Time to get the ball rolling with the first mixed fixture for the new season

By Katie Garner

With the men’s matches already steaming ahead, it was time to kick things off in the mixed arena with an away game against the guys and girls at Corinthians. Booking the YMCA for their matches now to steer clear of the hustle and bustle of club night, the two neighbourly courts were set up by staff as we arrived. Warming up, we tried to ignore the agonisingly intense straddling of the suspicious judo practitioners, including vibrating thuds of thrown bodies that scared the life out of us as it echoed around the small sports hall.

Geared up and ready to go, it was time to take on the season.

l-r: Katie and David W

l-r: Katie and David W

Results: 7-2 to Wychelm BC

Gary and Janet:

  • 21-17 / 21-8
  • 18-21 / 21-10 / 16-21
  • 21-9 / 21-18

David W and Katie:

  • 21-14 / 21-14
  • 15-21 / 21-11 / 21-19
  • 21-13 / 21-14

Het and Kay:

  • 21-12 / 20-21 / 21-19
  • 16-21 / 14-21
  • 17-21 / 21-17 / 21-14

Playing Corinthians is always a pleasure, for the simple reason that they are on our wavelength. In my opinion, we are a very similar standard to them, so many of the games can go either way, depending on the players on the night. The score lines are usually close with each side vying for the lead is tit for tat battles, whether these are engaging cross court net rallies, or lengthy clear and smash combos from the back of the court. Luckily for us, we had the edge tonight, testing out our new mixed team. David and I are a new partnership for this season, so it was nice winning our three matches to set the season on the right tone. Original mixed team member Clem has had to retire due to a broken wrist, so we were more than pleased when the fantastic Kay agreed to step in for us to play with movement supremo Het. Tried and tested Gary and Janet were our solid number one pair, crossing over from the previous season.

Corinthians Mixed Match

My main impression from all the games that we played was pacey. They were all classical mixed games, with the lady holding court at the front, racket armed in front of face, whilst the menfolk scrambled inelegantly at the back for the clears. The rallies included a mix of every player and also involved a lot of net play, which was really refreshing. Undergoing more squats and lunges than a usual club night, my thighs might be complaining now, but all in the name of glory, right? I seemed to fling myself from left to right consistently tonight in long, drawn out cross court action, usually with the male player on the other side, insisting on dropping it repeatedly at me. But surrender we didn’t. The Corinthians guys had some power on their smashes, whilst the ladies weren’t afraid to get up close and personal with the net shots, meaning I had to stay on my toes.

Drives were also a key feature, as I desperately ducked incoming neck wounds so that David could get a better whack at it from behind me. Like a whack-a-mole, I dipped up occasionally to have my say on the matter and helped contribute to the attacking play that David and I tried to employ. Placement of the shots were also an important factor of the games tonight, with almost everything going cross court rather than straight on, so we were all being run ragged with no rest whatsoever, which made for some exhilarating and exciting face offs. I think we just managed to tip the balance skill wise, although I know both me and David hit more than our usual fair share out of the court, for reasons unknown.

On the whole though, we all played really well. David’s smashes were forceful and dramatic, and I feel our movement covering our horizontal halves of the court worked well and seamlessly as we continue to forge our newish partnership. Despite Kay only stepping in and playing with Het, they performed really well together and managed to get some awesome scores, while as per usual; competitive Gary with Janet managed to get a few reliable wins under their belts. A 7-2 win on our first match of the season is a huge bolster to the spirits and will hopefully help us in my evil plan to sneak back into Division One.

Our next mixed match is a home game next Tuesday, so hopefully we’ll be able to deliver the goods again.