Sunday, 05 April 2020
THE Phyllis Court A team looked dead and almost buried at lunchtime on Monday when they were 2-0 down against Winchester having lost two singles matches and having only just equalised in the doubles rubber.
Ian Norris and Roger Goldring were undone in those singles matches, both going down in straight games, and in the doubles Raouf Allim and Chris Roberts had had to work hard to stay in the contest after a poor opening game.
It still looked bleak after the break, when although the deciding doubles game was won by Allim and Roberts, this was matched by Winchester winning both of the opening games in Norris and Goldring’s afternoon singles rubbers.
Norris lost his next game too, giving Winchester a 3-1 lead with three match results to come, but Phyllis Court were one game down in all three and needed to win all three.
Goldring gave the Henley side heart by winning his second game to level his match, and then with a centre ball clearance at hoop 13 of his decider, won that hoop, the game and his match.
Having lost their opening games of the afternoon matches, Allim and Roberts came back well to win their next games and were able to start to believe in victory.
Roberts got away and wrapped it up at the 10th hoop, and so all eyes fell on Allim versus Winchester’s star -3 handicapper David Nicholson.
Allim had already scored a hoop eight from 18 yards to stay in the game but trailed 6-5 as play approached hoop 12, where he got a fine glance off his opponent’s ball nicely to run up to the north boundary but in an on-side position. He then scored hoop 12 with a deft jump that left Nicholson hoop-bound without decent shot to hoop 13.
Allim pressed home the advantage with a good approach to 13, Nicholson missed narrowly with his first long-range clearance but the hit with his second shot from close to the centre peg.
Allim gambled on a Nicholson miss with a potential match-winning shot angled from the boundary and fortunately the visitor obliged, allowing Allim to score from eight feet for the game, match and league title.
19 August 2019
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