An enjoyable match overall but this Four Oaks team were too strong for us this time around.

With the visitor’s Captain Nigel announcing he was playing at 5, this meant it would be a clash of the Captains!

James enthusiastically took to the court, but this soon dissipated as he found himself quickly 1 down through Nigel’s superior pace and shot making. A brief rally in the second led to a tie-break and the gamble of set 1 called by Nigel, but James failed to capitalise on 2 game balls, Nigel taking it to go 2 up. He took that momentum and eventually eased to a 3-0 win 9/5 in the third.

The #2s were next to take to the court, pitching Ben up against their talented youngster, Cam. Unfortunately the match report author did not get to watch this due to marking, but judging not just by the score but by the oohs and aahs of the throng that had gathered to watch this (including our only ‘season ticket holder’, Kay!), this was a classic, going to the wire with Cam edging it 3-2.

Next up was the marker’s nightmare – Nick v Nick – which perhaps needed Jim Davidson to come and mark? Our Nick is renowned as probably the best retriever of the ball in the club, and is often found diving around the court like a Premiership footballer – although is much quicker to get himself back up than said footballers – and he was true to form. Four Oaks Nick was playing some great shots but Nick was somehow staying in the rallies, making for an entertaining match. However, this was not enough to prevent going 2-0 down, and despite taking the thrid, could not force it to a 5th, succumbing 3-1.

Next to start were the #1s, John v Stu. This match virtually mirrored the Clash of the Captains, with the Four Oaks player racing to a 1-0 lead by the score of 9/1. Again, Lichfield rallied in the second, taking it to a tie break but failing to convert, Stu moving to 2-0. Despite a valiant effort in the third, Four Oaks took this one 3-0, making it 4-0 overall.

So, it was left to our ‘secret weapon’ Klaus the comeback kid, starting his first team match for many months after a neck injury, to restore a bit of pride for Lichfield. Playing Andy, he raced to a 2-0 lead, looking likely to get us to the pub relatively early with a straightforward 3-0 win. However, the lack of full match practice began to tell as the shade of healthy pink in his face gradually turned to crimson, with Andy gradually reeling him in like a struggling carp. As soon as Andy forced a deciding 5th, the writing was on the wall, with Four Oaks sealing the 5-0 win.

An enjoyable match as always between these 2 clubs and we look forward to the return visit to their place on 26th March. In the meantime, we will look to bounce back next week with our 4th consecutive home match v Burntwood B. #GoLichfield