ORRTC v Hatfield 4 March 2017
Team: Stephen Goss (B 74-79), Daniel Jessel (M 59-64), Nigel Stafford (M 72-77), Richard Bray (M 58-63), Oliver Buckley (W 67-71) and Paul Yates (W 70-75)
Result : Lost 3-2
The ORs set off to Hatfield with high hopes of reversing our defeat by Leamington on 19 February. In the end we failed by a whisker, two matches being lost 6-5 in the final set.
Stephen Goss, at first string, had a classic match with Mark Smith. Stephen played largely on the floor, cutting the ball from side to side to a good length, while Mark retrieved well and played some great forces to the dedans off the side wall. After a close first set Goss began to move clear as Smith appeared to run out of steam. But the marker called the third set to start at 4-4 and Smith rallied to creep over the line when Goss missed a winning volley at Forty All.
Richard Bray and Oliver Buckley also lost a very close match. Having moved to 5-3 ahead in the final set they began to make mistakes and their opponents took their chances well.
Daniel Jessel having started well was leading 4-0 and 40 love when the match manager arrived to cheer him on. From that moment his form faded as his opponent began to play some good tennis.
Nigel Stafford, fresh from India and undaunted by a strange court soon demolished his opponent and later teamed up with Yates to play some excellent doubles, winning a tight match in two sets.
The day was completed with an excellent lunch although reprimands were required for those who consumed all the port while the match manager was on court.
Oliver Buckley (W 67-71)