Another round of home matches sees us take on Corinthians as the season draws to a close

By Katie Garner

Your Mixed Team Ladies:Helen, Katie and Jess (l-r)

Your Mixed Team Ladies:
Helen, Katie and Jess (l-r)

With the arrival of April, comes the end of the league matches, and it’s now a sprint to the finish line to get the last matches played on time but to the best of our varying abilities. This time we welcomed Corinthians to our home grounds at Royal Liberty to conclude our face off. We were still having staffing issues with our regular squad, with Stuart B hobbling around with his dodgy heel and Het reigniting his football injury at the Challenge Cup last week. We drafted in members from our Men’s team, Binu and Gary, who were more than happy to step into the helm to help us out.


Gary and Jess:

  • 12-21 / 21-17 / 17-21
  • 21-16 / 14-21 / 21-20
  • 8-21 / 12-21

Katie and Binu:

  • 18-21 / 21-6 / 21-20
  • 11-21 / 15-21
  • 16-21 / 16-21

Helen and Mike:

  • 16-21 / 13-21
  • 16-21 / 16-21
  • 12-21 / 15-21

These were by far our most competitive mixed matches of the season so far, and were really enjoyable to play and get stuck in to. Corinthians are such a good side, with incredibly well developed back hand shots – their back hand smashes, drops and cross court drives are unrivalled in the league, and they definitely used these shots to their advantage throughout the games. For Binu and I, our first game was our weakest as we played their second pair and attempted to adjust to the new flight of fresh feather shuttles. After conceding a defeat, which was probably more our fault than theirs, we went on face their first pair. Out of all of them, this was the game that we got stuck in to the most.

We just lost the first with a tantalising 18 points, but this gave us a massive boost of hope that we could turn things around for the second game. I knew I had to be more interceptive at the net, as well and more interpretative with my net play, to keep it out of Corinthians speedy clutches. Our increasingly better performance meant that our opponents were getting more and more frustrated, and as I have found from previous experience, this only hampers your game. Luckily for us, this energy overflowed into the second game, where we managed a staggering win of 21-6, as our game clicked together and theirs started fraying at the edges slightly. This was by no means an easy feat – the male player was amazingly strong, and any clear was an open invitation for a thundering smash to rattle round my ears. His cross court drives were also inspirational and paired with his partner’s speed and aggressive front play, they made an imposing team. The decider against this duo was rife with longing – we both wanted to win this one…badly. I think we all played our hearts out, and it came to an uncomfy conclusion at 21-20. Reaching 20-20 always feel like such a culmination, with boundless amounts of pressure on the final point played. Thankfully, we managed to sneak the win through which was so fantastic after our recent string of constant defeats.

Our final games of the evening steadied out in consistency with a solid 16 apiece, which although is a good score, is not another win to add to our total. Jess had Gary as her partner of the evening, with two of their games going to deciders, and one of these finishing up in a polished win (interestingly enough, their final game also ended 21-20). Helen and Mike didn’t get any deciders, although they also banked consistent scoring with their solid shots, hitting 16 more times than we could count. On the whole, I would say that we delivered a good performance to be proud of.  It was definitely no white wash and we gave them a very thorough cross-country style run for their money. There was plenty of peaks, mud and general unpleasant weather but they overcame all that we had to offer to win the evening on the whole, seven games to our two.

Much better from us, despite the late team changes due to injury. Our new squad formation is also going to be put to the test tonight in an away match at Redbridge, which should be an interesting one. Last time we played them at home they could only send two pairs, so we’ll be facing the unexpected with the final pair. They managed to win quite comfortably, so fingers crossed we can bring the battle.