The second round of matches for Division Two kicks off with the festive season
By Katie Garner
Since the ladies pairs format has changed, the matches have been few and far between, with so far, only our home match having been played. Tonight saw the second batch of matches commence over at Emerson Park School, the home of Emerson Eagles. My partner Kay and I arrived nice and early to have a thorough warm up before the games started at 7.30pm. Oddly enough, Redbridge was a no show, with no word at all from them, so all of the pairs who did turn up received an automatic win on their score cards (always an unexpected nicety).
- Against Corinthians C: 21-8 / 21-9
- Against Redbridge A: 21-0 / 21-0
- Against Wychelm B: 21-9 / 21-12
- Against Emerson Eagles B: 21-12 / 21-14
Tonight, I really feel Kay and I stepped up, and managed our tactics as well as our strengths really well. One aspect of our game that we have been working on is undoubtedly our rotation and movement around the court, and I feel that this really showcased itself tonight, as not only did we display improved forwards and backwards steps when playing sides, but I think Kay also covered the back really well when I zoomed in to take the net in traditional mixed fashion – some habits die hard.
I believe we also revealed a more aggressive side to our play, which is definitely refreshing after the onslaught of mixed games and soft net shots. We let rip with the smashes and drives, whilst also ensuring to push our opponents towards the rear of the court, as tonight, the majority of the women playing were net experts. Corinthians were the talkative Leslie and new match player Diana, both of whom we knew were strong at the front from numerous mixed battles. We tried to angle our shots for the furthermost corners of the court and tram lines to try and keep them moving, which I think worked well for us.
Second on our agenda were Emerson Eagles, again a different pair from the first round of matches so we were unsure what to expect, but soon found our feet. The stronger player had a tendency to whack the serve low and fast, so our response was to send it right back in a similar fashion, which I think threw her off slightly. She also had a lenience to aim for the face, which involved more Matrix style moves than badminton, but again we came up trumps with our own attacking play, particularly when I charged at the net for some interceptive smash action – needless to say, I get carried away at times!
Playing against our fellow Wychelm girlies always feels weirdly like a betrayal since we are such good friends off court, however, all’s fair in love and badminton, so it was game faces on for our last match of the evening. I think I got a bit ahead of myself at times, plonking shots inelegantly in the net, but on the whole, Kay and I covered each other well, making sure to call out to each other regularly and utilise our best play, mixing up a range of straight and cross court shots. Janet played a particularly deceptive shot in this game that totally outfoxed me, and Tracy unveiled so many jammy net skimming shots, she left me baffled at times! A great game, which meant it was even more of a pleasure to finish the night taking all of our games to victory in two games each.
Kay played fantastically well tonight, really throwing herself forward to retrieve floating drop shots as well and lunging backwards to take on the tricky high clears. Our rotation was on point and really helped us out here, as did our enthusiastic interception, our angled shots and our need to vent some power shots. It worked our beautifully and I couldn’t be more pleased with our performance tonight. Currently sitting in second behind Redbridge, Kay and I are hoping that their absence tonight will do us a favour in terms of collective scores, so fingers crossed we can now sneak the division lead!
Thanks for a fab night ladies!