Bill volleys Fishbourne to first win

The first game of the summer season for Fishbourne’s Sussex League men’s doubles team brought Compton 3  to Blackboy Lane to face a strong line-up of Bill Cove and Tom Craddock, and  Phil Tite and yours truly (writes Chris Gosden, Sussex League captain).

The pairing of young Tom and Bill has always been a good one, Tom’s heavy hitting from the baseline and Bill’s strong volleying at the net really complementing each other. So it proved. After a tight first set which Bill and Tom won on the tie break, the Fishbourne pair ran away with the second 6-0. So a 7-6 6-0 win against some tough opposition.

Phil and Chris took on Compton’s first pair. It was a tight affair, with breaks of serve on both sides and close games – it really could have been anyone’s set. But Phil and Chris took it 6-3. Phil and Chris looked down and out in the second set 2-4 down and a break point down, but somehow they managed to rally and take the next four games to win the set 6-4. Another win for Fishbourne 6-3 6-4.

Tom and Bill’s return rubber saw a close first set, Compton’s pair hitting with a mixture of slice and some absolute bombs on the forehand side from a player called Gavin. Tom and Bill did, however, manage to nick the set 6-4. The highlight of the set had to be Bill getting lobbed and exclaiming to Tom, “I’m not getting that” with a resigned tone, only for young Tom to scramble to the ball to win the point! After breaking the visitors’ resistance in the first set they were comfortable 6-0 winners in the second. Another 6-4 6-0 win for Fishbourne.

Phil and Chris’s final rubber was a great tussle punctuated with some fine rallies involving close net play and clever dinks. The sets were close right up to the 5-4 on both sets, with Phil and Chris managing to win both 6-4 6-4. Strong hitting from Chris on the forehand side and Phil’s tactics and read of the game proved decisive.

So a 4-0 win to open the season against a very strong Compton team. We have to be happy with that result. It’s great that we are getting a wider range of players interested in playing and that can only help going forward this year.

Man of the match goes to Bill Cove. He looked to get into the net at every opportunity and volleyed brilliantly to keep the pressure on the opponents.

Well done Bill and well done Fishbourne.