far off the scores of the more experienced substitutes, with 68-126 overall, with their best game of the evening coming right at the end: 17-21.  A reasonable performance against a good side.

Thanks to Ibrar, David R, David W and John W for standing in for our missing regular players and putting in good performances with unfamiliar shuttles in unfamiliar venues and unfamiliar partners!  The feathers team would be impossible to run without your support each year.  We now have a break for a month, with our next match being a trip to the other end of the division: Abbeydale D team on 9 March.

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