Mixed feelings at the end of UEL’s match again this week as they faced the University of Kent in a relegation battle.
Kent made the long trip to East London, having surprisingly filled out a team, as they hadn’t played two out of three previous away games.
UEL were also able to field their strongest team possible, giving them the best opportunity of gaining the first points of the season.
The match started off on a positive note as Sean Wilson again, eased past his opponent 21-5, 21-13. Taking control of the rallies and dictating the pace, the Kent player was unable to match the quality of the Jamaican international.
On the other hand, Hasnat was again unsuccessful, and was outclassed in both games. He eventually, lost 21-15, 21-8 as his energy levels ran out during the second set after pushing himself to his limits in the first.
At this point of the game it was all level at 1-1 leading into the doubles matches.
Next up were Ali Chin and Marco Eng who partnered up again and cruised to a 21-11 victory in their first set.
The next set provided a turn in fortune as the UEL pair got overly nervous and made a series of unforced errors. Kent took the set, 24-22.
The decider would prove crucial as Eng and Chin pushed hard winning 21-17, as they kept it as simple as possible.
Another three set match for UEL’s Josh Teoh and George Geaves was in the making. Their Kent opponents took advantage of lack of confidence and swept the east Londoners aside 21-12.
Teoh and Geaves showed character in the second set as they came up on top to win a close 21-19, but unfortunately for UEL, they couldn’t follow it up as there was a repeat of the first set losing 21-11.
Wilson performed at his normal elite level as he convincingly brushed aside the Kent player 21-10, 21-17. Having only lost one match in his two years at UEL, the team can always rely on a player with such quality.
After such an emphatic win, Hasnat was unable to capitalise on the good work from Wilson as he was thrashed 21-10, 21-12 in a completely one sided game.
With the score at 3-3, all the pressure came down to the final round of doubles matches.
Both games started at the same time, with Chin and Eng relying on a strong defence to easily win 21-11, 21-13.
But again, the good work from one pair couldn’t be matched as Teoh and Geaves competed hard for the first set, although losing 21-18. But the pressure got to them in the second set as they were annihilated 21-5 in an uninspiring performance.
This was UEL’s first points on the board of the season as they look to make more progress.
Sitting second from bottom and going into the final game of 2017, captain Ali Chin believes there are positive signs for the team to take into their next game against City University, “We need to remain focused and keep working hard to reach our full potential.”
City have already beaten UEL 5-3, but UEL will be looking for a better result this time around as they head into the Christmas break.