Melbourn Squash Club battle hard but lose out again

Kate Bradshaw

Kate Bradshaw - Credit: Archant

Melbourn’s first team were beaten 17-3 at Hunts County 1sts in their latest league match.

They were already on the back foot before the match began, only being able to field four players, meaning a fifth string forfeit.

Skipper Mark Oppen quickly levelled matters, playing exceptionally throughout his match to win 3-0.

However, the wheels began to fall off for the visitors following Oppen’s win.

Dan Easton lost a very tight opening game on tie-break.

The next two games were just as close, but both also went against Easton as he lost 3-0.

Then, Max North suffered a similar fate, losing three close games featuring high quality rallies.

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It was down to 18-year-old Joe Weavers, in just his second-ever apperance, to salvage any pride for Melbourn.

The rookie gave a good account of himself against a professional coach with pro World Tour experience, but inevitably the match culminated along similar lines to North and Easton’s efforts.

The closest Weavers came to taking a game was in the second as he took the game to a tie-break.

The sudden-death scenario went against him though.

Oppen commented on the defeat: “Even with the gaps in our team this week, we put in an admirable performance against a side challenging for the league title.”

Melbourn Ladies also found their opponents too hot a proposition, losing to Cambridge University first team 18-4 in the Ladies First Division.

Lucy Robertson started well, claiming her opening game, but unfortunately couldn’t sustain it, losing 3-1.

Frances Smith was then beaten 3-0 by a very strong opponent, and skipper Lynne Hays fell likewise as she played three close games but lost all of them.

There was to be some joy for the ladies as Sam Pluck produced a strong performance to win 3-1 against an opponent who was previously unbeaten all season.

In the final match, Kate Bradshaw could not contend with her taller opponent.

She put in a valiant night’s work but lost 3-0.

It is the second time Melbourn have succumbed to Cambridge University, after losing 20-1 in the reverse fixture back in October.