10th LEAGUE vs Randburg

It seems as if we’ve been infiltrated. The Randburg team has been doing reconnaissance for their Gauteng League matches. To the extent that they read the Chambers blog from the first leg of the league and were none too impressed with the match report submitted. Words like “disparaging” and “scathing” were bandied about. It seems as if the delicate feelings of the Randburg contingent were deeply hurt and the scars may take some time to heal. Unbeknownst to me, the blog actually has a wider audience outside of the four walls (or maybe a few more than that) of the Chamber. So I’d like to put a disclaimer – learnt this word from Mr Bowen – into this report to the effect that claims of any physical or emotional damage caused by this report, misrepresentations of character, errata found herein or general feelings of discontent regarding the economy, the political situation, crime, global warming or the service at MacDonalds can be communicated directly to the Club Chairman, John Shannon a.k.a the Grey Fox, who will be sure to find a timely and satisfactory solution to all grievances. No responsibility whatsoever shall be placed on the burdened shoulders of the team captain and scribe. That done then, on to the report proper.

No. 2 Phil A vs. Graeme (alias Tequila Express): a strange game to be a spectator to, mostly from the point of view of trying to figure out Graeme’s strategy. On reflection it looked as if he was following the old school of thought that says you should let your opponent get up about 7 points in each game before you make it onto the board. Almost worked too, taking Phil by surprise each time and almost making him gift the games to the Express out of sympathy. Luckily our man pulled through and it seems that the Express was at the wrong station… 3-1 to Phil.

No. 1 Nigel vs. Ed (alias Ringer): despite the obvious conclusion that his nickname comes from time spent in jail, it’s actually a reference to the fact that 1st league was full and so Ed has settled for 10th. In the home leg of the league, Tom managed to get 9 points when he played against the Ringer. It was my intention to do better than this and maybe sneak a game off him. But these guys were clearly sore at the previous match report and the Ringer set to work putting me through the wringer (Did you see that? What I just did there? The pun on words? No doubt that this is Pulitzer material. Either that or I’ll be held for manslaughter for the collective pulmonary embolisms caused by the badness of the paragraph. And yes, I know badness isn’t really a word. Is it? Whatever). Having said that, these were the hardest 5 points I’ve ever had to play for but that didn’t prevent a thrashing. 0-3 against Nigel.

No. 4 Tom vs. Sven (alias Jack Sparrow): Tom hadn’t played for about 3 months and didn’t know what to expect from his first time on court since the cretaceous period. As luck would have it, the Sparrow himself hadn’t spent a whole lot of time chasing the ball recently and may have more comfortable wielding a cutlass than a racquet in the first game. Tom was hitting the ball cleanly and getting good length and this saw him through a second game that could otherwise have gone the Sparrow’s way. And so it was into the third game with both players puffing a bit from the lack of courtside action. Tom cleaned up here for an encouraging return to the league. 3-0 to Tom.

No. 3 Steph vs. Stewart (alias Grumpier): So it was left to Steph to seal up the win for us. From the offset it was a physical game and these two went at it (squash, that is) like Foreman and Ali. Steph wasn’t impressed when the markers call went against him to give his opponent an 8-7 lead in the first game. The two players then traded many a rally to take the score to 9-9. Here, at the end of an extended rally, Steph made a plaintive (and dubious) call for a let. When this wasn’t awarded, the death stares that went the marker’s way could have melted titanium. So that was it, 9-10 down in the first game. The second game was equally hard fought, this time going 10-8 to Steph though. This seemed to break Grumpier somewhat and Steph played some superb length, interspersed with the odd delicate drop to take the next two games and the match.

Summary: Nigel: 0-3: 2-9, 2-9, 1-9

Phil: 3-1: 9-5, 9-7, 7-9, 9-6

Steph: 3-1: 9-10, 10-8, 9-6, 9-6

Tom: 3-0: 9-0, 9-3, 9-7

Final result 12-5