Cromer 16 Bannatyne's III 0
This time it was our opponents who were unable to raise a team and we claimed a walk-over. The summer league has been a bit of a disaster but we did finish in third place in Division Two
Cromer 0 Broadland II 16
Rather embarassingly we were forced to concede this match as we were unable to raise a team to fulfil the fixture.
v Potters Nomads
POTTERS HAVE WITHDRAWN FROM THE LEAGUE
Fakenham II 15 Cromer 3
OLIVER STARS BUT NO LUCK FOR THE THREE VETERANS
Cromer have continued to hold on to fourth place in Division Two of the Norfolk SRA Summer Leagues despite losing for the second time this season to their neighbours from Fakenham II. Technical Director Barry Starling was able to call upon Alex Oliver for only the second time this summer to fill the problematical first string slot as well as veteran Peter Arbuthnot who in his own words “had played a decent amount of squash at Hurlingham” to play at No.4 while fellow veterans Martin Sanville and John Chandler once again filled the two positions in the middle order. However, even these changes to the team were not enough as the strong Fakenham team, despite the best efforts of all four Cromer players, ran out comfortable 15-3 winners.
Arbuthnot played well but was not able to cope with the all action style of the much younger Gary Hastings, who is unbeaten this summer and is arguably one of the strongest fourth string players in the division, and, although far from disgraced, went down to a straight game defeat. John Chandler looked as though he was going to take the first game against the Fakenham captain Jason Smith but the Fakenham man, who is also unbeaten this summer just did enough to edge the game 14-12 and then, as Chandler tired, went on to take the second and third games to also win 3-0.
At No.2 Martin Sanville was up against the former Norfolk SRA League secretary Kevin Blake and like Chandler had chances to win a marathon first game before narrowly losing it 16-14 and then also lost the next two to become the third Cromer player to lose 3-0.
The match of the evening however was the first string match between Alex Oliver and Connor Doy in which each of the five games had a 13-11 scoreline. Oliver won the opening game but was pegged back to 1-1 and again to 2-2 before he took the deciding fifth game to win his match 3-2 and prevent Cromer suffering a complete whitewash. His win also had the added bonus of moving him up into the top 75 in the county rankings.
Afterwards Starling said: “On paper it looks as though we were well beaten but this wasn’t the case. Peter Arbuthnot gave his all against a very fit opponent who, on a warm court, got everything back and both JC and Martin Sanville could easily have got games. Alex Oliver had a tremendous match and hopefully he will be able to build on this and move higher up the rankings.
Alex Oliver beat Connor Doy 13-11 11-13 13-11 11-13 13-11
Martin Sanville lost to Kevin Blake 14-16 9-13 10-13
John Chandler lost to Jason Smith 12-14 8-13 4-13
Peter Arbuthnot lost to Gary Hastings 7-13 4-13 9-13
Bannatyne's III 16 Cromer 3
THREE MAN CROMER LOSE AGAIN - STARLING FRUSTRATED
Cromer’s Technical Director, Barry Starling, cut a frustrated figure this week as his team crashed to a 16-3 defeat at the hands of bottom of the table Bannatyne’s III in their Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two fixture in Norwich. His understandable frustration was caused not so much by the result as by the fact that, due to a misunderstanding and for the second time in twelve months his team were forced to play with only three players and concede the first string match.
Malcolm Crane came into the team for the first time since November with John Chandler at No.3 and Martin Sanville at 2 but the three veterans all lost to their Norwich based opponents. Crane battled hard in his match but found his opponent too strong and went down to a straight game defeat but Chandler could and perhaps should have won his match. He lost the first two games of his third string match but recovered brilliantly to take the third game 17-15 and drew level when he won the fourth 13-16. He looked to be heading for a well deserved victory when he had match ball in the final deciding game but it was the Bannatyne’s player who came out on top taking the game 14-12 to win the match 3-2.
In what turned out to be the final match of the evening Martin Sanville was always playing catch up against his second string opponent. He lost the first two games to trail 0-2 before recovering well to take the third game 13-8 only to lose the fourth 13-10 and the match 3-1.
Starling said afterwards: “It was frustrating only to have three players as we were immediately on the back foot and it is disrespectful to our opponents. That said, even if our man had appeared and won we would still have lost the match as the Bannatyne’s team were simply better than us on the night. Peter Arbuthnot will be available next week so I hope we will be able to pick up a few more points”
Martin Sanville lost to Martin Browne 7-13 11-13 13-8 10-13
John Chandler lost to Gary Gray 7-13 8-13 17-15 13-6 12-14
Malcolm Crane lost to Dave Rawlings 4-13 1-13 7-13
Bannatyne’s walk-over in remaining match
Cromer 0 Fakenham II 16
CROMER WELL AND TRULY THRASHED!
Cromer played their second match of the summer this week when they entertained neighbours Fakenham II in their Norfolk SRA Summer League Division Two fixture but sadly for them they finished very much on the wrong end of a 0-16 scoreline. Technical Director Barry Starling made one change from the team who performed so creditably at Broadland last week with club stalwart Kim Payne coming into the team at No.4 while, in the absence of No.1 Alex Oliver, the three other players, John Chandler, Martin Sanville and Matthew Jordan all moved up the order.
As well as Oliver not being available Starling was also without reigning club champion Stephen Watts and former club champions, John Baker and Ed Crookenden whilst Fakenham appeared to be very much at full strength. It was no surprise therefore that Cromer lost but it was still disappointing to go down to such a heavy defeat.
The two veterans Sanville and Chandler were first on court but neither was able to make much headway against their opponents. Chandler lost in straight games to the Fakenham captain Jason Smith without ever being in serious contention while Sanville, who had chances in both the first and third games of his match also lost 3-0 to the former Norfolk SRA League secretary Kevin Blake.
Fellow veteran Kim Payne was soundly beaten by Gary Hastings who seemed to enjoy the luxury of playing the fourth string match while in the final match of the evening Matthew Jordan played very well against the visitors’ No.1 Connor Doy and with a little bit of luck could easily have taken both the second and third games but in the end he became the fourth Cromer player to lose 3-0.
Afterwards a philosophical Starling said: “It is not very often all our team lose in straight games but it wasn’t as though we played badly. The Fakenham team were simply better than us and they thoroughly deserved their clean sweep. If we had been able to call upon one of our absentees it might have made a difference but we will never know. Our team are big enough and experienced enough to bounce back from this.”
Matthew Jordan lost to Connor Doy 7-13 11-13 10-13
Martin Sanville lost to Kevin Blake 10-13 6-13 10-13
John Chandler lost to Jason Smith 9-13 7-13 9-13
Kim Payne lost to Gary Hastings 1-13 2-13 3-13
Broadland II 15 Cromer 9
CROMER JUST FALL SHORT AFTER FANTASTIC NIGHT OF SQUASH
Cromer’s Norfolk SRA Summer League fixtures finally got under way this week when the team travelled to Fleggburgh to take on Broadland II in a Division Two match and the evening’s matches could hardly have been closer as each of the four matches played was decided over five games but unfortunately for Cromer three of the four went in favour of the home team which meant that Cromer had to settle for a 15-9 defeat.
Both club champion Stephen Watts and former club champion John Baker were unavailable but Technical Director Barry Starling was still able to select a competitive team with Alex Oliver at No.1 supported by Matthew Jordan at No.2 and veterans Martin Sanville and John Chandler filling the third and fourth string slots.
Chandler has been playing competitive squash 57 matches for the past couple of months and he took time to re-adapt his game to the different pace of the smaller ball and longer handled racket of the traditional game. He lost the first two games before recovering well to take the next two and draw level. The effort he expended however took its toll as he lost the fifth game 13-8 to become the first player to lose 3-2. Martin Sanville has also been playing Squash 57 but this didn’t seem to affect his performance at all as he opened up a 2-1 lead in his match and looked as though he was heading for victory. He then lost the fourth game 13-10 but opened up a 12-9 lead in the decisive fifth game before his opponent won five consecutive points to take the game 14-9 and the match 3-2.
Matthew Jordan’s match followed a similar pattern to that of John Chandler’s. He lost the opening two games but then in a complete turn around took the third game 13-2 and drew level by winning the fourth. He was not able to build on this and his opponent clawed back the advantage to take the final game 13-9 to become the third Broadland player to win a five game thriller.
Cromer did get the one victory their performance deserved when Alex Oliver, who has now risen to No.83 in the county rankings, won an extremely close first string match which again could easily have gone either way.
Afterwards Starling said: “Phew, What a cracking match. I have been involved with Cromer matches for more than thirty years and I don’t think I can remember one as close and exciting as this which was full of ifs, buts and maybes. Olly was magnificent in the first string slot and if Martin Sanville had managed to nick one more point at the end of his match we would have had a well deserved draw.”
Alex Oliver beat Justin Millar 13-9 11-13 16-14 12-14 13-6
Matthew Jordan lost to Mark Woolner 11-13 6-13 13-2 13-8 9-13
Martin Sanville lost to Richard Hall 11-13 13-11 13-9 10-13 12-14
John Chandler lost to Shaun Cramer 6-13 8-13 13-10 13-7 8-13
Cromer v Potters Nomads. Match postponed as Potters were unable to raise a team.
(POTTERS HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY WITHDRAWN FROM THE LEAGUE)