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  • Matthew Last

You win some, you lose some. And sometimes you win and lose at the same time!


Match reports by Men's 1st Team Captain and Club Head Coach, Matthew Last


It was a double delight for the men's team this week with two games played in two days, first up a top-of-the-table clash, as we welcomed Ipswich to Carlton Park for the return leg.

Date: Wednesday 6 July 2022 Venue: Home v Ipswich Men's 3rd team

Score: Sax win 5-4 Ipswich

Team

Matt + Ewan

Anthony + Ian

Skitch + Stuart

Unavailable Chris (injured)

Ian (probably on Number One Court one at Wimbledon)

Dom (injured)

James (mixed duties enjoying the glorious YM Tennis courts)

Martin (London)

Match report

In the blistering heat, the first sets played were certainly tough for all involved and led to three extremely tight encounters. After an almost flawless set of tennis, Ewan and Matt held on to win after a wobble, after getting stuck on the hill (will turn out not be the only time this week...) from 7-2 down the strong Ipswich pair got us panicking before we finally clinched it 8-5.

Both of the other two games going on would go the distance, and ultimately be decided on a tie-break. Ian and Anthony would hold their nerve and marginally win the breaker. Unfortunately, Skitch and Stuart's deciding tie-break would not be so marginal, with Ipswich racing away with it despite being dead and buried in the set at 7-1 down, something the Sax pair sadly didn't recover from that night.


Also, a special mention must go to Stuart for helping out this week; his first appearance of the season and he certainly kept the pair in it with some fantastic net play.

This would go on to haunt our third pairing, as despite showing strong grit and competitiveness in the following two sets, they would ultimately go on to lose 4-8 and 5-8. Sure, Skitch will soon be back to top form, fresh from his trip to Asia he'll be hungry to get back to his winning ways.


Also, a special mention must go to Stuart for helping out this week; his first appearance of the season and he certainly kept the pair in it with some fantastic net play.

Anthony and Ian would comfortably win their next set 8-2, before losing 5-8 in their final set - leaving Matt and Ewan no room for error and needing both their remaining sets to win the tie.


Again, we raced away to a strong lead only to make a meal of it when getting stuck on 7 games... Yet again we had to dig deep and grind out a result to win 8-4. With the overall score now 4-4, it left one final push. Following the pattern of the night we started strongly but with my serving game long gone and Ewan's volleying leaving much to be desired, we once again let the opposition in.


Again, we had to regroup and find a way, which we just about managed, winning 8-5 and clinching a fourth win from four, and consolidating Sax's position at the top of the table.


Date: Thursday 7 July 2022

Venue: Away to Stowmarket Men's 2nd team

Score Stowmarket win 5-4

Team Matt + Ewan

Skitch + Stuart

David + Cameron 'Norrie' Threadkell

Unavailable

Anthony (can't handle two games on the bounce)

Ian (likely by now on Centre Court at Wimbledon)

Dom (injured)

Chris (injured)

Drew (childcare duties) James (childcare duties) Martin (London) As you can see from the list above, this match was always going to be tough with a full squad missing for the trip West. This left an opportunity for David to play his second and final game of the season and for the better, far more popular Threadkell brother to make his debut for the Men's 1st team in his first competitive season for the club.


Cameron 'Norrie' Threadkell (Ewan's younger brother) at the ripe age of 14 and fresh from a 'man of the match display' for the Men's 3rd team only two days prior to this match, was more than ready to fill the void left from those unavailable.

Not content with his glorious travels around Asia, Andrew now wanted a good look around the equally exotic Stowmarket town centre.

Andrew 'turns up when he wants' Skitch would give his captain a minor heart attack showing up only 20 mins late, despite driving past the tennis court car park 25 minutes earlier before his satnav sent him on a guided tour around the many alleyways of Stowmarket. Not content with his glorious travels around Asia, Andrew now wanted a good look around the equally exotic Stowmarket town centre.


As he arrived, there were murmurs of discontent from the Stowmarket team with a discussion if they should claim the first set, luckily Stuart soon talked them out of this. However, Skitch had to go straight into the match with no prior warm up; never ideal and probably a big factor in their second tie-breaker defeat in as many days.


Despite being the first game, this left a pivotal point in the match: the pair would go on to win one and lose one, with the final set being a tremendous win against Stowmarket's strongest pair and a win they richly deserved after two days of tough tennis. Matt and Ewan, after both suffering from nightmares from the previous day's performance, were pretty determined to rid themselves of demons, and started this match emphatically racing to a 5-1 lead, before a disastrous service game from Matt left the door open for the Stowmarket first pair to get back it.


We would yet again get stuck on the magic seven, dropping a few games before we held on to win 8-5. This set would be remembered as one of Ewan's finest this season; he made this set his own with massive serving and brutal forehands allowing for a chunk of high percentage winners.


Ewan vanquished the volleying demons of yesteryear and had a net performance Jamie Murray would be proud of.

Best of all, Ewan vanquished the volleying demons of yesteryear and had a net performance Jamie Murray would be proud of. The second set would be fairly straightforward before the week's pattern would recur on the final set. A close game all the way but yet again we would take a few games to get past the seven-game barrier, in total we would have lost at least ten games when being on the hill, and failing to see out the game. Anyway, it didn't prove costly and we managed the clean sweep this week, whilst also keeping clean Matt's set record of all 15 sets won this season. David and Cameron would have an unjust scoreline, not at all reflecting their performance. Maybe nerves got the better of them in the first set, however, in the next two sets they were definitely in the match with a large number of games going to deuce. It was a pleasure watching this from the clubhouse balcony set on top of a hill, looking over a lovely tucked away setting complete with five courts and their own pond (close to being a lake).


With David and Cameron being the final game, there was now quite a crowd gathering on the Stowmarket Seldom (not quite Murray Mount...) with news of the spectacle also drawing in the locals with an inquisitive fox cub getting a good look too. An enjoyable night well-hosted by Stowmarket who deserved their victory to keep their own title hopes alive. Fear not though, Sax will be extra hungry to outfox them on their return leg in a couple of weeks' time and get back to winning ways.


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