Hitting Hunters new home ground for the next round of matches

By Katie Garner

As the bitter and blustery November arrives, complete with sneaky strokes of complete cold, Division One of the Ladies Pairs hits the ground running as we are already entering our third fixture of the schedule. This time we are checking out the home place of Dagenham based club Hunters, who have recently moved from the pricey Becontree Leisure Centre, to nearby Dagenham Leisure Centre. Kitted out in ice rink style with pristine pale blue walls and a floor that had me perform an abundance of slips and skids, I was once again pairing Janet while Jess completes her medical degree. On our to-play list today were the reigning champs Corinthians A and the home team Hunters.

Against Corinthians A:

  • 13-21 / 10-21

After waiting 45 minutes for a member of Corinthians to appear unscathed from the M25, we were able to get started on the first match of the night. Annoyingly not our best performance, although I couldn’t really pin point any particular flaw or defect in our game. I think tonight our team work was a little off, as we haven’t been able to practice as much at club night and this could have resulted in this slight hesitancy that our opponents exploited. Where we dithered between front and back or sides tactics, Corinthians A slapped the tram lines with the shuttle with their usual aplomb and special awareness. Corinthians A always set the bar at an incredibly high standard, so aiming for double figures is always an ideal goal, which we managed to achieve in both of our games. They played front and back tactics with fantastic reach and style. They are undoubtedly brilliant players and deserved the win, although I’m sure if Janet and I had maybe pulled together a bit more we could have built up a higher stock of points. Not bad on the whole though, despite the massive difficulties I was having with the slippery flooring.

l-r: Janet and Katie at August's club social

l-r: Janet and Katie at August’s club social

Against Hunters:

  • 19-21 / 16-21

The score lines in this face off are much more what we are used to, yet I’m disappointed in myself that we couldn’t push this one to a decider. We came so tantalizingly close in the first game and I really thought we could take it to three. I believe we played better on the whole in these games, and I was particularly pleased with my return of serve and my play from the back of the court which seemed to have received a sugar-induced boost after scoffing some of the supplied Celebrations chocolates. I felt stronger and I think things were generally gelling well on court. When playing front and back, they had me running from side to side like a zig-zagging bumble bee and to be honest, I even surprised myself with how many I managed to return and catch them off guard with – just proves that always giving a shot the chance to succeed by attempting the run can pay dividends. Stylistically, I have always thought that we play very similar badminton to the lasses from Hunters. The game was a bombardment of punchy drives, plum on the line shots and thinly concealed competitive aggression. I feel we could have performed better, but on the whole, it was by no means a white wash, and I like to think we made them work for the win.

Next time…

The next round for the Division One of the Ladies Pairs is back in Bower Park with Corinthians B at the end of this month. Fingers crossed we can deliver a multitude of points and stack up a complete win. We’ll get there in the end I promise!