MEN's 1st vs Byfleet 2nd
Sat, 14 Jul 2018 00:00
RLTC Men's 1st Team vs Byfleet 2nd Team
MATCH WON 3-1
Thanks to Frank Malone, Tom Smith, Antoine Decottignies and Iain Ure who travelled out to Byfleet in leafy Surrey on 1st July where, playing on gorgeous artificial clay courts under azure skies, our team secured a well-deserved 3-1 victory.
In the first round, Richmond's 1st pair Antoine & Iain looked solid against Byfleet's error-prone 1st pair. Playing with control and intelligence, the rubber was swiftly secured 6-2, 6-2. Meanwhile Tom & Frank combined to form a new power-couple in topspin tennis, with the serve and volleying Byfleet 2nds being met by an extraordinary barrage of vicious Richmond groundstrokes. But, somehow, the experienced Byfleet pair held fast and eventually emerged from the smoke to take the championship tie-break, our pair losing this close match 4-6, 7-5, 0-1.
In the second round, Byfleet's 2nd pairing was clearly tired-out from a marathon first rubber (thanks Tom & Frank!) and despite demonstrating wall-like net-play, they were undone by Antoine & Iain's variation and precision, the Richmond pair winning 6-3, 6-4. Meanwhile, perhaps fuelled by frustration at a first rubber lost on the turn of a couple of points, Tom & Frank unleashed topspin fury (and delightful touch) against Byfleet's 1st pair, overcoming supposedly stronger opposition with a 6-1, 6-2 win.
Team captain Iain Ure says: "We were unlucky not to be rewarded with a clean sweep, but the team was delighted with a win to get the campaign up and running and we have high hopes for the next match at home on 22 July."