Last Saturday morning, at the ridiculously early time of 9:00am, the Market Harborough junior team trudged out of bed to make the long journey to Coalville.
Our first match was against Hinckley. Sean Reuthe, playing at 2, started off the proceedings. Losing the first game he came back to take the second with a powerful display- dominating the 'T' and forcing his opponent, Ben Wykes, to run from corner to corner as he won the game 11/5. Each player then took a game apiece to set up a deciding, fifth, game. Again it was closely fought with both players fighting for control. Unfortunately, Sean was unable to regain his dominance and lost the game 9/11.
On next was George Brown playing Luke Brink at 3. Against a talented player George failed to find his touch in the first game, but fought back over the next two. Despite losing the second he claimed the third, chasing down every ball to ensure an 11/9 victory. In the fourth game his opponent raised his game and, deprived of the chance to occupy the 'T', George lost the match 1/3.
In the final game Martin Thompson played George Orton. Both players looked evenly matched in the warm up, but Martin quickly raced to a 2/0 lead, winning both games 11/2. In the third George had regained some composure and fought back hard, picking up Martins drops and boasts and forcing him off the 'T'. It was not enough as Martin closed out the game and match 11/6.
The second team we played was the home side, Hermitage Leisure. First on was George Brown at 3 against Natalie Coley. Having lost narrowly to the same opponent the previous weekend George was keen to improve his performance. He started off strongly; his retrieving put Natalie on the back foot. However some loose balls allowed her to claim a very close first game. In the second George began to tighten up his game and had game ball at 10/9, but unfortunately lost the rally and went on to lose the game 12/10. The final game was equally close fought, but again Natalie was just victorious winning the match 3/0.
Martin Thompson went on court next against the talented James Payne. Again Martin's unorthodox boasts proved tricky for his opponent as he claimed the first game 11/3. Throughout the match James never quite got into the rally and several unforced errors gave Martin the next two games 11/4 and 11/3.
With the score level at 2/2 it was all down to Sean Reuthe in the final match of the morning. Playing George Morgan, Sean began strongly; striking a good length. Unfortunately some loose balls enabled George to snatch the lead and the game 7/11. Sean came back on court with renewed confidence and matched his opponent point for point up until the end of the game where an unfortunate few points lost him the game 9/11. Going into the third against a now confident opponent Sean rallied well, but was unable to convert some opportunities into points and so lost the game 8/11.
In the end we lost both matches 1/2. Despite this all of the games were closely fought and an enjoyable morning was had by all. Well played to all and thanks to Martin Geear for organising and my Dad for driving.