Fourteenth Match of the Season
Cromer's Norfolk SRA Summer League season ended in something of an anti-climax this week when a much below strength team entertained bottom of the table Broadland IV in a re-arranged Division Two match and were soundly beaten 16-1.
The five top ranked players in the club, as well as Technical Director Barry Starling, were all unavailable which meant that
team captain Martin Sanville was forced to play the first string match while the club's newly crowned tennis champion Alex Youngman was given a baptism of fire in the second string position with the team's two oldest players John Chandler and Malcolm Crane playing at Nos 3 and 4.
Realistically Cromer knew that if they were to get anything out of the match they would have to win these two matches but Crane struggled against the decptive play of his opponent and lost the two opening games of his match. He did recover to narrowly win the third game 14-12 but the fourth one slipped away from him and he went down to a 3-1 defeat. Chandler, meanwhile had a night he will want to forget. He has been troubled for a little while by a trapped nerve in his back which has severely restricted his movement but after playing the previous evening and then putting himself through a stiff fitness test with England international Martin Pearse he declared himself fit to play. He would normally have expected to beat his opponent but the training session obviously took a lot out of him and he soon went 0-2 down picking up only six points along the way. He did fare better in the third game but lost it 10-13 to go down to a rare straight game defeat.
Alex Youngman found the confines of a squash court were far harder to master than the open spaces of a tennis court and he was never seriously in contention against one of the many promising junior players to come out of the Fleggburgh based club while Martin Sanville would be the first to admit that he is not a No.1 player and he found his opponent too strong as he became the third player to lose his match 3-0.
Starling said afterwards: "This was a disappointing end to what, on the whole, has been a good summer season but we will have finished the season in seventh place and we can be pleased with that. I would have expected both Malcolm Crane and John Chandler to normally have beaten their opponents but JC has been struggling and he probably should not have played. With so many players unavailable he didn't want to let anybody down and Alex Youngman also came in for his first competitive match in what is not his main sport and I was pleased with how he played. We have now got a bit of a break before the main squash season gets under way on October 13th"
Martin Sanville lost to Richard Barnes 10-13 10-13 7-13
Alex Youngman lost to Ollie Gollop 6-13 7-13 6-13
John Chandler lost to Richard Hall 2-13 4-13 10-13
Malcolm Crane lost to John Munday 9-13 11-13 14-12 5-13"
Thirteenth Match of the Season
Cromer played their penultimate Norfolk SRA Summer League match of the season this week when they entertained the three times Norfolk Summer League champions, Oasis, in a re-arranged Division Two fixture.Cromer were without both Matt Copeman and Stephen Watts while Technical Director Barry Starling failed a late fitness test. However John Chandler passed a fitness test on his injured leg and with both Alex Oliver and John Baker available team captain Martin Sanville was, after his previous week's exertions, able to take a well deserved rest with veteran Malcolm Crane filling the fourth string slot.
Earlier this summer Cromer were well beaten on the Oasis courts going down to a 14-3 defeat but this week they fared a whole lot better coming out on top 14-6, a result which moves them up to equal sixth place in the Division. That said, the evening didn't start too promisingly as Malcolm Crane seemed to "run out of legs" against his much younger opponent and after winning the opening game and narrowly losing the second game 14-16 he went down to a 3-1 defeat.
This, however, was the only set back of the evening. With his match evenly poised at 1-1 John Chandler won the important third game of his third string match 14-12 and went on to win the match 3-1 while at No.2 former club champion, John Baker had to call on all his years of skill and experience before coming out on top 3-2. He lost the two opening games of his match and looked to be heading for a straight game defeat as he trailed 2-8, 6-11 and 11-12 in the third before coming back to win the game 14-12 and then going on to take the fourth and fifth games 13-5 13-9.
In the final first string match Alex Oliver proved to be too strong for his opponent and he had a relatively straightforward 3-0 victory to wrap up what, on paper at least, was eventually a comfortable victory for the Cromer team.
Starling said afterwards: "That's two wins in succession and if we can win our last match of the summer next week that will set us up nicely for the main winter season which starts in October. Johnny Baker was magnificent tonight and if he had lost that third game, which was a distinct possibility we would have drawn the match 9-9 instead of winning it 14-6. It was a big plus having Alex Oliver available and JC made light of what must have been a painful leg injury."
Alex Oliver beat Terry Mayes 13-9 13-7 13-8
John Baker beat John Milton 8-13 10-13 14-12 13-5 13-9
John Chandler beat Ben Serruys 13-6 8-13 14-12 13-9
Malcolm Crane lost to Keane Pye 13-7 14-16 7-13 8-13
Twelfth Match of the Season
Cromer played the first of their three re-arranged Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two matches this week against Potters Nomads and were rewarded with an excellent and exciting 13-8 victory. Cromer welcomed back Matt Copeman to play at No.1 and reigning club champion Stephen Watts at No.2 but with former club champion John Baker and veteran Malcolm Crane unavailable John Chandler gallantly filled the fourth string slot despite suffering from a dead leg which severely hampered his movement while team captain Martin Sanville dropped down to No.3.
Chandler probably should not have played but as Technical Director Barry Starling said: " The alternative was for me to step in but at the moment JC was probably better on one leg than I would have been on two". As it was he had difficulty in moving forward and it was no surprise and certainly no disgrace that he went down to a straight game defeat. On the adjoining court Stephen Watts found himself involved in another five game epic. Not having played for at least five weeks he was understandably a little rusty and trailed 2-1 but his energy and speed around the court proved decisive and he took the fourth and fifth games relatively comfortably to come out on top 3-2.
The third string match featuring Martin Sanville was a real cliff-hanger. Involving no fewer than 133 rallies the result could have gone either way with four of the five games being decided over at least 26 points. Sanville lost the opening game 12-14 but then drew level as he took the second 13-8 and then edged ahead as he won the third 15-13. Not to be outdone the Potters player fought his way back, winning the fourth game 14-12 before, in a roller coaster of a fifth game Sanville showed great determination to save match points and come out on top 17-15 to win the match 3-2.
This left Cromer knowing that if Matt Copeman could win the first string match they would win but things did not look too promising when he lost the opening game 7-13. However he stormed through the second game and opened up a 9-0 lead in the third eventually winning it 13-10 before going on to take the fourth game to win 3-1 and clinch victory for the team.
Starling went on to say: "This was a good all round team performance. Stephen Watts was brilliant in coming back from 1-2 down and I am not sure how Martin Sanville found the energy to win his marathon match but I was delighted for him. With the pressure on, Matt Copeman showed how important he is to our team and I know the supporters went home happy having watched an exciting evening of great squash"
Matt Copeman beat Darren Green 7-13 13-3 13-10 13-7
Stephen Watts beat David Coe 7-13 13-4 12-14 13-6 13-8
Martin Sanville beat Graham Fackman 12-14 13-8 15-13 12-14 17-15
John Chandler lost to Richard Soanes 4-13 7-13 10-13
Eleventh Match of the Season
After three weeks of inactivity as a result of opponents requesting postponements Cromer returned to Norfolk SRA Summer League action this week with a trip to Drayton to take on Bob Carter Centre II in a Division Two fixture. Unfortunately, Matt Copeman, Alex Oliver and club champion Stephen Watts were all unavailable which meant former club champion John Baker stepped up to play the first string match while the team's oldest member, Malcolm Crane played at No.4 to support team captain Martin Sanville at No.2 and John Chandler at No.3.
As luck would have it the Carter Centre had no such problems and fielded a full strength team and it was no great surprise that, despite herculean efforts from all four players, Cromer suffered a heavy 16-2 defeat which leaves them currently in seventh place in the division.
Malcolm Crane has had a string of impressive internal league results of late and fully justified his place in the team ahead of Technical Director, Barry Starling, but his younger opponent was simply too strong and he went down to a straight game defeat. On the adjoining court John Chandler looked to be heading the same way as he lost the first two games of his third string match but he is a determined competitor and he drew on all his years of experience to take the next two games and level the match at 2-2. Sadly his efforts took their toll and he was not able to continue his run of form into the fifth game, losing it 13-7 to go down 3-2.
Martin Sanville is never entirely happy when he is obliged to play up the order and this week was no exception as he lost 3-0 to the home team captain and then at No.1 John Baker was up against a determined and competitive opponent and despite coming close to taking the third game he, too, went down to a straight game defeat.
Afterwards Technical Director Barry Starling said: "Everything conspired against us really. To not have had a match for three weeks went against us and although we put in quite a bit of work on the training courts this does not replicate a match situation. On top of this we were three players light at the top of the order whilst our opponents were at full strength so it was no surprise and certainly no disgrace to lose as we did. John Chandler played brilliantly to pull back a two game deficit but in all honesty we were well beaten by a better team. We are trying to re-arrange the three postponed matches over the course of the next three weeks."
John Baker lost to Graham Sibley 8-13 8-13 13-15
Martin Sanville lost to Ian Pearson 5-13 11-13 9-13
John Chandler lost to Marco Valori 7-13 10-13 13-10 14-12 7-13
Malcolm Crane lost to Steve Cunningham 6-13 9-13 6-13
Tenth Mach of the Season
After last week's heavy defeat at Barnham Broom Cromer went into the first of a run of four consecutive Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two home games with high hopes of getting a positive result against Fakenham II. Technical Director, Barry Starling was pleased to welcome back both Alex Oliver and club champion Stephen Watts at the top of the order while evergreen veteran, Malcolm Crane, was available to play the fourth string match. This enabled team captain Martin Sanville to drop down the order to play at No.3 while Starling declared himself "not really fit enough for match squash".
Crane was first on court and played exceptionally well against a young opponent to whom he was giving at least 45 years. Unfortunately the Cromer man was not quite able to clinch the game winning points at vital times and narrowly lost the opening two games. He responded well to pull the third game back but his efforts took their toll and he lost the fourth game 9-13 to go down to a 3-1 defeat.
Meanwhile on the adjoining court Stephen Watts was involved in a remarkable match. He played too many ambitious shots in the first two games, losing them both, and looked to be heading for defeat but in a complete turn around he allowed his opponent just three points in the third game and after drawing level when he narrowly took the fourth game by just two points he went on to win the decisive fifth game 13-7 to win the match 3-2.
Sadly this was Cromer's only success of the evening. Alex Oliver came straight into his first string match after a hard tennis match which was not ideal preparation for a match which he would have hoped to have won and he went down to a straight game defeat while Martin Sanville won the opening game of his match before a series of unforced errors coupled with a heavy fall towards the end of the third game combined to contribute towards a 3-1 defeat. This left the final score 15-5 in favour of the visitors.
Starling said afterwards: "I couldn't fault the effort the players put in, especially Stephen Watts, who played absolutely brilliantly in the last three games to come back from a two game deficit. With a little bit of luck we could have done better but I will be doing a bit of work on shot selection before the next match"
Alex Oliver lost to Connor Doy 8-13 10-13 9-13
Stephen Watts beat Jason Smith 8-13 10-13 13-3 13-11 13-7
Martin Sanville lost to Stephen Horn 13-11 7-13 9-13 8-13
Malcolm Crane lost to Leyton James 13-15 10-13 13-9 9-13
Ninth Match of the Season
For a variety of reasons Cromer were down to the bare bones this week for their Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two match away to Barnham Broom III and whilst they could have taken the easy option and asked for a postponement they fulfilled the fixture with club stalwart Kim Payne coming out of retirement and Technical Director, Barry Starling who was not fully fit, filling the fourth string position.
Starling said: "I know a lot of teams would have called the match off - in fact two teams in our division did just that this week - but we believe that by entering a competition we have an obligation to play our matches and I was determined to put a team together."
Starling played the fourth string match but his younger opponent was too strong and too skilful and eased his way to a straight game victory with Starling only able to pick up a total of ten points over the course of the three games. On the adjoining court fellow veteran John Chandler did have a genuine chance of winning. He was only narrowly beaten in the first game and after just losing the second gave himself hope by taking the third. However it was the Barnham player who just edged the fourth game by two points to come out on top 3-1 although both players won an identical number of points over the course of the match.
KIm Payne can always be relied upon to help out in an emergency but he was not able to make any impression upon the Barnham captain and went down 3-0 while team captain Martin Sanville, who was forced to play up the order at No.1 was up against a player with a wealth of experience for the Barnham first team and, despite battling hard for every point, also went down to a straight game defeat which left the final score 16-1 in favour of the home team.
Starling went on to say: " The final score wasn't really a true reflection of how well everybody played. Both Kim and I were well beaten but John Chandler matched his opponent point for point and the result could easily have gone the other way while Martin Sanville played brilliantly against a top class opponent and fully deserved to win at least one game.We have got a run of four home games coming up now so hopefully our luck will turn"
Martin Sanville lost to Vince Somers 10-13 9-13 12-14
Kim Payne lost to Stuart Bowes 7-13 8-13 1-13
John Chandler lost to Paul English 13-15 10-13 13-6 11-13
Barry Starling lost to Craig Mattless 2-13 4-13 4-13
Eigth Match of the Season
Cromer started the second half of their Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two campaign with a visit to Fleggburgh to take on Broadland III and they returned home after sharing the points in a highly creditable and encouraging 10-10 draw against the team who are currently top of the table.
Although club champion Stephen Watts was unavailable and Technical Director Barry Starling was still recovering from his previous week end's exertions when he finished in a well deserved fifth place in the veterans section of the North Norfolk open racketlon tournament Cromer did have Matt Copeman available to play the first string match for only the third time this summer. With Alex Oliver, former club champion John Baker and veteran John Chandler all available team captain Martin Sanville was also able to take a welcome rest.
Unfortunately for Cromer Chandler was never really in contention in the fourth string match. He was possibly suffering a delayed reaction to his collision with the front wall two weeks previously, which has kept him off the practice courts, and he went down to a straight game defeat. John Baker looked as though his result would go the same way when he lost the first two games of his third string match, the first by 14-12 but his class came through as he took the next two to draw level at 2-2. Unfortunately the effort he put in took its toll and he lost the final decisive fifth game to go down to a narrow 3-2 defeat.
Alex Oliver was up against the reigning Norfolk Under 19 champion Sam Henden and he showed the young Broadland player no mercy as he stormed ahead 13-2 in the first game. He took the second 13-10 and although his young opponent pulled the third game back Oliver wrapped things up by winning the fourth game 13-11. At No.1 Matt Copeman was a little rusty in the initial stages of his match as he lost the opening game. However this was only a minor blip as he was always in control of the next three and came out on top 3-1 a result which meant that both teams had won two matches and as they had also both won eight games they shared the four bonus points on offer to leave the final score 10-10.
Starling said afterwards: "This was a good result and a good performance. It just shows what we could do if we could get a full team out every week. JC will be disappointed with the result of his match but although Johnny Baker lost he did brilliantly to pull a two game deficit back and both Alex Oliver and Matt Copeman were superb."
Matt Copeman beat Andy Ford 10-13 13-5 13-9 13-8
Alex Oliver beat Sam Henden 13-2 13-10 8-13 13-11
John Baker lost to Kevin Cooke 12-14 8-13 13-9 13-11 8-13
John Chandler lost to Dave Hare 7-13 11-13 8-13.
Seventh Match of the Season
Cromer reached the half-way point in the Norfolk SRA Summer League this week, and reached it in style, as they won an extremely close and exciting Division Two match against the Bob Carter Centre II 13-7, a win which has moved them up to sixth place in the table.
Although they were without both Matt Copeman and John Baker they were able to welcome back Alex Oliver for his first match of the summer and also veteran John Chandler, who has made a full and rapid recovery from his previous week's altercation with the squash court wall. As a result Malcolm Crane, whose two games made sure of last week's victory, dropped out while Technical Director, Barry Starling, who was saving himself for a day of hectic activity in the forthcoming weekend's North Norfolk racketlon tournament, was content to supervise proceedings from the Norwich Road balcony.
Chandler was first on court and although understandably he started a little slowly losing the first game 13-8 he showed no lasting ill effects from his injury and eased his way through the next three games to come out on top 3-1. On the adjoining court team captain Martin Sanville was finding life much more difficult in the third string match. After going 0-2 down he did have chances to win the third game but eventually lost it 13-15 to go down to a straight game defeat.
With young Oliver in the team club champion Stephen Watts was able to drop down and play the second string match and he had a tremendous match against the visitors' captain. He won the opening game 13-10 and the key game turned out to be the second one in which he just did enough to come out on top 14-12. After losing the third he recovered well to take the fourth 13-9 and the match 3-1.
At this stage Cromer were just one game ahead and Alex Oliver was up against one of the most experienced and competitive players in the division. When he lost the first two games he looked to be heading for defeat but he played brilliantly to keep himself in contention as he won the third game 13-11 and then went on to take the next two games against a rapidly tiring opponent to win 3-2.
Starling was delighted afterwards saying: "It was good to have Alex Oliver available again and his young legs made all the difference. Stephen Watts never stopped running and fully deserved his victory and I was glad that JC made such a rapid recovery. If we can get a full team out there is no reason why we can't do well in the second half of the season."
Alex Oliver beat Graham Sibley 11-13 9-13 13-11 13-6 13-6
Stephen Watts beat Ian Pearson 13-10 14-12 9-13 13-9
Martin Sanville lost to Stephen Cunningham 7-13 5-13 13-15
John Chandler beat Paul Parker 8-13 13-6 13-10 13-9
Six Match of the Season
For their Norfolk SRA Summer League fixture at Fleggburgh against Broadland IV this week Cromer were once again without Matt Copeman, who was away on a business trip, but former club champion John Baker was available to fill the second string slot. The team, however, were dealt a further blow when veteran John Chandler who was putting himself through a vigorous one to one training session with England international Martin Pearse suffered a heavy collision with the court wall which necessitated a visit to Cromer hospital for stitches. The medical staff deemed him unfit to play which meant that fellow veteran Malcolm Crane was once again called into action to play at No.4 with team captain Martin Sanville at No.3 while club champion Stephen Watts played the first string match.
This was one of the matches which Technical Director Barry Starling had earmarked to win and Crane almost got the team off to a winning start. He opened up a 2-1 lead in his match and had "match ball" in the fourth before just losing the game 15-13 and then narrowly lost the fifth game 13-10 to go down to a narrow 3-2 defeat in what was a marathon match. However, the two games he won were to prove important in the overall context of the match.
Sanville, who is far happier playing at No.3, was up against the Broadland captain and he was always in control of his match coming out on top in straight games and then at No.2 Baker proved the old adage that class is permanent as he, too, won his match 3-0 to put Cromer in a winning position. In the final match of the evening Stephen Watts was playing one of the top junior players in the county and although he gave his usual non stop performance the youngster just had the edge winning 3-0 in a match which was far closer than that scoreline might suggest. Despite both teams winning two matches Cromer took the four bonus points as they had won more games than their opponents which left the final score 12-6 to Cromer - their second win of the summer.
Starling was quite loquacious afterwards saying: "Both Sanville and Baker were awesome tonight. I did feel really sorry for John Chandler who was working hard on his fitness levels. In all my years of playing I have only come across one similar injury to this and that was back in July 1985 when, in a match against Downham Market, the late Henry Cooper was forced to retire after colliding with the wall. I debated whether to fill in myself but Malcolm Crane fully justified his place in the team and the two games he won made all the difference between a draw and a win."
Stephen Watts lost to William Henden 11-13 11-13 10-13
John Baker beat Josh Hall 13-5 13-8 13-9
Martin Sanville beat Richard Hall 13-8 13-7 13-11
Malcolm Crane lost to Elliott Barker 13-10 9-13 13-10 13-15 10-13
Fifth Match of the Season
Cromer Squash Club had another disappointing result this week when they travelled into Norwich and faced a strong Oasis team in their Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two fixture.
The Oasis team have struggled this summer and last week were only able to raise a team of three players but this week, playing on their home courts, they had no such difficulties and eased their way to a comfortable 14-3 victory. Due to his work commitments Cromer were once again without Matt Copeman and with former club champion John Baker, as well as the two Oliver brothers and Peter Arbuthnot, also unavailable Technical Director Barry Starling called up veteran Malcolm Crane for the first time this summer to fill the fourth string slot.
Crane has turned in some impressive performances of late reaching Division One of the club's internal leagues but he struggled against an imposing opponent and went down to a straight game defeat whilst fellow veteran John Chandler and team captain Martin Sanville suffered the same fate in the second and third string matches. With a little more luck both players could easily have taken games off their opponents with Chandler coming within two points of winning both the first and third games of his match while Sanville also reached eleven points in his second game. However, both the Cromer players were up against strong opponents and were never really in serious contention.
Fortunately for Cromer reigning club champion Stephen Watts was in good form at No.1 and, playing some fantastic squash, he prevented the team suffering a complete whitewash as he opened up a 2-0 lead and went on to win his match 3-1.
Starling said afterwards: "The end result was disappointing but Stephen Watts was absolutely brilliant. I thought we might have got something out of this match but we were one player short at the top end and this probably made the difference. I was going to play myself at No.4 but Malcolm Crane deserved to be picked and we were unlucky to come up against a strong team on their courts on a warm evening"
Stephen Watts beat Terry Mayes 13-8 13-11 10-13 13-8
Martin Sanville lost to Andy Magem 5-13 11-13 9-13
John Chandler lost to John Milton 11-13 5-13 11-13
Malcolm Crane lost to Dave Horrex 4-13 7-13 7-13
Fourth Match of the Season
For their fourth match of the summer in Division Two of the Norfolk SRA Summer Leagues, away to Potters Nomads, Cromer made just one change from the previous week with former club champion John Baker coming back into the team to play the second string match which enabled Technical Director Barry Starling to return to his supervisory role on the balcony. It also meant that team captain Martin Sanville and veteran John Chandler could drop back down the order to play the third and fourth string matches.
Chandler has made a good start to the season winning two of his three matches and was the only player to win at Fakenham last week so went into his match with high hopes of continuing his good run of form. However he found the younger veteran Richard Soanes was able to win the important points at the right time and despite winning the third game to pull the scores back to 2-1 he narrowly lost the fourth game 13-11 to go down to a 3-1 defeat.
In contrast Martin Sanville is far happier when he can drop down to No.3 and this was the case again this week. He opened up a comfortable 2-0 lead in his match and despite a slight blip in the third game which he lost 13-8 he eased to victory in the fourth, coming out on top 13-3 to win the match 3-1.
With the scores level the overall result was dependant upon the results of the first and second string matches. At No.2 John Baker struggled against a very strong opponent but in the first string match reigning club champion, Stephen Watts opened up a 2-0 lead against the home team's captain and looked as though he was heading for victory. Things however took a turn for the worse as Baker lost the third game of his match to lose 3-0 and in a remarkable change of fortunes Watts lost the next three games to lose his match 3-2 while Cromer lost the match 14-6.
A philosophical Starling said afterwards: "This was a much better performance than last week at Fakenham. I was pleased for Martin Sanville that he got a win in but I am not sure how John Chandler managed to lose his match. If Stevie Watts had been able to win the third game of his match we would have come home with a draw."
Stephen Watts lost to Darren Green 13-5 13-9 9-13 4-13 5-13
John Baker lost to David Cook 9-13 8-13 8-13
Martin Sanville beat Graham Fackman 13-8 13-7 8-13 13-3
John Chandler lost to Richard Soanes 6-13 9-13 13-11 11-13
Third Match of the Season
After last week's euphoria when they recorded a rare sixteen point maximum Cromer Squash club came down to earth with a bump this week when they made the relatively short journey along the A148 and were soundly beaten 14-3 by Fakenham II in their Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two fixture.
Although they were without two of last week's winning team with both Matt Copeman and John Baker unavailable they were boosted by the return of the reigning club champion Stephen Watts to fill the first string position and Technical Director Barry Starling who made a welcome re-appearance at No.4 which meant that team captain Martin Sanville and veteran John Chandler each moved one place up the order to fill the second and third string slots.
Starling was first on court and whilst he may have had the technical skills to match his opponent he certainly did not have the legs and the young Fakenham player, Leyton James, ran out a comfortable straight game winner. On the adjoining court, however, Chandler showed that age is no barrier to success and after losing the opening game of his third string match he went on to open up a 2-1 lead against Stephen Horn, winning ten successive points at the start of the third game, and then clinched victory as he won a closely contested fourth game 17-15.
Sadly for Cromer this was their sum total of points for the evening. Sanville is comfortable playing at No.3 but always finds the step up to No.2 a big one to take and after pushing his opponent, Jason Smith, hard in the first game which he lost 11-13 was well beaten in the next two to go down to a 3-0 defeat while the same fate befel Stephen Watts as his recent lack of meaningful competitive play showed through allowing Connor Doy to become the third Fakenham player to win in straight games.
Starling said afterwards: "This was a disappointing scoreline although I can't fault the effort and John Chandler was brilliant. I thought I was fit enough for match squash but the first two games proved otherwise and we certainly missed the two players at the top of the order and it was a pity that neither of the Oliver brothers nor Peter Arbuthnot were available."
Stephen Watts lost to Connor Doy 8-13 9-13 6-13
Martin Sanville lost to Jason Smith 11-13 7-13 8-13
John Chandler beat Stephen Horn 8-13 13-9 13-3 17-15
Barry Starling lost to Leyton James 5-13 3-13 11-13
Second Match of the Season
Cromer put last week's defeat firmly behind them this week when they recorded a resounding 16-2 maximum against visiting Barnham Broom III in their Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two fixture.
Technical Director Barry Starling made just one change from the team who lost their opening match of the season against Broadland III with former club champion John Baker coming in to fill the second string position while last week's one winner, Matthew Jordan dropped out which meant that team captain Martin Sanville and veteran John Chandler were able to drop down to play at Nos 3 and 4.
At this level one place in the playing order makes a lot of difference and both Chandler and Sanville won their matches in straight games. Chandler had to dig in to come from behind to win a closely contested first game 14-12 but was relatively untroubled in the next two while Sanville was pushed hard in the second game of his match, eventually winning it 15-13 before going on to win 3-0.
Baker still hits the ball as cleanly as anybody in the club and plays relatively few drop shots. His drives to the back corners enabled him to dominate his match and despite a minor blip when he lost the second game he always seemed to be in control against the visitors' captain as he ran out a 3-1 winner.
In the final first string match Matt Copeman was playing only his second competitive match following his ankle injury but he seemed to be at least two yards quicker than in his previous match as he too won 3-1. It was far from plain sailing however, against a much younger opponent as he lost a marathon first game 16-18 and after drawing level had to fight hard to win the third 14-12 before comfortably taking the fourth game 13-4.
Starling said afterwards "This was a good performance from all the team. We worked on one or two areas after last week's defeat and I was pleased that both the captain and JC won in straight games while John Baker showed that class is permanent and Matt Copeman seems to be coming back to full fitness. I was sorry for Matt Jordan that we had to leave him out but it is very much a squad and we still have Stephen Watts, Peter Arbuthnot and the two Oliver brothers to come into the reckoning."
Matt Copeman beat Lee Frappell 16-18 13-7 14-12 13-4
John Baker beat Stuart Bowes 13-8 9-13 13-9 13-11
Martin Sanville beat Paul English 13-8 15-13 13-7
John Chandler beat Colin Winkworth 14-12 13-10 13-8
First Match of the Season