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Mallet Cup 1st Round – Wroxall Whitewash BCA

Wroxall’s Mallet Cup campaign got off to a roaring start when they beat a stunned BCA side 5-0 to progress through to the second round.

This 1st round match was expected to be a tough one by Wroxall, as two of their ‘A’ team players, who are currently unbeaten at top of division 3 + four from the ‘B’ team were pitted against BCA, who are also currently unbeaten at the top of Division 2. It was in many ways a tough match indeed, but we suspect everyone on both sides were surprised by the eventual outcome that resulted in straight 5 set victory for Wroxall.

Set 1 featured Roy Freeman & Sarah Mcwilliam on a +2 handicap against the BCA side’s -6 and the Wroxall pair not only maintained that gap but increased it in the first game to win 21-10, but kept the gap consistent throughout the second to win that one 21-13 to get Wroxall off to a flying start at 1-0.

The second set saw Simon Jilley & Callie Hatcher on court next with a +6 handicap against BCA’s -4. This was a much tighter match, with BCA threatening to, but not quite able to close the gap in game one to, leave Simon & Callie 21-13 winners. However in game two, BCA not only closed the gap but overtook the Wroxall pair to win by 17-21. But they weren’t able to repeat that in game 3, which left Simon & Callie to emerge game & set victors at 21-18. Match score 2-0 to Wroxall!

Set 3 with Harry Rann & Jenny Gardner saw, what was probably one of the two most contested games of the evening. Harry & Jenny on a +8 handicap were matched against a BCA side with a  -2 handicap. Game one proved a challenging one for the Wroxall team and they had to fight very hard to keep a minimal lead but came out ahead at 21-20 (no point setting in this Cup remember). This seemed to take the wind out of the BCA team’s sails somewhat and Harry & Jenny were able to capitalise on this and increase their lead to win by a 21-7 margin. This put the match score at 3-0 and the odds were looking, against all the odds, very much in Wroxall’s favour. Remember that with the Mallet Cup it is the first side to 5 sets that wins the match, then its game over, so BCA had a real challenge on their hands now, but we are all well aware that they are quite capable of coming back from this sort of deficit.

The 4th set, however was not going to be the one where they do it. Simon Jilley & Callie Hatcher (+6) were up again next, against a BCA team on -6 and this simply proved too big a gap for the opposing team to overcome. Simon & Callie produced some outstanding badminton to win in two straight games 21-10, 21-15 to put Wroxall even further ahead at 4-0 leaving BCA with a mountain to climb, could they make a fight back in the next set?

Well, yes and no was the answer as, Roy Freeman & Sarah Mcwilliam (+2) who were in outstanding form in this set, were matched against a BCA team on -2. Roy & Sarah won the first game by an astonishing 21-1 margin and this all looked very promising for Wroxall. However game number two was a very different beastie, with the BCA side coming back very strongly and putting Roy & Sarah under some very real pressure. The Wroxall pair could possibly have prevailed in this game too were it not for Roy who, having over reached somewhat on a high shot strained his all ready problematic back, curtailing his movement around the court. Despite battling through the pain, he & Sarah were unable keep their advantage and eventually lost the second game 19-21. The third game was looking to be headed in much the same direction as the second, with the BCA pair playing some great shots and Roy & Sarah unable to produce their first game performance level. But, with the game level at 15-15, we saw Roy grit his teeth and with determined looks on both his & Sarah’s faces they set about a fight back, drawing out a 3 point 18-15 lead and keeping ahead from there on in, to win by 21-18; giving Wroxall a match score of 5-0 and victory thus, progressing them through to the next round of the Cup.

This was an entertaining evening of badminton, nobody watching the performance put in by the BCA side would have expected such a large winning margin by the Wroxall team; with the opponents playing some great shots and producing really good rallies and fighting all the way, so many commiserations to them and we wish them well in the Plate competition.

However, the handicap difference plus the form that the Wroxall team were in, was simply too much for them to overcome on the night and so many congratulations must go to Wroxall for putting in such a fine and determined performance to produce an outstanding win. Well done team and good luck in the next round.

The next game will be involve both teams as it is Wroxall ‘A’ v Wroxall ‘B’ at home on Monday 13th November at Wroxall Community Centre starting at the usual time of 7:00pm. So ladies & gentlemen pick your side and come along and cheer them on, as for this coward, he’s firmly sitting on the fence – see you all there!!

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