This week the 1st team were the guests of Tame Valley, a small club sitting on the edge of the Pennines. We had a strong team headed by Joel Makin who was making his first appearance for the team this year. Joel had previously played for Warrington in the 2015/16 season. Since then, Joel has made it big time and currently is 12th in the PSA World Rankings.
On first was Ben Socket against Andy Whipp (Below). Ben made it through to the quarter finals of the English U19 Junior Championships and is no slouch around the court. Andy was fortunately in fine form and was never troubled to get the team off to a good win in 3 games.
On next was Amir Manouchehri against Carlton Oldham. Carlton played well last week, but this week he was lacklustre. Nevertheless, capitalising on errors of his opponent, Carlton took out a 2-game lead. Then he just seemed to stop competing. Missing easy shots, Amir took full advantage, winning the third game 11:2. Amir sneaked a slightly better fourth game, but it was frustrating stuff to watch. In the fifth game, Carlton edged ahead with some more accurate winners (Above). This was a lead he was able to hold to a nervy conclusion.
Joel Makin took on Lewis Doughty in the next match (Top). This was the complete opposite to the previous one. It was fast and accurate and where points were won, rather than lost. It was good to watch, and the crowd greatly appreciated it. Lewis made a good fight of it, but Joel is so quick to the ball that the pressure is relentless. There was never going to be any doubt about the outcome. Joel took it in 3 games.
Then it was the turn of the No.2 strings: Sam Todd against Adrian Waller. Sam is undoubtedly a rising star. Still only 16 years old, this year he has won the British U23 Open, the Dutch U19 Junior Open and, most recently, the British U19 Nationals. Sam was undefeated this season but then, with no disrespect to his other opponents, he has not played anyone of Adrian’s level. Adrian was not going to be caught out by the youngster either. He was on it from the start and never let Sam get established, taking the match in 3 games (Below).
Finally, it was Chris Morrison against Rob Taylor (Above). Chris hits the ball hard and tight on both wings. Rob, though, handled the pace with perfection. Rob won the first game and Chris levelled the match by taking the close second. But the effort was taking its toll on Chris and Rob was able to ease ahead in the third using his superior movement around the court. After that, it was plain sailing to take the fourth and secure 20 points for the team.
Those points made all the difference. Warrington now heads the table by a single point from Grove Park who also won at Wigan. Liverpool CC remain in third place only 5 points behind us. Next week it is away again at Wigan. Joel will be heading the order again and everyone is welcome to cheer him on.