A few matches under our belts…

Apologies for falling behind in the updates 🙂

Ok, back in October the Mixed team had a cracking match at Home against St Gabriels C. This was a great one to watch, and though I was getting up early to catch a ferry to the Isle of Man I had to stay to the end which was nearly a full 2 hours! Tied at 16-16 in the third end of their final match, Clare and Darren didn’t know the match was at 4-4, which was good as it didn’t affect them pushing through to scrape the win for Hotspur 5:4; great finish guys.

(20 Oct 2017) Team: Clare and Darren, Mel and Daz, Rosie and Phil; Result: Hotspur 5:4 St Gabriels

Early November and the Mixed Team played again, this time away against Bewicke and brought home a victory. Nice.

(03 Nov 2017) Team: Clare and Darren, Mel and , Ellie and Eric; Result: Hotspur 7:2 Bewicke

The Mens team have also been in action away against St Gabs; sadly we lost, but did manage to get three ends earning a point for ourselves and limiting them to just two. The final score was 6-3.

(06 Nov 2017) Team: Darren & Rob, Steven & Nige , Eric & Daz; Result: Hotspur: St Gabriels 3:6

Hotspur Win at home against Riverside A

Thanks to the Riverside A team who made the journey up to play us at Willowburn last Friday 13th…

Good games were had by all with some three enders showing the even nature of some of the games. We look forward to the return match and were happy to come away with a 3 point win.

Hotspur 7:2 Riverside A


Team photo – Home vs Riverside A 2017

Men’s home against Whitley Chapel

A big thanks to the Whitley Chapel team who made it up to Alnwick tonight; injury caused them to field a team of only four, unfortunately. These things can’t be helped and the games were a really good start to the season.

Steven and I started our season with a first end win of 30-29! And John and Colin played a great match against the Whitley Chapel firsts but were just beaten in the third end. The rallies were long and fast, the serving good and the defence excellent. Can’t say I saw Darren’s and James’ games, I’ll have to check the score sheet for the results 😉

Well done all, a great start to the 2017/18 season.

Hotspur 8:1 Whitley Chapel

First graded tournament Sunday October 1st

NBA announce:

This year we have made a few changes to the tournament structure to create more of an inclusive process to all standards… We have now integrated the ‘A Grade’ events on the existing program… This will replace the ‘Restricted and Upper’ events…

So the first event with be held on 1st October 2017 and will be A,B,C,D,E Restricted graded tournament and will only be open to people playing or live in the Northumberland County Boarders.

GRADED DOUBLES (restricted) – Sunday 1st October 2017

All Grades Mixed event will be held in the morning starting at 9.30am, The Mens and Ladies events will be held from 1.30pm.

To Enter please text Steve Porter your name, partners name, event and the grade you wish to enter… number from a Club committee member

Entry will close on Thursday 28th Sept…..


SINGLES Graded (restricted) open to all grades will be held on the 22nd Oct 2017 and entry will open later…

Northumberland Leagues 2017/18

With the new teams entered, here are the new Division lists:


Doubles Tactics

A couple of years ago Tom and I went down to Lilleshall for a coaching weekend with Paul Stewart. This was a fun weekend of practice aimed at club/mid-league level players and I’d recommend it to those interested.

Paul has a blog on the website and I’d like to highlight a 3-part article about tactics, written a while back, which is thought provoking. Part 1 and 3 are about styles (part 2 discusses shots mostly) and he suggests four(five) styles of play to try to categorise yourself and opponents; as a bit of fun I’ve suggested some players and where they might fit in this system – what do you think? I suspect several of the suggestions actually fit the ‘Complete player’ option, but I’m thinking of the ‘preference’ style really.

Aggressive Attacker: They try to attack everything. They like a fast-paced game and favour the big smash to finish off the rally at the earliest opportunity. When serving to this style of player, they are ready to pounce on any loose shot. They have an aggressive attacking stance, toeing the service line and try to psyche you out and force a loose low serve or flick to allow the big smash return.

Ever been on the receiving end of a Steven or Seb multi-smash attack? Do they fit here?

Attacking Thinker: They can attack well and use a range of well-placed shots to achieve a desired result. They like to mix the pace, searching for openings, work well in a pair to create a weak return. When serving to this kind of player, you need to pay attention to the variety in return they command. There’s less aggression in their game, preferring the well-placed return to the booming smash. Be on your guard, especially around the net and watch out for push returns. They will still latch on to a poor serve and bury it, however, they lack the aggression on court to send you back on your heels. This type of player likes a more medium-fast paced game, although they are far more adept at changing the pace to create their openings.

I suspect I tend to here, I like to work to make an opponent lift to Steven’s smash (see above!) and set up a 2 on 1 attack. Ever been outfoxed by James’ net stun change of pace or feinted push past to mid-court? Maybe James, Rob and myself are here?

Aggressive Defender: These are players who like to counter-hit. They like to set up certain situations, specifically to play for a certain return where they can inject pace into their defensive shot creating an unstoppable shot or causing a weak return. Their defensive capabilities are good and they love to move the shuttle around the court quickly to expose weaknesses or open up a weak return, especially in the rear court. Serving to this type of player will usually result in fast pushes to the rear court or at the server’s partner in doubles. They like to send an opponent the wrong way, so have developed good deception skills in order to use fast pushes to win points. This style of player prefers a fast-paced game and they really like to drive the shuttle into the corners to create their openings. They love to hit “through” the attacking net player deep into the rear court.

John defends very well but moves rapidly from defence to drives/fast pushes or net kills when he sees an opening, Darren and Eric can both inject pace into a block to turn it into a cross-court attack in the blink of an eye; could all three players maybe be aggresive defenders?

Defending Thinker

This style of player is good at moving the shuttle around the court, but in a more defensive manner. They are happy to lift the shuttle and then manoeuvre the shuttle to expose the gaps in their opponents attack. Again, they like to use deception to fool their opponents and enjoy a slower pace of game, lifting high into the corners, blocking and pushing returns in order to create their openings. Serving to this player is certainly less pressure. They tend to stand off the service line, preferring to cover their rear court rather than attack a low serve.

Have you noticed Ians’ high percentage block and slice net shots, and speed of net kill?

The Complete Player

The complete player is one that is a bit of a chameleon. They can play all four styles, although have a preference in terms of their most comfortable style. They will have weaknesses and some of these styles are almost alien to them, because they are so good at their preferred style of play. With this type of player, it’s important to recognise the style they favour and either better it or learn to play against it.


All of the players mentioned probably fit here, and my perception of the main style may be totally off, I don’t know – what do you guys think? Think about your playstyle and who you play well with, or against; this might help to create the team pairings next season. Or if you recognise you are one style more than another this might give you some ideas as to how to evolve your game in the future.