Tough game for KSC4 against promotion favourites Buxton and vanquishers of KSC3 18-6, notoriously strong in the top order- it was going to be a tough night.
First on the skipper at 4, playing against an ambidextrous player who drubbed the skipper 3-0 last year with a drop and lob game on a very cold Buxton court, a car crash of a game, this time would home advantage and a warm court suit the skip. First game was tight went all the way but edged 10-9 to KSC4, second game very similar, extremely tight as the balcony bit their nails, the skipper edged it 10-8. More of the same and with 2 match points at 8-6, Buxton pulled a game back 10-8- uh oh. But amazingly the skipper had more fitness than Steve and took the match 9-5, with the Buxton player looking very stiff several hours later in the bar, he’d pushed himself hard.
Next on Richard, against Howard, coming in to strengthen their team, a player who only lost one game last season and ranked top in div 5 stats- he had missed KSC3 a month earlier. Things looked really good for KSC4 as Richard played aggressive low hard drives and tight boasts to take the first 9-4. Howard came good in the second and levelled the tie. The next 2 were tight, but Howard was in control and closed out the match 9-7, 10-8.
Neil on next and didn’t have the fitness to keep up with Steve Hollick who several weeks earlier had taken the scalp of Mike Walton. Despite Neil’s boasts, lobs and drops, Steve always seemed to be there, difficult for Neil and easy win for Steve.
Geoff on next and had the game plan for an easy win- drive it long, wait for the blocked return and just drop to win the point- but the drops kept going down!!! Unlike Geoff and he made it hard work, but through his grit and determination he won in 5, levelling the tie on the night.
So last match, John Ward, making a comeback after 2 years, ranked highest on our team put in at 3, the skippers banker for a win and bonus 5 points, except he hadn’t accounted for Gary Bramwell, probably one of the best number 3’s in this division- ranked number 7 in the division, and who snuffed out Rich Holmes in 3 against KSC3. But had Gary played a player like John who just keeps getting the ball back?- probably. Tough start for John, and then half way through the first he held his thigh, tweaked a hamstring and didn’t win another point, but well done for finishing the game.
Valiant effort by all, thought Buxton would be strong to 3, but they were strong all the way down. If they keep their small squad fit they should push KSC3 all the way.