A new duo team up to tackle the ladies division

By Katie Garner

With all the teams for the impending season now selected, we have made good use of the summer sessions over at Frances Bardsley to tune up our tactics for the upcoming matches. With new pairings across the board, extra practice always comes in handy, as this new team have discovered. Playing in Division Two of the ladies pairs this season we have a new combo for our B pair, in the form of new mum Clem and Welsh regular Janet. With differing styles of play, I reckon these ladies will complement each other perfectly to make a fab team.

l-r: Clem and Janet

l-r: Clem and Janet

Formerly playing for Ramgarhia in her heyday, Clem has been an exceptionally strong player, even though she took some time off to have her absolutely stunning baby daughter. Usually adopting a sides format, she can really power through points, using her high clear to send opponents scurrying either down the tram line or across the court. She undoubtedly has one of the strongest female smashes in the club, using her upper body strength to really send the shuttle flying, although she is also no stranger to the front of the court, especially in cross court play. She is more than willing to take on a net shot with the best of them; her short serve also having impact in the rallies. A lady who knows how to deliver her shots, Clem is definitely someone you want on your side of the net.

Her new partner in crime Janet has some experience of the ladies circuit, since she stepped in for Jess last season as a reserve to partner me for the remaining games. Janet’s play has improved in leaps and bounds since she joined, and she was already a very solid player, with keen teamwork tactics. Janet has taken to playing at the front of the court like a fish to water eagerly flinging herself to receive cross court shots, as well as engaging in energetic interceptive play. Prepared to steam ahead to any corner of the court to keep the shuttle in the air, Janet is an enthusiastic player who is great fun to play with.

As a combination, I think the pairing of Clem’s strong shots from the back of the court matched up with Janet’s nifty net play will produce some seriously good results as they should be able to cover each other well as well as attack a range of tactics that could head their way. It’s hard to say how the ladies season will pan out this year as the format has now changed – each club will now only host one home night instead of two, and all the pairs in the division will play each other, to the best of three games. Any games not played will have to be conceded by the home side. This will undoubtedly change the dynamics of the game, but hopefully not affect the quality of the play. Another interesting factor this year is that both of our new ladies pairs will be playing in the same division, so we’ll also have to play each other!

Bring it on ladies!

Clem’s best shot: Hulk-style smash

Janet’s best shot: Cross court backhand from the net – it’s a peach.