7th League vs. Wits

Thought I had a full team organized, but fate intervened in the form of a hockey ball and a slave driving boss. Phil Alves managed to save a certain goal in his friendly hockey game over the weekend by diverting the balls flight with the immensity of his noggin. Although the game was won, he has 8 stitches for his trouble. It’s this kind of dedication to his sport that we want to see brought back to the Chamber courts. And Mark was whisked off to a business meeting in some confidential location at short notice. Current speculation is that he is being plied with cognac, cigars and a harem of women. With a bit of help from Lyal though, a team was raised at the 11th hour.

No.2 Brennan vs Dhiren: Fresh back from the volcanically charged flight paths of Finland and with a lurgy caught en route, though not the dreaded SARS and Brennan was shoved into the second spot. This was more out of spite though – Brennan has one of the first iPads in the country and has to test run it for demo purposes. So he had to be punished and took the court first. It was a bit of a ho-hum game in the first – some god shots mixed up with some bad. The bad shots won out and he went down. The second game was much the same with his flu bug starting to affect his game and mistakes were made where they shouldn’t have been. Third game followed suit and it was a tough start for the team. 0-3

No. 4 Lyal vs Jonathan: Lyal promised an exhibition of his new ’magic’ shot during the game. This immediately had the rest of us pretty worried. Lyal’s opponent was a lanky looking lad with an air of fitness about him. This was no pressure for our Lyal ‘cause he’s been known to teach Billy Banks a thing or two about fitness. And this was proved as he got a come from behind victory in the first. Still no sign of this magic shot though. It wasn’t needed in any case and Lyal took the second by a mile (15-13). Next game went badly for our boy and he needed a pick-up. Didn’t get it in the fourth, despite a spirited fightback from 0-8 down. Alas, it was not to be. The magic was gone and Lanky Jonno used all of his height to his advantage and played some tight shots to finish off an entertaining match.

No. 3 Tom vs Moneeb: Pressure was now on and Moneeb looked fit and handy with the racquet. This proved to be the case and the first couple of games were fast and ferocious. Tom fought hard and played some sharp shots, but gave away too many points at the back end of the games. The third game was our last chance at retrieving the evening. But Moneeb was on form and sealed it for Wits in style.

No. 1 Bruce vs Steven: Old man Bruce was still fighting off a niggling back strain and only agreed to play because we were short of players. The first game was inauspicious and there were more errors than we’ve come to expect from him. In the second game he came alive – the length, boast and drops were all precision engineered. The accountant in him came through and embellishments were axed in favour of efficiency. In short, he played a great game. As much as Bruce shone in the second game, his opponent did likewise in the third. It was t1t-for-tat and Bruce wasn’t going to be the t1t. He bounced right back in the fourth to set up a grand finale. Bruce’s stats show that 60% of his games are five setters. In this one his oppo pipped him despite Bruce running after them two yellow dots in earnest.

Ouch. A whitewash for the 7ths. Not our best evening and hopefully we can turn it around on the return leg. We’ll blame this loss on the ‘funny’ courts at Wits that put us off our collective games. The remainder of the first half of the season is unlikely to be any easier though with the two top teams on the table still to be played.


1. Bruce lost 2-3: 11-15; 15-8; 8-15; 15-7; 10-15

2. Brennan lost 0-3: 12-15; 12-15; 9-15

3. Tom lost 0-3: 10-15; 10-15; 11-15

4. Lyal lost 2-3: 15-13; 15-13; 8-15; 12-15; 8-15

Match score: 4 - 16