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Report: Team Derby 4-1 Bristol Jets

Bristol Jets kicked off their AJ Bell NBL season picking up a point away to Team Derby.

The newly formed team in their debut season in the league met at Team Derby ahead of the first match night of the 2016/17 season.

In the first match of the night, Ben Lane and Emily Westwood took on Rio 2016 Bronze medalist Marcus Ellis and his partner Amanda Hogstrom.

After a tight first game, ending 9-8 following a strategic power play from the home side, Ellis showed his brilliance and, with Hogstrom on excellent form, they took the second and third games to win 3-0 and pick up Team Derby’s first point of the night.

The second match saw double european champ Nicola Cerfontyne take on Lydia Cheah Yi Yu.

Cerfontyne took the second game after a hard fought first to level the score at 1-1. The third game went down to the wire with both Cheah and Cerfontyne trading points but, after Cheah won out, the momentum took her through the fourth and final game to take the match 4-1. 

The third match of the night showcased what a fantastic competition the NBL really is. Where else would you see an olympic silver medalist matched up with a 19 year old local girl from Downend?

Jess Hopton joined up with London 2012 Silver medalist Mizuki Fujii to battle it out with Kate Robertshaw and Lauren Smith.

It was by far the closest match of the night with each pairing trading blows and taking the match to a final game decider. After rallies reaching upwards of 20 shots and agonisingly close points, the Jets pair lost on the final point of the match. 

The first league point for the Jets came in the fourth game of the night. A late withdrawal through injury saw British number one Rajiv Ouseph replaced by Ryan Quek and Alex Lane was tasked with taking him on.

Lane was ruthless in his game plan and had Quek on the ropes after just the first game. As with the first, Lane finished the second 6-9 and took the third 9-2 to bag the Jets first ever league point.

The final fixture saw Captain Chris Coles join up with Richard Eidestedt to take on Marcus Ellis in his second match of the night alongside doubles partner Ollie Baczala.

After the first game you would be forgiven for thinking we were on for another 5 game thriller but showing his Olympic credentials once again, Ellis steered himself and his partner to 3-0 victory leaving the final score on the night 4-1.