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NBL Quickfire Match Report (3/5): Captain Penty steers Birmingham into a 2-1 lead
Birmingham Captain Toby Penty cruises to victory. Gives Birmingham a 2-1 lead with two games to go.
In the men's singles Birmingham's Team Captain Toby Penty took on Eric Pang.
Penty dominated the opening game, securing the first four points with ease. Seven-time Dutch champion Pang did not make things easier for himself by gifting Penty some unforced errors and easy smash shots to take the score to 7-1. Some net shots almost undid Penty and brought the scoreline back to 8-4, although luck was on the Birmingham player's side as Pang's far-court shot was called out to seal the first game for the Lions.
The second game opened with Penty making full use of some smash shots, however Pang too made use of his height and power to smash his way to a 4-2 lead. The game looked to be getting away from Penty, ranked 73 in the world, however the crowd buoyed him to bring the score up to 5-4 to Pang. After losing his power point, Penty had the noise of the crowd to lift him to 8-8. A lengthy rally resulted in Pang misplacing his shot into the net and giving the game to Penty.
Penty opened the third game well, securing an early 2-0 lead. Nottingham called for a time-out, although this did not unnerve Penty who again made use of his power to win another point and bring the game to 3-1. A slip seemed to disrupt Penty's rhythm however, and this gave Pang the chance to move into a 5-4 lead. A couple of close calls from the linesmen brought the score up to 8-6 in Pang's favour, and he did not let the chance to get back into the match slip away from him.
The fourth game opened with some impressive shots by Penty including one over the shoulder crowd-pleaser as he marched to a 2-1 lead. A few drop shots from both players caused errors and enabled Penty to extend his lead to 6-2. Pang managed to pick up a few points but the crowd got behind Penty to take the score to 8-5. Pang opted to use his power play and it paid off, gaining him two extra points to bring it up to a tense 8-7, with Penty on match point. However, Penty got the job done for Birmingham Lions and secured an emphatic win with a smash shot, taking the team to two wins out of three on the night.