Well I promised it would be back and here it is for those of you that enjoy reading epic match reports lol. I will try to keep it as interesting as I can.
Ok so tonight I arrived at the stadium and immediately went to check out where I'd been put gradewise and teamwise. I looked at the board in B3 where I used to play, couldn't see my name. So I thought ok, I did say I wanted to be in a lowish grade for now, so I checked B4. Nope not there. Surely they didn't put me in B5? Nope. So I checked B2 and then B1.
I wasn't in any team.
OK, this was not funny! Reb's getting worried! So I went to the Manager and said what happened. Well his look told me that he'd forgotten me, but he salvaged quickly and said, don't worry I have a spot for you. OK, where? I went off and patiently waited and had a hit up with one of the guys I've often hit up with in the past. I waited until 7.30pm when the comp was about to start and went back and said ok which table? The manager then went and checked the draw and gave me a team. The captain of this team happened to be the old chinese man I have written about before who plays pips on a Dr. N blade that is about 15mm thick. He said he already had a replacement, but after he talked to the manager it was sorted and finally I had a team...in B2!! Oh, I'm coming back from injury, my doc has said play light and I've now gone UP a grade!
OK, I can handle this I thought. It'll be ok. At least I have a team. The team name? Galaxy!!
So the other guy on my new team plays first. He is a chinese guy maybe 30. I would have said 20, but he had 2 kids and a wife sitting watching him. (Gees those Chinese hide their age well
). Anyway, he wins the first 2 sets pretty easy and I thought he'd cruise to a win, but ended up extendig it to a five setter. He was up 10-5 in the last, and ended up winning it 16-14!!
I was up next and playing an older Chinese guy than ours, but maybe 40-ish. I enjoyed that he served predominantly to my BH, but even with the Cayman I was still pushing long too frequently for my liking. The game did start fairly well for me though and I even had a 2 point lead at 4-2. This guy had a deadly smash that was virtually unreturnable. When the pips spin threw him, he dumped in the net, but when it didn't oh boy! So it was soon 5-5 as I gave him some smashing opportunities. I had given some of what I got but with the heat that we played in tonight it wasn't appealing to over exert when not needed lol. Anyway, that game ended up 11-6 I think.
OK, I thought, I'm going to get dumped on here. And in the second game he started by having me 3-0. I decided to pull my finger out and went for some solid smashes and soon got back into it. By the time it was 3-5 his way, I thought I could chase this down. He played a lot of low spinny balls to my BH lloking for pop-ups from me that he could smash with his big FH. I obliged him a fair bit too, but he also got sucked in a fair bit to the spin of the Palio dunking a lot in the net. I even got a few smashes away myself. I managed to pull the game along to be 10-9 up on him. Way to go, but can I snare this? I served, he pushed back at me and I pushed at him, he pushed it with force deep to my BH and forced me to play a weak returm which landed mid table on his side at a perfect smashing height. I braced myself as he launched into it. I watched his hit and it came whizzing down my FH side and I launched back at it and countered it down the middle of the table, where he wasn't because he was still recovering from his smash. That was the first time that my thoughts went...thats a Quelis point Yah!!! And cool, I won one and equalised the set score.
The next game got away on me somehow and before I knew it, he had 11-5 on me. I barely recall playing it even. The game after that I thought I was going to equalise again though when after reaching 10 all, I got it to 11-10. But no, we kept on giving each other points then. I just couldn't quite take the crucial point. The game ended in his favour at 16-14. So he took it out 3-1, but I didn't feel I had disgraced myself in this higher grade.
Fortunately for us, the third player for the other team didn't turn up. I would have liked the extra game and a doubles, but instead we got walk overs on those matches.
I umpired our doubles match and I was pretty disappointed in their straight sets loss. The team captain played very poorly. To be fair it was his first game of the night, but I can't say I've ever seen him play so poorly. They went down 11-8, 11-8, 11-7. Which meant I got a very short break before playing again. But then the guy I played next had no break lol.
Not sure who was better off, him for just keeping going, or me from having a short break. In what felt like 40 C heat (although that was probably only after playing), it was tough going. So I lined up against this guy, who is very large, but moves pretty well for it. The first game I was steam-rolled and went down about 11-4. I took it up to him in the next and lost 11-9. I wasn't looking forward to going down so easily, but in the next game I got my serve and third ball attack going really well and beat him 11-7. There was a couple of Quelis points in there, where I served off the BH with my inverted and twiddled to meet his return with a heavy smash. This continued into the 4th game where I had him ruffled and ended up winning it 11-4.
Before the final game his teammate got in his ear and told him to settle down. Apparently some other friend had also told him to play a more blocking game at me, as he had lost quite a few points trying to attack my pip shots and losing his timing on the spin. Unfortunately for me this worked well for him and he had me 10-5 before too long. I was determined to try and keep it going though and when he smashed at me for what he figured was the final hit, I countered it back past him in my final Quelis point! Yahoo! After that, I think I got one more point off a long push of his, and then I returned the favor long pushing to him for 11-7 loss.This guy has played B2 since my first season at the club last year, so I wasn't unhappy pushing it this far. Of course it would have been nice to take a win though.
In the wash up of the night we won 7-4 in the end so not a bad way to start the season.
So I went over after that to have a chat with Mars who had turned up sometime during my second match, unbeknown to me. Had a fairly good chat with he and his wife's sisters father-in-law - the old dual-sided Ox player I played last week. We discovered tonight he has Phantom 0012 on both sides of a 50 year old blade!! Anyway I was in the middle of a conversation and some other guy butts in and steals Mars away for a hit! Huh! If I'd known he was up for a hit, I'd have given him a hit lol.
On the court next to where we played our matches, the team that had come up to B2 having won the B3 grand-final last season was playing. This team, I should add was playing B5 in the last full season I played and had gone to B4 in the season I stopped. So they had made very good headway to make it to B2 this season. One of the guys in this team has a very good loop game and I could see when he was in B5 he was too good for it. He, JJR off this forum, and I ended up playing a little winner stays on round robin while I waited for my old teammate to finish his matches, who was my ride.
I decided to pull out the Dima Sawtech which I got from Silver and give it a try now I have put Black Globe 979 on the BH, having the Butterfly Tempest on the FH. JJR managed to get over me with 11-9 in the first game, and the the other B2 player then took JJR down about 11-9. This guy was eager to play me as he hadn't handle the Long pips he'd played against in his own match too well. I beat him about 11-7 I think. And then I took JJR out about 11-9. At this point I changed to the Cayman and beat the other B2 player yet again, and then JJR knocked me off again. JJR lost his next game to the B2 player and then had to go play his own comp match. The other guy and I then got our teeth into another 4 or 5 games. One of them was an epic 17-15, which went my way. Other than this, I beat him in every other game 11-something. Some were 9 a couple were 5 or 6. We were about to start another when I had to go. But out of about 6 games I played this guy, he didn't manage to beat me once. I took this as a good sign that I might at least have someone I can beat in this grade, and perhaps I wasn't too far off the general standard.
Anyway, it was great to be back into "real" competition again. Can't wait for next Tuesday now!
Reports pre the Reb Report:viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1919viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2664viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2852viewtopic.php?f=6&t=4256&start=30