Sutton’s Mighty 5ths finally got their summer season off to a belated start with a visit to Cheam Fields to play their second team. Sutton were represented by David Lunn, Jason Smythe, Mike Eaton and Finn Doyle.
Cheam Fields is always a tricky away tie for us because they have lightning fast AstroTurf courts, whereas our courts at Sutton are very slow. Playing here is tremendous fun but it is a very different game to the one we’re used to and it isn’t a surface we come up against very often.
David, Jason and Mike are, more or less, ever presents for the team. Finn is our secret weapon – part of our squad, yes, but so frequently committed to tournaments around the country that he’s not often available to play for us. Finn has just moved into the U14 category having been very successful at U12 and hitting with him before the opposition arrived was quite eye opening. Every ball struck very hard within a couple of inches of whatever line he’s aiming for. Let’s just say that when he hits the ball, it stays hit.
Given Mike and Finn’s form and David’s lack of recent match practice (he’d hardly hit a ball since the winter season finished), we decided to put Mike and Finn as first pair with David and Jason as the seconds.
First up, Mike and Finn took on the home team’s first pair and things started well for us. An early break provided just enough blood in the water for Finn to pop up and start circling. An anguished cry from one of the Cheam Fields players and Sutton had bagged the first set 6-1.
“It’s all psychological. You yell, ‘Barracuda,’ everybody says, ‘huh, what?’ You yell ‘Shark,’ we’ve got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.”
Cheam Fields became Amity Island and the home team needed a plan. First, they had to identify the attacker.
“It’s a carcharadon carcharias. It’s a Great White!”
Then they had to stem the bleeding and it wasn’t all about Finn here. Mike’s pinpoint volleys were not helping the home team’s cause at all – he was the tiger shark of the story, contributing heavily to the carnage, feeding off his partner’s power – he was also more than happy to see his opponents, um, Eaton up?
Out came the shark cage and Cheam Fields started to match their opponents. The second set went to a tie break, which the home team won. One set all and a long breaker to decide the first rubber. Except, it wasn’t very long. Cheam Fields had the measure of our first pair and put the first rubber to bed.
1-0 Cheam Fields
Meanwhile, on a slightly less epic scale, David and Jason felt their way into the tie with a regulation 6-2 6-2 win over the hosts’ second pair. Given that David and Jason nearly always play as first pair, it was really nice to be able to ease into proceedings with the less pressured fixture first. We played very nicely and were pleased to level the tie.
Next up, Jaws 2 as our first pair took on the home team’s seconds. As far as Cheam Fields were concerned, it was not safe to get back in the water and no shark cage was going to protect them while Mike and Finn did their thing.
“Where the hell are they?”
“About 10 degrees off the starboard bow. You take…”
Dum dum, dum dum.
“Don’t give me that ****! Just point!”
Dum dum, dum dum, dum dum, dum dum, DA DA DAAAAAAAA!
6-3 6-2 was a good result. It guaranteed us at least a draw and gave our second pair a chance to go for the win if they could overturn the opposing firsts.
This was always going to be a tough ask but David and Jason went toe to toe with their opponents, determined to secure the win if at all possible. A 6-3 first set was enough to establish a momentum that was not going to be overturned. The green courts of Cheam Fields were turned blood red by the end as the second set floated away from the home team 6-1.
Not that I have any particular reason to believe that the Prime Minister necessarily reads this blog but you never know. If she does, she could learn a thing or two from Sutton’s Mighty 5ths. This was what a strong and stable performance looks like.
We thank our hosts for a great match, for their hospitality afterwards and we wish them all the best with their remaining fixtures.
Sutton’s Mighty 5ths will return at 9:30 on Sunday 25th June for a home fixture on courts 1 & 2 so if our fan club (Wendy – it’s only you) wants to come and watch and cheer…