Hot shots on a cold night
Match: Sax Ladies 2nd team v Woolpit Ladies 2nd team
League: Ipswich and District Winter League Teams: Nicole (captain) and Jo; Sharon and Shirley
Result: 6-2 win for Sax
Time: 7pm start
Sax Ladies' 2nd team recently continued their winter campaign playing against Woolpit on Friday 25th November 2022 - a particularly chilly night compared with recent temperatures - and with a home game full of thrills, spills and... hot chocolate.
The one instruction issued to the team by captain Nicole before play got underway was, "Have fun, ladies!" and we duly obliged.
This really was an incredibly fun, enjoyable and relaxed evening of tennis; we all said it at the end, win or lose, and the opposition were a friendly and capable quartet, with a mix of ages, height and ability. Not to be underestimated!
Nicole and Jo rekindled their powerplay duo of last year's box league - where they managed to play at least one game - securing a convincing win in all four sets played: 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-0.
It's no surprise Nicole played well, she always does; as those of us playing against her know to our cost. But her incredibly courageous netplay, unswerving dedication to get her steps up along the baseline, and trademark bullet-train crosscourt bamboozlers deserve a special mention.
Her skill was without doubt the alchemy that held the pair's successful gameplay together at crucial times.
Jo managed to somehow shake off the usual match nerves and produce a convincing game to complement Nicole's. Playing on the backhand side resulted in several returns of service that flew at pace down the middle, along with some decent volleys at the net, and eight aces. It was the first league match Jo has ever won, and she walked off the court with a smile, for not letting her partner down.
Meanwhile, Sax Super Shots Sharon and Shirley complemented each other's games too, with on-court skills that produced not just some great, fast, matchplay but also cries of delight and frustration. Sharon alert and responsive at the net, consistent crosscourt, Shirley dextrous, pacy, and precise - and vice versa.
Winning two of their four sets, with a final score of 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 Sharon and Shirley battled on through the cold evening valiantly, the final match resulting in an hour-long tie-break.
This saw the other two pairs nip into the clubhouse to get warm, and enjoy the Green and Black's organic hot chocolate that club secretary Fiona had kindly provisioned earlier that day. Thanks Fin, only the best for Sax ladies!
Well done to all for playing with gusto on a chilly night and the support from our team-mates via WhatsApp. And thank you to our gracious opponents, who we also enjoyed a good post-match natter with. Including moaning about our various Suffolk MPs.
And in particular, a warm thank you to our winter team captain Nicole for encouraging us to play, and insisting we enjoy every match.
The next Ladies 2nd team match is away on 9 December against East Bergholt. Good luck, ladies. Don't forget your bobble hats.