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A narrow loss but Stratford remain top

Solihull Arden (3) vs Stratford (2)

Match Date: 11th January 2016

Stratford travelled away to Solihull Arden with the hope of continuing their recent success. With injuries being to mount within the team, Freddie Milles took to the court not 100% fit after sustaining a recent foot injury the previous week. With the injury seeming to effect his gameplay, Milles tried to keep pace with the game, however his opponent took his opportunity seeing off the Stratford player in a straightforward fashion by three games to nil.

The unbeaten Rolf Wilson played a fantastically assured performance at fifth string to see off his younger opponent, taking the first two very tight games and then coasting through in the third game to take the match and level the tie.

Stratford’s most consistent performer, George Owen looked to continue his fine run of form taking the opening game against his opponent. However this opponent eventually played his way back into the match, playing and executing the decisive points at the back end of the next three games to send the Stratford player down to a three games to one defeat.

Hoping to avoid a team defeat, Simon Kemp at two was playing an opponent who he beat last season, however unfortunately for the Stratford player he could not repeat his exploits this time around. The first game could have gone either way, with the game stretching to 19-17 in favour of the Solihull Arden player. The opening game had a tiring effect on both players, however it was the Solihull Arden player who managed to edge ahead taking the second game. Although Kemp built a lead in the third game, tiredness crept in with his opponent’s retrieving pushing the Stratford player around the court, eventually going down in the third game.

With the match tie ultimately lost, Simon Johns at first string was instructed to attempt to claw back some vital points for the side. With long and tiresome rallies in the first two games, Johns managed to sneak ahead taking them both to see the Stratford player take a two game advantage. These long and extended rallies pushed both players’ physical condition, within the third game it was the Solihull player who took his chance and pull a game back. Looking as though the match would go to a fifth and final game, being 9-4 down in the fourth game and Johns clearly tired, Johns somehow managed to reel off some clear winner to take the next seven points in a row and secure the game and victory.

Although Stratford suffering only their third loss of the season, they still remain marginally on top of the division and ahead of their nearest rivals. Hoping to get back to winning ways next week, Stratford entertain Warwick University at home.

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