Monday, 06 April 2020
ROGER GOLDRING lost out in the final of the Ryde Open on the Isle of Wight.
He was one of three players from Phyllis Court Club in Henley to play in the two-day competition, which is part of the national second tier A-Level Series.
Goldring, Chris Roberts and Raouf Allim, along with Ian Shore from the High Wycombe Club, gave this area a strong presence.
Allim started well and won all but one of his block games to head the group on Saturday night.
In contrast, Roberts and Goldring had disappointing first days given their high seedings, winning half and only just qualified of the knock-out stage in third and fourth places, respectively, from their block.
This brought about the prospect of a Sunday morning Phyllis Court quarter-final derby between Allim and Goldring with the former carrying the favourite’s tag.
But on Sunday Goldring stole a march by taking the first game of the three-game match by 7-3.
Allim levelled in the second game 3–7 to set up a deciding third game.
An unwelcome reappearance of the back injury that has plagued Allim this season began to compromise his available stroke choice in the latter stages of that decider but Goldring was by now dead-eyed with his clearance strokes and duly won through to the semi-finals 7–3.
Meanwhile, Roberts had also found some form at last and made fairly short work of Stuart Smith, the leader of the national A-Level Series competition with two previous tournament victories under his belt this season.
Roberts won 7-5, 7–3 to give Phyllis Court dual representation in the semi-finals and, fortunately, he and Goldring were in opposite halves of the draw.
Both matches needed a third game decider. Goldring beat Guildford’s Chris Heath 6-7, 7–2 7–3 and for Roberts there was agony in his deciding game when, at 6-5 up and eight inches from what would have been a winning twelfth hoop, saw his opponent Steve Leonard shoot ambitiously from an angle from 25 yards to sneak through the tiniest of gaps to score.
Deflated, Roberts didn’t play the last hoop at all well and lost the match 5-7, 7-1, 6-7 but later went on to win the third-place match with Heath.
Goldring versus Leonard in the final saw both players at the top of their games.
The multiple repeat long clearances that dominated their clash resulted in increasing anxiety about catching the last hovercraft home when a 7-5 first game win was countered by Leonard saving the match with a 7-6 win in the second.
Hoops were traded evenly in the decider until Leonard ran hoop seven from the boundary so well that he took a commanding position at hoop nine in the same stroke.
It was the pivotal moment and although Goldring kept place thereafter, the two-hoop lead was enough and for Leonard to win the game, match and title.
15 July 2019
POLL: Have your say