It is a dark time for the galaxy – sinister forces (Woodfield Grove 2 & Wigmore 3) conspire to prevent Sutton’s Mighty 5ths from winning the league and John Williams has declined to compose a score for the epic encounter which would become known as The Battle of Woodfield Grove.

 

The Rebellion were represented by David (Baze Malbus) Lunn, Jason (Chirrut Imwe but so nearly cast as Jyn Erso) Smythe, Mike (Bodhi Rook) Eaton and Callum (K-2SO) Furmidge. Our mission was clear, we had to steal the plans for the Death Star before next Sunday’s finale against Wigmore 3 by taking at least a point at Scarif (aka Woodfield Grove).

 

We travelled to Scarif in a stolen Imperial Shuttle (Mike’s Mondeo – callsign Rogue One) where we launched twin attacks on the Imperial databank and on the resident Imperial garrison. The surface conditions were interesting. The battlefield was an acrylic surface (not of the porous variety that we have back at Yavin IV) and the Imperials, learning of our imminent arrival, spent some time with a squeegee to remove the worst of the surface water. To start with, the balls were skidding all over the shop and they left clear marks where they landed so at least line calls were easy. It is in conditions like these that it starts to matter that this is our 7th consecutive season of having 3 away matches and only 2 home ones. Sooner or later, that is going to cost us.

 

First up David & Jason opened against The Empire’s first pair and we were feeling confident. We had played a couple of practice sets the day before and were in cracking form and so we looked forward to the encounter. Sadly, our form was distinctly less than cracking in this skirmish and we never really worked our way into the match. It was one of those where the other side seemed in relative control from the middle of the first set and in total control by the end. Our efforts to wrest it back were ultimately in vain and Woodfield Grove won 6-3 6-4 leaving us with an uphill battle ahead of us. This also marked the first time that Jason has ever lost a rubber for the Mighty 5ths and the truth is that neither one of us was in anything like the sort of form that would have been needed to protect that record against a strong first pair for the opposition. The Empire posed the right questions and the less said about our response the better.

 

I find that answer vague and unconvincing

 

Mike & Callum began their campaign against the Empire’s second pair and promptly lost the first set 6-0. Still, this is a rebellion and they rebelled, taking the second set to a tie-break, which they won. The champions’ tie-break which followed was a tight affair and Mike & Callum played it well winning 10-8 to level the tie over all. This was a vital point, all the more impressively won in light of that first set.

 

Save The Rebellion! Save The Dream!

 

Mike & Callum were then immediately pitched back into battle against the Imperial first pair but, this time, there was to be no miracle comeback. The Death Star had arrived, it targeted our second pair and 6-2 6-1 was a convincing demonstration of the enemy’s power.

 

What will you do when they catch you?

What will you do if they break you?

If you continue to fight, what will you become?

 

So it was down to a rather deflated David & Jason to try to add to the point brilliantly won by Mike & Callum earlier in the day to turn things around. We wanted a win but that chance was gone. Still, a draw would leave it in our hands to win the league at home next week irrespective of other results. There remained much to play for.

 

The first set was a fairly routine one for the Mighty 5ths – 6-4 the score and we were nicely in command.

 

[Jason], I’ll be there for you (Cassian said I had to)

We then proceeded to march through the second set, we captured the Death Star plans and prepared to transmit them to the rebel fleet – as Woodfield Grove served to stay in the match and found themselves facing multiple match points, surely our victory was now a formality? No, it wasn’t. Leaving aside for the moment that (in this story) Woodfield Grove represent the evil Empire standing between our beloved Mighty 5ths and the galaxy’s combined dream of seeing them win the league and, with it, freedom for a myriad of worlds, we have to pause and pay tribute here to the courage shown in the face of defeat. At our fairly humble level of tennis, a team serving to stay in the match might be expected to serve conservatively or, perhaps, in a fit of nerves overhit and throw in a couple of double faults. We had (I think) 4 match points in that game and Woodfield Grove saved them with blistering pinpoint serves (including an ace or two) and held serve with a real statement of intent. Had I been wearing a hat, I would have taken it off to our opponents. I don’t remember us playing those match points badly, Woodfield Grove were simply too good. They then pulled the set into a tie-break in which they were utterly dominant as David & Jason simply fell apart. The tie-break score was 7-1 and a champions’ tie-break would decide the encounter.

 

Be careful not to choke on your aspirations

 

By now, pretty much the whole of Woodfield Grove was watching to see how this would end. People gathered on the upper balcony, the players on the next court stopped their game to watch. Could things get any worse? Yup, they could. We quickly fell 6-1 behind and then 9-6. Now we would have a turn at facing match points – could we save them as bravely as Woodfield Grove had in the second set?

 

I’m one with the Force. The Force is with me

I’m one with the Force. The Force is with me

I’m one with the Force. The Force is with me

I’m one with the Force. The FORCE IS WITH ME!!

 

Such was our mantra and, one point at a time, the deficit was clawed back. 6-9 became 7-9, 8-9, 9-9 and then 10-9. We had another match point! Woodfield Grove served at David and his arm felt rather like jelly as he made the return but, somehow, he made it. 11-9!!!

 

The draw was saved, the Death Star plans were transmitted successfully to the fleet and the Tantive IV blasted off to deliver those plans to the rebel leadership.

 

What is it they’ve sent us?

Hope

 

Join us on Sunday 12th February for the final thrilling instalment of this season’s adventure as Sutton’s Mighty 5ths take on Wigmore 3 at home. A win will see us crowned champions, any other result leaves us vulnerable to the remaining fixtures of the other teams.

 

The brave rebels will be represented by:

 

David Lunn, Jake Fellows, Mike Eaton and Callum Furmidge

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do the Maths! *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

clear formSubmit