It'll take more than January gloom to stop our Ladies 2nd team from smiling
Ok. So, in the spirit of a motivational senior managers' away-day, let's start with the positives.
First, we have a great pool of talent and positivity in our Ladies 2nd team thanks to Nicole's encouragement and leadership. Second, we bothered hauling our cookies to Ipswich and back on a cold, dark January night, burning off festive calories and getting the blood pumping, when we could have been sitting about watching EastEnders and eating leftover Cadbury's Roses.
And third, we were still smiling after an 8-0 defeat.
Yes, Wednesday 12 January 2022 saw the next match play out for our Ladies 2nd team, with pairings of Fran and Barbara, and Fiona and Jo, playing an away game against the Ipswich 2nd Ladies team at their massively swanky sports complex at Henley Road. (They have napkins on tables and everything! It's like a tennis Downton Abbey!)
Initial hares were set running when the word "astroturf" was let loose on our WhatsApp group on Wednesday morning, but as things turned out, Fran and Barbara only had to play one of their two mini-matches on the aforementioned suspect surface.
Meanwhile Fiona and Jo were ushered onto hard courts under the Ipswich bubble and stayed there for their four sets. (Matches in this league, the Ipswich and District Ladies Winter League, are played as two sets, times two pairs - so four sets played in total.)
As play got underway it didn't take long for some big scorelines to take shape. The only problem was, they were somewhat one-sided. Final scores for Fran and Barbara were 6-2, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-1 to Ipswich. For consistency this was mirrored closely by Fiona and Jo's score of 6-0, 6-2 and 6-0, 6-1 to Ipswich.
Having been on the receiving end of some great tuition and pep talks from our head coach Matt, I think it's important to look at further positives we can take from the games we played.
Our two teams played SO well together as pairs. And we didn't have to do any tie-breaks! The evening saw Fran and Barbara getting in some superb power rallies, and reaching deuce on a great many games. Meanwhile, Fiona delivered some of her legendary fancy slices to our opponents, many of them powering like comets under the plastic roof from way deep into the court. Fiona and Jo also reached deuce a number of times but didn't quite make it over the finish line. Jo also put home a left-field ace that (forgive my immodesty) deserves a bit of a mention.
On the way back we were heartened by encouraging WhatsApp messages of solidarity from our fellow Ladies 2nd team players. And we got home in time for the ten o'clock news so we could find out whether Djokovic had been deported.