Sunday, 14 August 2022

Home win puts Phyllis Court top of the table

PHYLLIS COURT A scored a convincing victory against Isle of Wight side Ryde on Wednesday of last week to reclaim top spot of the Southern Croquet Federation Level League.

Chris Roberts and Roger Goldring were taken to a deciding third game by visitors Roy Tillcock and Stuart Peters in their doubles rubber to finally see off a match that lasted nearly four hours.

In the number three berth for Phyllis Court, Raouf Allim had long since finished his singles match with Pam Sim in two straight games and at number four, Helena Fensome also won her singles with Dave Willett, but needed the third deciding game.

Leading 3-0 at the halfway point, there was confidence from the Phyllis Court team during the lunch break, knowing that one more win from any of the four afternoon singles matches would secure the result of the fixture.

They didn’t have long to wait, as Allim saw off Dave Willet fairly quickly to make it 4-0 to Phyllis Court just before Fensome fell to Sim as the Islanders gained some consolation.

Goldring was pushed all the way by the improving Peters but won eventually in straight games and in the number one game Roberts won the last hoop of the deciding game for the narrowest of victories over Tillcock.

The 6-1 win put Phyllis Court back on top of the table by the margin of just one game win over Winchester, and the two undefeated sides meet to decide the title on August 28 in Hampshire

Elsewhere players came from near and far to contest the Phyllis Court round of the National B-Level Series competition last weekend.

Rain ruined the day one plans, as the original plan for an ‘all play all’ format had to be re-thought when only three of the scheduled eight rounds of games had been played before the courts became waterlogged, preventing further play.

Despite the poor weather Ian Mason and Rich Quilter surprised the field by holding a three-way lead with Mike Bilton (Yorkshire) when the enforced break came.

That pattern continued well into the second day with the field of 16 failing to make an impression on the leaders, until Mason fell by the wayside with a couple of rounds to go, leaving the other two tried on eight out of 10 game wins at the close.

Bilton took the trophy (Smokey’s Cup) with victory against Karen Quilter in their head-to-head game, and he now qualifies for the national final next month.

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