Men’s Thirds v. Unity First – 31st January 2014: 1-8 Carlton Loss

Men’s Third were back in action for their first game of 2014 – unfortunately it wasn’t the happiest return to competitive action! With this being a regular fixture in previous seasons we knew we could expect a tough fixture. With some new faces strengthening their side, Unity powered to an 8-1 victory.

Captain James looked to change his line-up in a bid to shake things up after losing 7-2 to Beeston Fields in the previous game: James & Matt, Jonathan & Eric and Mohammed & Arthur made up the pairs.

James & Matt made a tough start against Unity’s first pair, whose consistency proved too much, before bouncing back magnificently to beat Unity’s third pair. Both players showed a cool head to hold out to take their games and the rubber, especially with the Unity pairs resurgence at the back end of each game. Against Unity’s second pair they couldn’t quite find their rhythm, however, and so were left frustrated with one rubber for their efforts.

Jonathan & Eric looked bright early on, pushing Unity’s second pair all the way. Unity having to put strong runs of 3-4 points in a row to take each game away from the Carlton pair. Jonathan & Eric then suffered the same fate as James & Matt against Unity’s first pair – consistency again proving to be the defining factor. They then endured a frustrating time against Unity’s third pair, struggling to take control in a competitive rubber.

Arthur & Mohammed were playing their first competitive game together, and struggled to assert themselves in the first game of each rubber. Often finding their feet in the second games to push the Unity team close, it unfortunately all proved too little too late. A quicker start against any of their opposition could well have seen them sneak a rubber.

All in all this was a tough night for Carlton, against a much improved Unity side. No-one can fault their effort and desire to win, but they will have to dust themselves down, regroup and throw everything they have into their next game against Beeston Valley away on the 24th of February.