Match review; PACE A vs Hackney Warriors
Match review: Pace A VS Hackney Warriors
On Sunday April 9th, Pace A’s boccia league campaign got underway with a match against the Hackney Warriors. After a fantastic season last year, where they won the London league, PACE A were looking to start strongly and were aiming for qualification for the National League finals. To do this, PACE A were targeting 5 wins out of their first six games.
PACE A’s opponents, Hackney Warriors, are a team that are very familiar to PACE. It is always a very competitive match between the two teams and this year was no different.
PACE A fielded a strong squad, with Alex Dukes (C), Reshad Saraj and Ramandeep Mann making the starting line-up and Jagjit Chuk as our substitute.
Captained by Kayum Chaudhury, the Hackney warriors consisted of Paul Christian, Martin Bloomfield, Jayne Freeman and Sally Hussein.
The first match was Hackney Warriors’ home game and they won the coin toss, electing to go red. From the start, the Hackney Warriors imposed their game-plan with a long jack ball. PACE A started slowly but strongly, taking a point from the first end. This was made possible by a great long shot from Reshad blocking the Hackney Warriors from taking control of the jack.
PACE A had a game plan of their own; to play to the team’s strengths, they decided to go short. Opening game nerves crept into the second end where we failed to keep the space tight to the jack ball, allowing the Hackney Warriors to score three points.
PACE A knew they needed to change things up to come back into the match and made a substitution, Ramandeep for Jagjit. This was an effort to try and secure the long game.
In the third end Hackney Warriors again threw the jack ball long. With Jagjit in the team we found it easier to manage. Similar to the first end Reshad played a great lay-up shot to score a point. The score at this point 3-2 to Hackney Warriors.
In the fourth end, PACE A knew that they had to secure more points. As a team they decided to throw the Jack near to the edge of the court line. This is a tactic that can be used to potentially score big points because the opponent has less space to work with. Opponents are more likely to play dead-ball shots with the restricted space, giving PACE A a better ball economy when going into the attack.
This is exactly what happened. Alex threw a really good jack and first ball forcing Hackney Warriors to attack. They were unsuccessful in taking control of the jack; however, they did manage to put a couple of defensive balls blocking Jagjit’s line. In this situation PACE A should have knocked the jack out of court, allowing it to be re-set in the centre with a huge scoring circle and an easy four points. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, this opportunity was missed and PACE A only scored two points.
After a quick time out and a grilling from the PACE A coach, we were back for the fifth end and determined to make amends. PACE A managed to secure the fifth end with one point.
Going into the final end of the first match, the score was 5-3 to PACE A. This was a very frustrating end for PACE because they failed to close the space and played some poor shots that were too far wide, at a critical time in the match. Hackney Warriors scored three points, with three very good shots in a high-pressure situation.
The first game finished 6-5 to Hackney Warriors. Congratulations to Hackney Warriors.
After a short break, they were straight into the second game. The same starting line-up, with PACE A again going blue. The second match PACE A played much better shaking off the nerves from the first game. In the first end Hackney Warriors stuck to their game plan and went long. This was a tight end, however PACE A came out on top with a great in-off shot from Reshad to take control of the Jack, using a ball that Alex had set.
In the second end PACE again went short, but this time were more accurate with good knock-on shots from Alex, moving the Jack ball forward so Reshad could have a clear shot. It was good match play from the team. PACE A secured the end with two points making the score 3-0 going into the third end.
Similar to the last game Alex again threw his Jack Ball near to the edge of the court. This time we were able to secure big points scoring six points. A special mention to Jagjit with two amazing lay-up shots from across the court.
Going into the fifth end PACE were up 9-0 and were feeling confident at this stage. The fifth end was very tight with Hackney Warriors going long. PACE A managed to keep up their momentum securing a point from a good lay-up shot from Alex. They knew that they had won the match at this point so the pressure was off.
The last end Hackney Warriors played some really good shots, both lay-up and knock-off to come away with a point from the last end. The second match finished 10-1 to PACE A’s, congratulations PACE.
After the game the captain Alex Dukes said “I’m proud of my team’s performance, especially after the disappointment from the first game, this shows a lot of character. We will use what we learned from both matches and hopefully this will result in more victories for us in the future”.