IT was a case of nearly, but not quite at Phyllis Court on Sunday when national
IT was a case of nearly, but not quite at Phyllis Court on Sunday when national champions Ashby sneaked the biggest match ever at the Henley club by the narrowest of margins.
Phyllis Court held a 2-0 lead at lunchtime in this National Inter-Club Championship semi-final, which was the first to be played on the club’s riverside courts.
Ashby’s star England international players Will Gee and Rachel Rowe were more than matched by Phyllis Court’s Ireland international Charlie von Schmieder and number two player Chris Roberts who won the morning doubles rubber 2-1.
Elsewhere the hosts’ Helena Fensome well to beat the higher ranked Tim King in the deciding game of their singles encounter.
The remaining morning singles rubber was halted for lunch when poised at 1-1 and an amicable decision was made to suspend its conclusion in favour of starting the afternoon’s programme of four fresh singles. Following their doubles victory, von Schmieder and Roberts had high hopes of afternoon singles success against the same opposition, but first Roberts was well beaten by Rowe and soon after his team mate fell to the accurate hitting of Gee.
With the match tied at 2-2, attention switched to the other court, where the number three and four players were playing their afternoon singles rubbers and both were close affairs, going to deciding third games.
Fensome was eventually undone by Bell, and so the pressure fell on Goldring to save the fixture by beating King.
This he managed with aplomb, scoring the penultimate hoop with a shot of nearly 10 yards, to level the score-line at 3-3.
The result boiled down to the suspended singles match between Goldring and Bell.
Goldring got the early control, worked and defended a slim lead, but then Bell moved up a gear, levelled at the 10th, sank a 12 yarder from the boundary at hoop 11 and then, with a long jump shot, sealed Phyllis Court’s fate to win the match for the visitors 4-3.