It has been an exciting start to the Rackets season with competitive fixtures against Marlborough College and Haileybury thus far. The First Pair at Marlborough had a thrilling match, in which the Radley pairing of Captain H. Foreman (e) and H. Purton (h) came through to win 3-1 in the end. The Second Pair, G Social’s O. White and R. Marshall went narrowly down against Marlborough 2-3 but had the opportunity to play First Pair against Haileybury a week later and played with grit and determination to win a match that ebbed and flowed, 3-2. With some depth now in the 6.1 year group, it is allowing us to put out more pairs at senior level and at Second Pair against Haileybury, L. Needham (h) and W. Duncan, both playing with increasing confidence, beat a solid opposition pair 3-0.
The Colts pair of T. van der Meerschen (j) and E. Crowston (d) have started the season with the same promise that they ended last year with and won convincingly against Marlborough. The other Colts pair of F. Barlow (b) and G. Bishop (e) have really progressed in the first few weeks of this term and won another nail-biting match against Haileybury 2-1.
It has been fantastic to see so many Shells on court in the first few weeks of term. Following the Shell Circus, there is now a core of 10 players who are regularly banging down the door to get on court. Looking to capitalise on this enthusiasm and talent, we managed to fit in two matches against Haileybury this week. To ensure one player didn’t just serve through a game, point winning ‘streaks’ were limited to four serves and this allowed all boys on court to learn more about playing the game competitively. In both matches, the Radley pairings of M. Garson (c) and G. Acheson-Gray (f) and then E. Alder (j) and J. Duncan (j) showed character to come back from 0-1 down and eventually win their matches 2-1. Their ability to adapt and react on the spot was particularly impressive.
Big fixtures at home next Tuesday against Eton to look forward to and hopefully keep the momentum going. All this as well, whilst the Professional has been overcoming a broken and dislocated shoulder as a result of staff football…the court is arguably a safer place!