by Jack Clarke
The UCLan Men’s 1st team saw off the University of Manchester 5-3 inside the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre to cap off a wonderful season.
Captain James Torch was unavailable this week so Matthew Vacher, who has played outstandingly well in the singles competition, took over the armband.
He led from the front straight away, winning his singles encounter 21-15, 21-16 to give UCLan an early lead.
Chris Nicholson, who has been turning out for the 2nd team this season, then continued to trend by despatching his opponent in three games. He eventually won 21-18, 18-21, 21-9.
With the score 2-0 in UCLan’s favour, it was the turn of the doubles pairings to try and pick up where Matt Vacher and Chris Nicholson left off.
The team of Dan Porter and Matty Timms who have been so impressive all season showed their superiority yet again with an enthralling 21-18, 23-25, 21-11 victory against a stubborn Manchester pairing.
In the final game of the opening round, Manchester managed to get a point on the board, and it has to be said deservedly so.
They played admirably against the home side’s Jacob Sanders and Arnaldo Solorzano, the latter being used to singles competition. UCLan lost the match 9-21, 19-21.
The second round of matches got off to a predictably comfortable start for UCLan as stand in Captain Matt Vacher and Chris Nicholson returned to the court.
Vacher dominated his opponent, winning 21-16, 21-12. The highlight of the match being his amazing round-the-back shot from one side of the court to the other to seal the match.
Chris Nicholson followed suit to give UCLan an unassailable 5-1 lead. He had to work hard for the victory though, eventually coming through 21-18, 21-14.
With the home side’s victory already assured, the doubles teams returned to the court and played with freedom and style which was brilliant to watch.
However, they may have been slightly over confident because Manchester won both the remaining doubles matches.
First, Arnaldo Solorzano and Jacob Sanders lost 14-21, 26-24, 18-21. The high scoring second game being a joy to witness.
Finally, the tenacious duo of Dan Porter and Matty Timms fell just short in the afternoon’s final game as they succumbed to a 24-26, 16-21 defeat.
So a 5-3 victory was UCLan’s reward for another impressive performance and a fitting way to end what has been a hugely successful season.