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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Last

Soaked Sax Stun Sproughton

(A picture of some rain because Matt was too focused on winning to take any pics, and rightly so!)

Match report on Saxmundham Men’s 1st team v Sproughton 2nd team; home game played on Monday 18 October 2021. Score: 7-1 to Saxmundham Tennis Club.

Report by team captain, Matthew Last

As is usually the way in the winter league, it was a fine, sunny autumnal October day right up until the point of the match balls being cracked open out of the can which seemed to summon the rain!

From that point on, Saxmundham and Sproughton were in for a soaking with consistent drizzle and the odd heavier downpour making for a tricky night for all players.

With the pairings unchanged from the opening draw at Ipswich, Anthony and Chris romped home with the first two sets in record time; in fact, the second pairing of myself and Ewan hadn't even completed the first set by the time they’d finished their two.

In the match of the night, Ewan and I drew with the first pair 5-7, 7-5 - with quality hitting from all four players. Considering the conditions, the play was of great quality, however, somewhat spoiled by the antics of a certain away player.

Reaching 5-4 in the first set, we allowed these antics to finally get inside our heads, and we threw away the first set 7-5. A couple of bizarre moments properly wound up a pair that are usually unflappably calm and collected, with one moment resulting in me getting told off for clearing a ball by my feet as the opposition server rapid-fired his second serve after faulting with his first serve.

The second set was much the same, with quality all-round - and, at long last, my backhand was firing on all cylinders, and cracked a few passing shots at vital times. That was backed-up by Ewan's blistering serving and savage hitting from the baseline, which allowed us to to come back from 4-3 down to win the set, making it 3-1 to Sax at the halfway stage.

With conditions still putting a dampener on the game, there was a brief break in play to discuss whether we should continue, with the away team at one point asking if we’d take a draw... Funny enough we didn’t take them up on the offer so we collected up the now ‘cannonball’ tennis balls and got on with the rest of the match.

The second half mirrored the first, with Ewan and myself racing away to win the two sets 6-2, 6-0, guaranteeing the first Saxmundham Mens' 1st team win of the season. It was now Anthony and Chris’s turn to enjoy the antics of the other pair!

There were some interesting exchanges (sadly not with tennis balls) which nevertheless did well to fire up our pair to complete the job, and they went on to win 6-1, 6-3.

There is one moment from the second set that I’ve yet to recovered from; in short the Sax pair were told off for keeping score in the game, before only to be told off for keeping the score quiet in the following game.

So, after a winning smash from Anthony, Chris certainly made sure they heard the score by bellowing out "THIRTY LOVE!" which left the supporters, all tucked up in warmth of Sue’s car, rolling around in stitches.

Roll on the next game which sees us take on local rivals Woodbridge!

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