Baldoyle Mens 2 Off to a Wining Start!
(Pic credit: www.bahakhakimov.com)
Baldoyle District Mens 2 set off across county lines towards Meath to Play Ashbourne BC in the Cup. Despite the distance, passports were not needed but a wet suit could’ve come in handy as the rain barrelled down as we made our way to the newly renovated Ashbourne Community Centre.
Like the upcoming Denmark vs Ireland football qualifier, this match held some conflicting emotions for team captain John Bruun. Originally from Denmark but living here since he was 2, the captain calls Ashbourne home since 2005. Having mulled over his choices, the captain eventually made the decision to sign for the best club in Leinster in 2015 (Fee unknown).
Tonight though, there was no room for sentiment or thoughts of home but only of victory for our fantastic club! We took to the courts just before 9 p.m. full of confidence and maybe a little nerves...
First up was Tommy J & (Swedish) Mighty Mike L. Vs. Mario Brkic & Stephen Dollard. The opposition were strong enough with some great moves particularly in the smash dept. but our guys took Game 1 @ 14-21.
In Game 2 Ashbourne came back much stronger and more determined playing some fine rallies and tactical shots. There was a moment of calamity and class when both Tommy and Mike both went for the same shot and became entangled with Mike getting a bloody hand and Tommy a stomped toe from Magic Mikes size 13’s! Tommy fell slo-mo to the floor while Mike tried and successfully recovered to return the shot with Tommy getting back to his feet, returning fire and winning the point! Despite these heroics, Ashbourne went on to take the game 21-17 and 1-1 on games.
With steely determination, the boys, like the residents of Windswept and Rain-lashed Ashbourne, battened down the hatches and took Game 3 @ 11-21. 0-1 to Baldoyle!
Next up was John B & Mick Smith Vs. Brendan Dollard & Savlius Pranckevicius. Initial nerves, terrible shuttles as well as a little match rustiness meant that a game we should have won by a wider margin was much closer @ 18 – 21 to Baldoyle.
Mick put on his no-nonsense game face and with words of encouragement and tactical experience, we set out on court to take this match home. Playing the simple shots, low serves and waiting for the right time to attack we took Game 2 @ 10 -21. Baldoyle District were now 2 – 0 up and could take a moment to breathe...
The Swedish/Danish pairing of Mike L and John B were up next Vs. Mario Brkic & Brendan Dollard. These 2 Ashbourne lads were quite strong and played some fantastic badminton and John & Mike did their best to keep up with them, point-for-point. It went to 20-20, 21-20, 21-21, 22-21 and so on, with Ashbourne eventually taking the game @ 25-23.
This would NOT do….! Baldoyles Scandinavian pairing came out all-guns-blazing taking several points on serve and smashes as well as some lovely drops from Mike and playing at a tempo that forced some unforced errors. Game 2 to Baldoyle @ 11-21 and 1-1 on games.
With victory in sight the pair headed out for game 3. Ashbourne rallied well but the lads stuck to the game plan and took it home @ 15-21 and 3-0 to Baldoyle!
Lastly, Tommy J & Mick Smith were up Vs. Stephen Dollard & Savlius Pranckevicius. At this stage it was game over but Ashbourne still played their hearts out. In the end the Baldoyle pairing had the edge, winning both game 1 & 2 @ 14-21.
So 4-0 to Baldoyle Mens 2 in their first outing in the Cup. The result doesn’t reflect how tough and hard fought some of the games were. Credit must go to Ashbourne for giving us a tough test and we thank them for their hospitality, competitive spirit and sporting behaviour.
Thank you also to all the club members sending good luck messages on Facebook and WhatsApp before the match. It means a lot!
Bring on the next round….
- Dan Mark John