Northwest Counties’ League
Longridge v Vale of Lune 1
This week Longridge welcomed league leaders Vale of Lune, which was always going to be a stern test against one of the league’s strongest outfits.
At number five this week was Rob Ingham, and a close first game ensued, with some long rallies, with both players moving well on a cold court, Rob eventually taking it 16-14. However, in the second game, Rob got the measure of his opponent and started gaining a lot of points by boasting the ball and this paid off, with Rob winning it 15-5 amd going two nil up. The third was closer, but with Rob in control of proceedings and still putting in some low boasts to wrong foot his opponent to take the third game 15-9 and win 3-0, to get Longridge off to a great start.
Number four this week was Bill Holmes and with both players adopting the basics of the game, it was a close first game, with Bill eventually taking it 16-14. Bill continued these tactics in the second game and played some controlled squash, putting the ball into the back corners of the court and frustrating his opponent, who appeared to have lost confidence and this showed, with Bill taking the next two games 15-7, 15-8, to win 3-0 and get Longridge off to a flying start against the league leaders, with a two nil lead.
Number three Steve Robinson took on an experienced opponent, who had a tricky shot-range in his arsenal. Whilst the games were close, it was always the Vale man controlling proceedings, mixing his shot-range during the rallies, to keep Steve on the back-foot. But Steve hung in well to keep the games fairly close and give his opponent a few problems during some of the ensuing rallies, but the Vale player’s dominant performance eventually paid off with a three nil win, 15-11, 15-10, 15-13 and this putting the Vale team back into contention.
This week at number two, Alec Hesmondhalgh took on an undefeated player who punished any loose shots with some accurate squash, this paying off with the Vale man taking the opening game 15-9. However, in the second game and with Alec upping his game with some good low boasting and accurate straight drives, to level up the score, by taking the second game 15-9. Into the third game and with the Vale player still playing accurate winners on any loose squash, Alec mixed his shots up to try and get his opponent out of a rythmn and this worked to a point, allowing Alec to gain points. But it was the Vale player who eventually took the next two games 15-11, 15-12, to win this encounter 3-1 and level up the score.
At number one this week was Steve Taylor and he too was up against an undefeated player. With the Vale man playing an high tempo game, striking the ball hard during the rallies, Steve adopted the same tactic, this leading to some high-tempo rallies. The Vale player took a two nil lead 15-9, 15-11, but Steve took the third game 15-9, to give a glimmer of hope for the Longridge team. But with his opponent still striking the ball well and putting Steve on the back-foot, he took the fourth game 15-5, to win 3-1 and give the Vale team those valuable bonus points, a valiant effort by Steve though.
All in all, it was a great team effort by the Longridge players and one to be proud of, up against a strong Vale line-up, which had destroyed the Fleetwood team the previous week 5-0.