Katie Scott shares the latest match updates from Langdon Academy
Well what a way to spend a Friday night! We swapped wine for water bottles this evening as your mixed squad headed out to the home turf of shuttle supremos Ramgarhia, a club who are notorious for their winning streak, speed around the court and general ‘did he just do that?’ style of play. Representing for the club this evening, I was once again teamed with Binu, who spotted numerous cousins of his playing for the enemy, while Janet partnered Gary as per usual. Kay was present and correct, however due to Het picking up a slight ankle injury, we had the trusty Nick in his stead. Despite getting a little lost as to finding the school entrance, we made it to the match on time, keeping everything crossed that we could at least give these guys a decent game.
Gary and Janet:
- 6-21 / 8-21
- 9-21 / 20-21
- 9-21 / 8-21
Binu and Katie:
- 9-21 / 13-21
- 15-21 / 19-21
- 9-21 / 6-21
Nick and Kay:
- 11-21 / 5-21
- 5-21 / 6-21
- 9-21 / 3-21
I think Binu summed the evening up brilliantly, as we watched Nick and Kay play against the Ramgarhia third pair. He leaned forward in the plastic seat inquisitively, eyebrows deeply furrowed and eyes squinting in concentration. He then turned to me in amazement, exclaiming: ‘he hasn’t even broken out into a sweat!’ To put it bluntly, Ramgarhia are rather out of our league, although I would like to draw attention to a couple of close results we managed to achieve – notably a rather tasty 19 from us as well as a 20 from Gary and Janet (interestingly against the same pair).
In my opinion, Ramgarhia’s style of play is incredibly tactical. Their shots are neat, precise and directly to the point, with whiplash style speed that flicks and spins as the racket boomerangs around their heads swiftly. As if this wasn’t an asset enough, their court coverage is also impeccable, with a reach that seems to go on forever and strides that make the court look like a mere hopscotch outline. When faced against such a professional performance, it can be tricky to know what to do to try and earn some points to your name.
The first game Binu and I played, against Ramgarhia’s second pair, garnered our best results. We played our usual me at the net and Binu taking on the back of the court and this did seem to be working. Unfortunately we made silly errors – a trend that continued throughout the evening – hitting shots out the back of the court and past the tramlines carelessly. On the whole though, I would say there wasn’t anything massively wrong with our play. We played ok, granted not our best but definitely not our worse. It just wasn’t good enough to beat such a well versed side. For the next couple of games, Binu and I actually mixed it up and played sides. This did seem to work for a while, and we enjoyed some really active longer rallies that had us circling each other and the shuttle like vultures. In the end though, I feel our errors caught up with us and helped give Ramgarhia the final bolster to secure their straight wins victory.
Highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Binu’s spectacular crash and roll manoeuvre that shocked the entire sports hall into silence. Sprinting for a shot at the back of the court, his momentum saw him fly and then land on the court next to us with a loud and solid sounding thud, before showcasing an impressive roll and slide style movement to gain some more distance. Dusting himself off, he carried on without injury, but it was definitely a dramatic moment! Binu played well this evening, letting loose his fearsome smash that almost took my head off at one point. Almost Binu, almost…
Ramgarhia have some lovely cross court shots, that’s for sure. Definitely their signature shot in my opinion, mainly when paired with the smash. Although they like the speed work, they aren’t afraid to mix up the pace with net play either. Despite a lot of the games not making double figures, I like to think we at least offered some competitive rallies and gave the Ramgarhia guys and gals some food for thought. Interestingly, we are up against them again for the Challenge Cup and I am interested to see how we will fair against them with a handicap to even the playing field. With about 10 points between us and their handicap set at around -12, it could prove a squeeze.
Any points are better than no points, right?