Abercorn 18-6 Border Reivers
Del Sharratt 0-3 Bernard Starkey
Del was quietly confident going into this tie. Bernard, although a seasoned veteran was 30 years Del’s senior and Del was hopeful his stamina could win out. This proved to be a false hope for Del. Bernard had accurate shots and used the full length lob several times which always seemed to find the nick at the back of the court and Del couldn’t get the shots back. Del tried to boss the rallies by dominating the T-Line but Bernard would throw in a lob every so often and this would be good enough to beat Del, the match wa 15-12, 15-9,15-10.
Graham Bensted 1-3 Tom Clemens
The games here were 15-13, 14-16, 14-16, 11-15 and the match could have gone either way. Bensted has a hard fast shot and Clemens had to be quick to react to get the shots. This match was as much a mentally tiring as physically as the players had to react quickly to the fast shots. Tom used home advantage in the bounce of the ball and the heat in the courts count and just sneaked the victory in a close tie.
Pat Spence 1-3 Neelu Sarkar
Abercorn Captan Sarkar has been out for several months with an injury, but s=there was no signs of this hindering Neelu’s performance tonight. Reivers Veteran Spence was trying to send Sarkar to the front of the court so he would have to lunge in the hope that he may still be feeling the after effects of his injury. But if anything Sarkar seemed to be back more refreshed than ever and has obviously been working hard on fitness and movement over his spell out. This was an exciting match up and the scores went 11-15, 15-11, 11-15 as little separated the players. Spence’s usual deft drop shots weren’t quite coming off for him and he surrendered several points in each game by hitting the tin from the drops. Sarkar proved equal and more to whatever Spence threw at him and won 3-1 for the City Side.
Amir Hosny 2-3 Martin Browse
Browse record against the Border side now reads p6 w6 as he remained undefeated. On another night the result may well have been the other way rund but Hosny’s mind just didn’t seem to be on the game. Browse opened the match 15-9 and 15-1, then Hosny took a couple of minutes at the end of theseconf game and Captain Del Sharratt took the opportunity to motivate Hosny to keep focussed and get mentally attuned to the game; Sharratt also advised Hosny that Browse was trying to slow the game right down to suit his own style and told Hosny to go out all guns blazing. Hosny must took something on board as a completely different player emerged in the third game. Hosny exploded out the blocks and played a fast flowing game to disrupt Browse slower play, Hosny won it 15-10 and carried this onto the fourth. Browse was trying to play the referee and claim some soft lets but the referee was having none of it and dismissed Browse claims. Hosny seemed to have the nack of coming from 2-0 down to win games and this tie went to 14-14 before Browse pulled out some excellent cross court shots to win 16-14 for 3-2.
Tony Elliot 2-3 Senga MacFie
Tony seemed a bit out of sorts in this tie and was swiping at several of Senga’s serves. Tony found it difficult to get on top of the rallies, and former Scotland International Senga used her accurate lob serves to dominate the rallies, whenever they got into rallies Tony proved to good but senga would ratle off several points jst from her serves, this was good enough for the first two games which Senga took 15-13, 15-12. But like Amir, Tony emerged a different player in the third and was more like the Tony Elliot we know (and, begrudgingly admire!) and had the measure of Senga’s serves. Tony rattled off the games 15-6, 15-3. But Senga dug deep in the fifth and used all her guile to win 15-11 For a huge Scalp.
Reivers Captain Del said “We didn’t get the rub of the ball in the games tonight, luck seemed to favour Abercorn and if we play again tomorrow it may well be a different result. To be fair to Abercorn the Resolve of the ir players is second to none and all the matches were exciting ties.”