Varsity Heartache Revisited

LEEDS Beckett won all three matches against the University on Wednesday afternoon at The Gryphon Sports Centre, despite there being talented players on both sides of the court. Following defeat at Varsity, the Gryphons were most definitely hoping to hit-back at their long-standing rivals, but unfortunately they could not quite deliver the goods on the day.

The first match was a fairly clear-cut affair, as Ruth Norman was out manoeuvred and seemingly outplayed by her Beckett counterpart. Although she took the first point of the match, she was defeated 11-1, 11-3 and 11-4 in straight sets. Beckett’s representative showed her talent with some clever, and virtually irretrievable, low shots that saw her control the first game easily. The latter games weren’t as one-sided as they appeared, with Ruth winning a terrific rally halfway through the second game, as well as some clever corner shots in the third.

A few minutes later, the second players took to the court and found a similar story of Beckett dominance. Although Olivia, representing the home side, began to find her feet in later games she was beaten 11-6, 11-5 and 11-8. Particularly in the final game she gained momentum by holding the serve for five points in a row to lead 8-4. Eventually, Beckett clawed back to overcome their four-point deficit and won that set and the second match. Despite having pressure heaped upon them by the university team, the Varsity champions were always able to maintain their composure, and in doing so showed their class.

The third and final game was the closest, with Beckett taking the first two games, but by small margins (11-6, 11-8). Gryphons player Georgie overturned the run of fortune easily in the third game, controlling the ball and storming clear to lead 10-5. She eventually took that game 11-7 and the match went into a fourth nail-biting game (as the rules dictate ‘first to three games’ with a possible maximum of five). With Georgie leading 10-8 at one point, it was unfortunate for the Gryphons that Beckett managed to finally take the fourth game and match 12-10.

This may not necessarily be a result to remember for the Gryphons, but there are positives which can be gleaned from the encounter. The University of Leeds will surely come back from this, and it is time for the Gryphons to pick themselves up and dust themselves off.

Michael Andrews

Featured image: The Gryphon  


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