The ladies are striking while the iron’s hot and bringing out the matches left, right and centre
By Katie Garner
Yet another Ladies match in Division One was scheduled for this week, the pairs absolutely racing through the fixture list. This time we were back at Bower Park School in Collier Row, returning to the home of reigning champions Corinthians, with myself and partner Jess set to face off against Corinthians B and Emerson Eagles. Despite being full of cold and flu germs, we still had hopes of putting in a decent performance and being able to challenge for some wins.
Luckily for us, Emerson Eagles couldn’t make it on the night, meaning they had to concede their matches, resulting in an automatic win for us. Even though it wasn’t exactly earned, we never look a gift horse in the mouth so to speak, so we gratefully wrote down the win, glad to stack up another one to our meagre victory list to date.
Against Corinthians B
- 20-21 / 21-16 / 11-21
This was definitely a fight to the death game that had so many swings and roundabouts it was never really clear who was going to come out on top – unfortunately it wasn’t us. I’d say on the whole it was an entirely frustrating game, as it was bursting at the tram lines with possibilities of a victory so it was just plain disappointing to get to close and then not actually steal the win from the home side.
The first game was very much level pegging with all of us finding our feet. Us more so with the feather shuttlecocks that we insisted on whacking wide and long far too much, while for Corinthians it was more about their teamwork, which was steadily improving as the games continued. We had the upper hand at the start of the game, gaining a mini lead that was obviously too tempting a cushion. We had worked out the weaker link in the pair and we tried out best to target her, which was a winning tactic for a lot of the game. Pushing the players around and then making use of drops and net shots worked really well for us, although there was also an abundance of intense driving which added almost an electric atmosphere on court as we all wanted the win so badly. At the last minute Corinthians managed to snatch the game with only a gutting one point difference leaving us very frustrated with our lack of finishing ability in the closing stages of the game.
The second game was better for us – our shots floated less and weren’t as inviting for smashes and attacks which was definitely a plus point. We worked the court a bit better, and while it was no means easy, we actually won with a little gap, giving us that glimmer of hope for the decider. The games were so fickle, flying from one advantage to another that even we didn’t know how the rallies would go.
For the final game, we moved courts as the club night began to get busier and got down to business. For some obscure reason, this game was a shocker for us. I think by this point, they had us all worked out and they very much knew the shots to play to put us in very tricky positions. They put their rather tall player at the front, making lifts and clears a tad difficult as she would simply smash them down with one tiny reach of her arm. Also, I think we were trying to be too clever, too sneaky. Even when placed in a tight spot, we were attempting cross court drops that turned out to be sitters, or net shots that didn’t quite escape Corinthians’ grasp. Their teamwork and efficiency improved tenfold in that last game, and came a bit out of nowhere, leaving us struggling and disheartened after such close games previously. Yes, we were bitterly disappointed as we knew these guys were a beatable pair for us – and there aren’t many of those in division one. However, to give them their due Corinthians really stepped up to the mark in that final game, challenging us at the net and getting us moving for sure. They had every right to be proud of their win, and next time, we’ll just have to work harder. This has once again highlighted to us that we really need to improve our play at the back of the court, as this is where we are pushed to and where we are losing the most points. If we could only up the ante in this area, then we would definitely wipe up a few more games. Onwards with the practising!
In the league so far…
Oddly enough, I was emailed the most recent ladies results, as they stand at the moment, and in division one, we are currently third out of five pairs. I’m not entirely sure how or why, but I do not question such pleasing numbers. I’m just keeping everything crossed that we can manage some more wins in our next line ups – which will again be at Corinthians home base.