Stormy weather in Ipswich for the Ladies 2nd team
Wednesday 12th October 2022 saw the first Winter Floodlit League match (Division 3) for our Ladies 2nd team, playing the Ipswich Ladies 3rd team.
Match report by Jo Davies.
Sax teams Nicole and Wendy, Barbara and Jo (reserve)
Sax team results
Nicole and Wendy - first game: Ipswich won 6-3, 6-3; second game: Sax won first set 6-3, lost second set 6-2
Barbara and Jo - first game: Ipswich won 6-1, 6-0; second game: Ipswich won 6-1, 6-1.
Final result 7-1 to Ipswich
En route, in Wendy's sumptuous, spotless, high-end pooch-limousine/utility vehicle Nicole received a phone call from Lilian, the Ipswich team captain, for a quick discussion about the state of the weather.
In short, it was pelting down.
As the match was due to be played outdoors, on the infamous Henley Road astroturf, the event was in the balance.
Surprisingly, the minute the four of us stepped out of the car it suddenly stopped raining.
The match was on.
Perhaps the grey skies were a foreboding sign of what was to come (see results above) but, as with so many games in this wonderful and frustrating and thrilling sport of ours, the final result belies a lot of the detail that happened along the way.
First and foremost, well done to Wendy for joining the Ladies 2nd team.
Having played competitively in many previous seasons, this was something of a debut for current times, and team captain Nicole was keen to ensure this report celebrated Wendy's involvement and "nicey slicey" matchplay.
On glancing across to the other court from time to time between points, Nicole and Wendy certainly looked like a new power duo had staked their place on the Henley Road block.
Our opponents - we were both two teams of four, playing four sets in total - were friendly and gracious throughout.
I'd had intel earlier that day from Jackie, our Ladies 1st team captain, that some of them had been playing in the Ipswich Ladies 1st team until recently.
That kinda made sense.
Despite Barbara's dextrous backhands, mid-court slices, and exemplary consistent play, plus a few knockout aces from Jo and a lot of running along the baseline, we also peppered our game with too many silly errors.
We played well together, and enjoyed it - but we were very much outwitted. Despite winning three games (woohoo!) both sets of opponents easily triumphed: they were, quite simply, very, very good.
Other things to note from the evening: in an act of vengeful sabotage Barbara managed to break their brand new scoring board. Go Barbara!
There was also a strong smell of fumes wafting over Ipswich. Was it paraffin? Oil? Traffic congestion? The smell of burning rubber soles on the astroturf?
Nicole and Wendy, meanwhile, did very well to win one of their four sets, and convincingly; with aforementioned powerplay demonstrated by Nicole's inimitable crosscourt forehand seemingly every three seconds and Wendy slicing it up a treat.
There was much jollity and conversation amongst the teams, albeit no final cup of tea - something tea lover Nicole mentioned more than once on the way home.
Keen readers of these match reports will be aware that Barbara and her usual partner Fiona, she of the devastating backhand slice, have gained form in recent months by always getting to a tie-break. Alas, we never got near that particular scenario this time so that cycle is now broken.
There are three further Ladies 2nd team matches before Christmas: 7th November vs Felixstowe, 25th November at home, and 9th December away to East Bergholt. Why not come along to Sax and cheer on the team on Friday 25th Nov?!