Recorded first win

Sidmouth racketball team secured their first ever Devon league victory last week with a narrow 3-2 victory over bottom club Torquay 2nds.

Both teams were without a victory to date so the incentive to win was great and would leave the loser rooted to the bottom of the league.

The opening fifth string match was a cracker with the result undecided until the last couple of rallies.

Sidmouth’s Rob Bagwell got off to a flyer against opponent Mel Ripley winning the opening two games by the narrowest of margins, 14-12 and 13-11.

Ripley hit back, taking full advantage of the early game leads, to deservedly take games three and four which set up a thrilling deciding game.

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Bagwell started the fifth in determined mood and looked odds on winner at 9-2 but Ripley had different ideas and went for all her shots, including two outrageous nicks, to make a run of nine points to conclude the rubber 14-12; 13-11; 6-11; 9-11; 9-11.

On the adjacent court things looked to be going Torquay’s way when home no 4 Andy Williamson opened up a six point lead at 10-4 in the opening game of his rubber with Carl Sowden.

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Sowden did not give up and point by point reduced the deficit to eventually take the game in a 12-10 tie-break.

The recovery seemed to break Williamson’s resolve and Sowden, with a mixture of excellent length drives and boundless energy, went on to secure the next two games to record his first victory of the season 12-10; 11-8; 11-6.

Sidmouth regained the overall lead with a hard earned 12-10; 5-11; 9-11; 11-9; 11-4 victory for third string Keith Spring over Torquay’s Peter Hammett.

Spring did exceptionally well to recover from a 2-1 deficit and by the end of the rubber Hammett was out on his feet.

The result was decided in the next rubber on court when second string Rob Cann defeated Torquay new boy Carl Stokes.

Despite losing the opening game, Cann dominated the remainder of the rubber to record a morale-boosting 3-11; 11-5; 11-6; 11-2 victory.

The final rubber on court saw home No1 Nigel Travers continue his undefeated start to the season by defeating Sidmouth’s Nick Whittaker.

Whittaker, after a slow start, did all he could but a very athletic and determined opponent had all the answers to his varied game, the eventual result 3-11; 6-11; 8-11 in favour of the home player.

The final game before Christmas sees Sidmouth make their longest journey of the season to Virgin Active in Plymouth in the hopes of repeating their victory at Torquay.

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