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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Last

Sproughton fox Sax as winning run comes to an end

"One such antic was almost drowning out the raucous barking of the local foxes, which rivalled the loudest grunt as was ever heard on centre court."

Tuesday 25th January 2022 saw our Men's 1st team take on Sproughton in a tense away game, reports team captain Matthew Last.

All good runs must come to an end, and unfortunately this was the case for the Men's 1st team as their unbeaten season finally ground to a halt. (In fact, when adding in the summer league too, the first team haven't lost in 196 days!)

On another freezing night in January this top-of-the-table clash saw us take the long journey west to Sproughton. After such a journey, the last thing you want to hear is that the club has no clubhouse or facilities, especially if you're Chris and you've just travelled straight from working in London. Still in his work attire, Chris had to reluctantly and carefully get changed in the car park, just what you want in close to freezing temperatures.

Anyway... after each taking it in turns to use the only facilities available (also known as the hedge...) we were ready to crack on.

Unfortunately myself and Ewan would have been better off staying behind said bush. We had a pretty abysmal couple of sets, a start of a night to well and truly forget. Over to the pairing of Chris and Anthony to make amends: this match-up was a grudge match, with the return of a certain player that all players had had a run in with during the home leg.

This encounter certainly lived up to the billing, and it wasn't long before myself and Ewan could hear all the commotion from their court. A tight first set went against us and now the player antics were really firing up the Sax pair who by now were pretty fed up by it all!

One such antic was almost drowning out the raucous barking of the local foxes, which rivalled the loudest grunt as was ever heard on centre court.

While I can understand the odd grunt on the stretch or hitting a shot at full pelt, this was definitely tactical, and often the noise emitted came after contact with the ball. After several stoppages from the Sax pair to question the antics (there were far too many to bother writing about, it was almost laughable at times) it didn't stop some fantastic concentration to clinch the set.

Trailing 3-1, Sax had it all to do. The almighty pairing of Anthony and Chris stormed the next two sets to make it 3-3 on the night, leaving Matt and Ewan to forget the last two sets and knuckle down for a battle.

Despite strong defiance, we were broken once in each set to lose both 6-4 and unfortunately lose the match 5-3 to a strong Sproughton, showing who deserved it on the night.

It was, however, a frustrating night as we were never really at the races. We don't mind losing but we do hate underperforming. So, time for a bit of a rest now until we go again, three games remaining, and we're still in prime position to win the league.

Also... a big shout out to our master club stringer Roger C, who had the task of restringing all the players' rackets over the weekend after we all managed to break one last week! Roger is always happy for new clients if you're in need of a restring.

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