Crossing this combo has proven dangerous for many an opposition…

By Katie Garner

A really strong pairing, ready to defeat the opposition

Our Mixed Team had a bit of a re-vamp this season, and another of our new pairs to join the successful squad is the fabulously overt and vibrant Helen with the multi-talented and down to earth Mike F. They both also play in the Frances Bardsley Club that plays on Thursdays, so hopefully they are getting extra practice in there!

Helen and Mike have a great combination of shots that between them, makes them rather daunting to play against. Helen’s shots come flying across the net at light speed, whether it’s a serve, drive or smash, with a nifty backhand flick. Mike on the other hand has won the Wychelm Badminton Club Christmas Award 2012 for his incredible dropshots, although this is only one string to his well-strung bow. His court movement is enviable, and his range of shots has you sprinting all over the place in desperation, as his variation is extremely well timed and placed.

I think Helen and Mike are also the only pair who constantly sticks to a sides format on court (us other pairs normally play front and back, with some side rotation depending on what is actually winning you the points). Usually this means that the opposing bloke gets smash happy at the female, but many a man has cowered beneath Helen’s thundering smashes. Mike F is such a flexible and reliable player that he can play pretty much any tactic he so chooses – and do it with style. They have earned many wins this season, and hopefully, this is just a sign of things to come for this perfect pairing!

Helen’s best shot: Undoubtedly her backhand, cross court drop shot. You won’t be getting that back in a hurry!

Mike F’s best shot: This is a tough one, as Mike is such a well-rounded player, but I think I will go for his dropshots and smashes – perfectly aimed and timed at every opportunity.