Mixed First v Mansfield Oaktree First – 21st Feb 2014: 2-7 Carlton Loss

Playing their third mixed match in a month, Carlton knew they had a difficult job on their hands to beat a regular First Division team in Mansfield Oaktree. Carlton worked hard and put up a stern fight, but overall Oaktree were too strong and ran out comfortable winners on the night.

Adam and Jess, looking to continue their good form from winning their last 6 out of 6 rubbers, started well winning their first game. However they sadly lost the rubber in 3, narrowly losing two very tight, tense and exciting games. They then bounced back with a strong performance, breezing past Oaktree’s 3rd pair to get a rubber on the board for the home team. In their final rubber they couldn’t quite manage to find their rhythm, going down in 2 to cap a frustrating night’s play.

James (back in the team after missing the last two fixtures) and Kim put in a great shift all evening, exerting plenty of effort and sweat!! Playing Oaktree’s two stronger pairs first, they battled and kept level up to around the 10 point mark. Unfortunately their opponents always found a run of points, putting the chance of winning out of reach for the Carlton duo. After their evenings perseverance they got their much deserved win in game 9, with only pride to play for as the match was already lost, they stayed focused and put in a strong performance to take the rubber in 2.

With Mark out for the rest of the season and Holly stuck in Manchester, (don’t you just love trains!) it was the 2nd Mixed pairing of David and Becky who stepped up to complete the team. Having seen how strong Mansfield’s first two pairs were, they knew their best chance of a rubber was against Oaktree’s 3rd pair. After a nervous start, they eventually settled down to their task. Losing to 14 in the first game, they knew a little more consistency could turn the game around. Unfortunately, even with a stronger performance they couldn’t quite get in front, just losing 21-18. They continued to play well in their remaining rubbers, enjoying themselves helped them to gain some respectable scores in the toughest rubbers they will face all season.

So with Oaktree being too tough to beat, can Mixed 1 find a win in their two remaining games in order to avoid relegation?! What we do know is that it won’t be an easy task…