Jets grabbed wins in the mixed doubles, ladies’ singles, ladies’ doubles and men’s doubles to score an impressive win against Surrey Smashers at the SGS WISE Arena.
GREAT START Mizuki Fujii and Ben Lane got Jets off to a flyer, winning their mixed doubles event by three games to one.
The evening started well for for Jets in the mixed doubles, Ben Lane and Mizuki Fujii winning the first game of their event against Smashers’ Tom Wolfenden and Sophie Brown, 9-7.
The second game didn’t begin quite so well, Wolfenden and Brown racing to a 2-7 lead. The Jets pair proved their mettle however, winning four straight points before a fortunate net cord hit from Smashers put the Surrey pair on the verge of the second game at 6-8. Jets scored the next point and called the first Power Play of the night, unfortunately a mix-up in communication saw both Bristol players go for the same shot, Surrey winning the second 7-9.
It was close in the early stages of the third game with not much between the pairs resulting in some long rallies. Smashers were generally the aggressors but Fujii and Lane were playing some great defensive shots to edge ahead and win the game 9-6.
The Jets pair carried the momentum into a three-point lead at the start of the fourth game. Smashers got themselves back into it, winning three straight points with some aggressive smashes. The pairs traded points for the next eight plays before a foul serve call on Brown had Jets on the verge of victory. Wolfenden had other ideas, smashing the shuttlecock straight at Fujii to tie it up at 8-8. Wolfenden could only find the net with his serve on the next play and Jets had the first event victory of the night, three games to one.
IMPRESSIVE Kirby Ngan showed some deft touches at the net on her way to a 3-0 victory against 17 year-old Abigail Holden
The second event of the night saw Jets’ Kirby Ngan, who put in such a strong performance last week, taking on Smashers’ 17 year-old star Abigail Holden. Ngan kept the Jets momentum going, taking the first game narrowly 9-8.
Ngan continued strongly into the second game, playing a nice mix of subtle and aggressive shots to take it 9-5 and head into a 2-0 lead. The England U19 singles prospect was showing some deft touches at the net and good decision-making throughout the contest. The Jets lady called a Power Play at 7-7 in the third for the win, however Holden had different ideas and held out to make it 7-8.
Ngan show some of the determination she had exhibited last week to win the next two points and with it the event, 3-0.
Alex Lane had a chance to claim the match for Jets in the men’s singles, facing Surrey’s Sam Parsons, with the home side up 2-0 for the night. Parsons had Lane on the back-foot throughout the first game, 7-9 to the Smashers man.
Lane started the second game strongly, getting himself into an 8-2 lead with some well-placed shots keeping the Surrey man on his toes. Parsons responded with a lob that found the back of the court well, but a wide shot handed the second game to Lane 9-3.
It was a closer game in the third, the players trading points until a run of three points without reply won it for Parsons, 6-9.
The highlight of the fourth game was a diving shot from Lane, which forced the error from Parsons to give the Bristol star a 5-2 lead. Parsons wrestled the momentum back, winning the next point, calling a Power Play and winning it before grabbing the next four points to take his third game, 5-9. With it, Surrey claimed their first event night win to make it 2-1 overall.
Fujii and Westwood were in imperious form next up on court, leading 5-1 early on in the ladies’ doubles against Brown and Molly Chapman. The Surrey ladies came back into it at 8-7. A smash straight into the net handed the first game to the Jets 9-7.
The court was lit up by an incredible piece of skill by Chapman in the second game. The 16 year-old reacted in a heartbeat to return Fujii’s smash from behind her back in a point Smashers eventually won to make it 3-3. The Bristol ladies were really clicking as a pair by now however and won the second game 9-4.
Westwood and Fujii had a chance to win the match night for Jets in the third game, calling a Power Play at 7-7. Westwood hit her serve against the net cord and Smashers took the next point to make it more of a contest, two games to one.
Westwood redeemed herself in the next game, finding an incredible angle at the net at a crucial point in the fourth game to put Jets into a two-point lead. It was a lead they would hold on to, Chapman hitting the net to hand the fourth game and with it the match night win to Jets.
CRUISING Chris Coles and Ben Lane eased to a 3-0 win in the men’s doubles to hand Jets a 4-1 event night victory.
Bristol had a chance to get some more points on the board in the final event of the night, the men’s doubles; Chris Coles and Ben Lane facing Steven Stallwood and Tom Wolfenden.
Coles and Lane edged the first game of the final event 9-8, before cruising to a 9-4 win in the second.
It was a closer affair in the third until a powerful smash from Coles was returned into the net by Smashers to hand the Bristol men the final game 9-8.
Jets end their first season in the NBL with a first match night win, 4-1.
Player Of The Game: Ben Lane
The European Junior champion put in two stunning performances to claim wins in the men’s and mixed doubles. It’s all the more remarkable having been a last minute replacement for the injured Richard Eidestedt in the men’s event.
Moment Of The Night
Emily Westwood found an incredible angle with a shot at the net to open up a two-point lead in the fourth game of the ladies’ doubles to set the Jets pair on their way to the win, giving Jets their first ever match night victory in the AJ Bell NBL.
Photo Of The Night
Alex Lane stretches to get the shot away.
All match imagery supplied by JMPUK.
Social Media Post Of The Night
Ben Lane & Mizuki Fujii 3-1 Tom Wolfenden & Sophie Brown
Kirby Ngan 3-0 Abigail Holden
Alex Lane 1-3 Sam Parsons
Mizuki Fujii & Emily Westwood 3-1 Sophie Brown & Molly Chapman
Chris Coles & Ben Lane 3-0 Steven Stallwood & Tom Wolfenden