Your Club Captain dissects her ladies and mixed games from the evening

By Katie Garner

Ladies Doubles with Jess (20-21 / 20-21)

Jess clears rose wine as well as she does the back of the court!

Since Jess is my usual Ladies Pairs partner in crime, I did have my fingers crossed that we may be able to pull one out of the bag here. And we came so close with a double curse score of 20-21 in both games.  We were working well as a team, and I felt that I was playing particularly well at the back of the court, with my shot placement improving. Granted, I threw some more shots in the net than was entirely necessary, and our feather adjustment saw some clears fly beautifully past the back tramline, but for us, this score shows a great improvement. It was annoying as we came so close, battling until the bitter end, and we deserved the win just as much as they did, since we worked incredibly hard, and we knew we could win! But, it wasn’t meant to be and we gave them a run for their money. I feel that our teamwork has become stronger as has our court rotation and shot placement.

Best part of Jess’s game: While I was attempting to own the back of the court with my usual reckless sprints, Jess was fab working the net and intercepting difficult shots. Again, her teamwork was brill and much improved from before.

Mixed Doubles with Stuart B (13-21 / 21-20/ 15-21)

Stuart is officially a Big Smasher - even has the award to prove it!

Once again, I was playing with my Dream Team partner Stuart, so I had hopes that this could also be a win. Unfortunately, the pair we were playing actually had a similar tactic plan and strengths to us, with the opposing bloke being an awesome smasher with great court movement, which I must say caused us a bit of bother. They enjoyed using the dropshot, so I had my work cut out for me, and I think the net shots were the main area where we could build points, which Stuart developed with his own sneaky drops.  The constant low and fast smashes seemed to be coming at me from every angle, from the strong Hunters players in front and Stuart behind, which made me feel very much like an endangered species, ducking for dear life! Think my ducking is now faster…if that is even possible. We managed to take it to a deciding game out of sheer perseverance but in the end, they had us all over the court and they played the better game.

Best part of Stuart’s game: Stuart’s super smash has saved us from many a tricky point, and it came to the rescue a few more times tonight, as well as his stamina  – no matter how much he is pushed from side to side, he reaches it and picks up any shot thrown at him. A real hero at the back and someone I can really rely on.

Ladies Doubles with Helen (21-20/ 21-20)

Now is that water in there Helen?

We absolutely smashed it! This is by far the best I have ever played with Helen, and I think our grim determination was beginning to show, as by this point, we’re coming to the end of the evening and we just wanted to win. Must admit, I went a bit crazy at the start with lots of dramatic smashing and jumping, with even Helen backing slowly off! I think our game worked well though – we used a good mix of net shots and smashes that really pushed the court dimensions and got our opponents moving. We covered each other well, often with me hogging the net and Helen taking the back, with good court coverage. Everything just seemed to come together – especially when we had this look mid game, and you could almost hear Eye of the Tiger it was that intense. It had just got to that point in the evening where we were going to win, even if it killed us. But it worked, with a straight two game win to us, and the first win of the evening, resulting in some very un-sportsmanship-like yelling and yes’s and hugs after the shuttle hit the floor. It was a great buzz and a perfect game to finish on.

Best part of Helen’s game: Her speedy served completely baffled our opponents, which gave us an advantage in the resulting rally, and her cross court drives are completely spot on and unbeatable.

Keep checking as there will be some more Challenge Cup analysis from your team coming soon!