Match report by Neil Wheatley.
Snap! Another 8-2 win sees Hawks shot down by Chiefs
On the opening day of the season, Chiefs struggled to gain a 6-4 defeat of Hawks, but the return leg last night, saw Chiefs in total command, although Hawks, Chris Walsh in particular, made a strong bid for at least a point.
Chiefs responded to Hawks change of order, by sending out Mike Credland to face Mick Welsh in the opening set. Not a good move, as the clash of styles saw Mick gain an easy 3-0 win, and if Sam Henderson thought that he would quickly see off John Cox in the 2nd set, he was in for a surprise, as the wily defender’s steady returning stopped him playing his usual attacking game. Sam eventually secured a 3-0 win, but as the 12-10, 12-10, 11-8 score suggests, it wasn’t easy.
Match 3 followed a similar pattern, with Neil Wheatley pitched against Chris Welsh. Chris was to defend stoutly all evening and it took Neil 5 games and some more consistent attacking than usual to defeat him.
Mike’s 13-11 win against John in the opening game of set 4, looked like continuing the pattern, but having found his range Mike won the next two games 2 and 7.
Goodness knows how Mike and Sam managed to lose the opening game of the doubles 14-12 after leading 9-3 against the Welsh wizards, and when they lost the next 12-10, an upset looked likely. However they got their act together eventually and won the next 3 games quite easily.
Set 5 was Neil’s chance to gain revenge for his defeat by Mick Welsh in the season opener and this he did in style with a 3-1 win, but with son Chris in such good defensive form behind his newly fitted and very effective Dr Neubauer Fighter long pimple rubber, it was not surprising that Sam failed to hit him off in the next set, losing 7,9 and 7 in the process.
Match score now 2-5 and with John having to face Neil, who appeared to have found his best form, it looked as though the best that Hawks could get was one point. Neil duly despatched John 3-1, but the 9thset was another nail biter, with Chris and Mike swapping games to set up a decider which Mike won 11-8
Having beaten Sam in the first match, Mick probably fancied his chance in the final set against his inexperienced opponent, but Sam had learned from that defeat and the evening’s loss to Chris, and his more aggressive play produced another 3-0 win and 4 points to keep Chiefs in the Div 2 title race.