Lions vs Smash



Date Time League Season Home Away Court
July 30, 2023 7:30 pm Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 Lions Smash 2


The Sleeman Centre
Sleeman Centre, 50, Woolwich Street, Downtown Guelph, Guelph, Southwestern Ontario, Ontario, N1H 3T9, Canada


East Toronto Smash Roll Over Montreal Lions in Four

Smash Mixed Doubles Flatten Lions in First Game

In terms of overall effort, the East Toronto Smash mixed doubles team of Dalbir Bhandal and Jordann Vigna didn’t break much of a sweat beating Montreal Lions Eric Gagnon and Kim Layton. The Smash quickly built a healthy lead and eventually won 15-6.

Now, the Lions did come out with some vigor, taking a 2-1 lead, but that would be as close as they got. Bhandal was spectacular before side change, cranking two forehand winners, while Vigna played her part, setting up Layton to hit it into the net for an 8-3 Smash advantage. Notably, Gagnon displayed great sportsmanship, calling himself for a tick off his paddle on Bhandal’s first big shot, giving the Smash a 4-2 lead.

Vigna augmented the Smash attack in the second half, with a seriously good shot outside the net and down the line to put East Toronto up 10-3. Vigna and Bhandal rallied well when they were up 12-4, dinking in sync to score a key point, followed two points later when Bhandal ripped one to get to a 14-5 freeze. Vigna closed it out a couple of plays later, driving a great forehand that neither Gagnon nor Layton could return.

Smash Build Early Lead En Route to Key Victory in Second Mixed Doubles Game

Again, the East Toronto Smash came out swinging, using a mix of great offensive/defensive pickleball to down the Montreal Lions. The Smash’s Chris Alain and Leigh Bradwell fed off each other, scoring early and often to overwhelm the Lions Cam Rich and Grace Thomas in a 15-11 triumph.

The two squads traded short rallies early, with the Smash taking a 5-3 lead before kicking it into high gear. Alain and Bradwell dinked their way to another point and then rallied using gutsy defense to go up 7-3. Rich and Thomas battled too, scoring an answering point with staunch defense before Bradwell blasted a superb backhand to give the Smash an 8-4 advantage at side change.

After a rest, the two teams alternated hitting the Dura ball into the Selkirk net or side out, before Alain crushed a big forehand for a 12-8 smash lead. Rich displayed a massive overhand for another Lions point, before Alain again blasted a forehand winner during a great rally featuring dogged defense by the Lions Thomas. The Smash forced a Lions timeout at 14-9 freeze and then rallied after two Lions points to win it when Thomas sent a return long.

Lions Women Rally to Big Comeback Win over Smash

At the outset, things again favored the Smash, who took a quick 4-1 lead and looked headed to a match-clinching victory. But the Lions Kim Layton and Grace Thomas had other ideas, rallying and battling to a hard-fought 15-12 win to keep the Lions alive in the match.

Smash pair Leigh Bradwell and Jordann Vigna swiftly scored points, with Vigna dropping a beauty of shot for a point and the two then dinking their way to a 4-1 advantage. Layton and Thomas regrouped, then, putting the Smash on their heels with offensive acumen, knotting the score at 5-5. The teams traded a few points and at side change the Smash lead 8-7.

The break over, Layton and Thomas then went to work, with Thomas smoking a forehand to knot the score 9-9. The Smash’s Bradwell put her shot making prowess on display too, ripping a forehand to tie it 10-10 after going side out previously. Thomas and Layton answered well, with Thomas collecting two points on outstanding shots and Layton one of her own to lead 13-11.

Layton then drove another shot that eluded the Lions, forcing a time out at freeze. The Smash answered with a point during a great rally to extend proceedings, before Layton drilled a great forehand to win it and keep the Lions’ hopes alive.

Smash Men Complete Match Triumph with Tight Decision over Lions

Try as they might, the duo of Eric Gagnon and Cam Rich just didn’t have enough in the tank to extend this match over the Smash’s Dalbir Bhandal and Chris Alain. In dire need of a victory, Gagnon and Rich took a short-lived lead off the start, only to see Bhandal make an acrobatic lunge and great shot to put the Smash ahead 3-2.

The Smash wouldn’t lose that edge, feeding off each other to take an 8-6 lead into side change. Rich and Gagnon did their level best to keep the Smash in check in the first half, with the former pounding two forehands for scores and Gagnon chipping in another on a good get. However, Alain and Bhandal displayed great patience, the highlight being the beauty of a set-up by Bhandal that Alain took advantage of to make the score 5-3 at that point.

The second half started with a great Gagnon flick that caught Alain in a bad position, tying it at 8-8. Alain paid the Lions back, though, with a laser down the line and then another massive shot to put the Smash ahead for good. Rich got in another tricky flick to keep things tight at 12-10 Smash but found net after to go down 13-10. The Lions did make things interesting, getting as close as 13-12 when Bhandal and Alain hit net and went side out, but Gagnon dinked a return into the net to push the score to 14-12 and then take a needed time out. The two teams came out firing, with Alain winning it on a shocker of a drop shot for the win.




Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Cam Rich00121501115Grace Thomas
Kim Layton0115120615Eric Gagnon
Eric Gagnon0012150615Kim Layton
Grace Thomas01151201115Cam Rich

General Manager: Jay Devilliers


Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Dalbir Bhandal1115121156Jordann Vigna
Leigh Bradwell00121511511Chris Alain
Chris Alain01151211511Leigh Bradwell
Jordann Vigna0012151156Dalbir Bhandal