Report by Adam Coates
Eldon Ladies played hosts to Tynemouth Ladies 3rd team, in what was Eldon’s last game before the winter break.
First on court were the number 5’s, Iris Coe (Eldon) and Emily King (Tynemouth). The 1st game was a close affair, with neither player being able to pull away to a big lead, but King pushed on in the latter stages to win 15-12. King continued her positive and consistent play to win the next 2 games, both 15-5, and win the opening match 3-0.
Next up were the no.4 players, Eldon’s Katherine Hunt vs Tynemouth’s Eve Hardie. A good start for Hardie saw her take the first game 15-8 but Hunt fought back in the 2nd and won it 15-10 to level the match 1-1. Hunt then carried her form onto the 3rd game, winning it comfortably 15-5. Hardie came back fighting in the 4th game but Hunt just managed hold her off to take the match 3-1, 15-13 in the 4th.
The 3rd string game saw Shef Popat (Eldon) play Linda Bartram, a matchup which Bartram had won twice in previous seasons. Eager to reverse her fortunes against Bartram, Popat came out quickly and her flicks and tricks evaded Bartram and won her the 1st game 15-4. This pattern continued in the 2nd as Bartram struggled to read Popat, who won the 2nd 15-4 to go 2-0 up. The 3rd game was more competitive but Popat still proved too much and won 15-8 to take the match 3-0.
Match number 4 was between the no.2 players; Michelle Fawdon for Eldon and Olivia Steanson for Tynemouth. There was a lot riding on this game for both team, as a victory for Eldon would give them the overall win, but if Tynemouth could win they would take the fixture into a decider. It was clear from the outset that both players were determined to win; Steanson won the 1st game in a tie-breaker and Fawdon replied taking a tight 2nd game 15-13. With the game balanced at 1-1 both Steanson and Fawdon pushed to take the
lead but neither were able to pull away and Steanson just sneaked another tie-breaker to go 2-1 ahead. Fawdon refused to back down and won a tense 4th game 15-10 and managed to take the front foot against Steanson in the 5th, staying a few points ahead all the way and completed her comeback from 2-1 down by taking the 5th game 15-9. That gave Eldon the 3-1 advantage in matches, and Fawdon 3 wins in her last 3 matches.
The final game was between Grace Goodchild (Eldon) and Margaret Algar (Tynemouth) playing at no.1. With the pressure off for Goodchild, thanks to Eldon’s 3-1 advantage, she played some brilliant squash in the first 2 games and won both 15-3. Algar didn’t go down without making a game of it though, and came close in the 3rd, but it wasn’t enough and Goodchild took the 3rd 15-10 to complete her 3-0 victory.
A great final performance of the 1st half saw Eldon hold on to their 3rd place position, however with all the other teams having 1 game remaining they could slip down a place or 2. Tynemouth on the other hand having a tough season, with just 1 win out of 5 seeing them sit bottom of the table.