Friday, 22 October 2021

Phyllis Court secure national semi-final spot

PHYLLIS COURT cruised into the semi-finals of the national GC Federations Shield handicap competition last week, with a convincing 5.5-1.5 win against the Maldon Club from Essex.

The Henley side fielded a team of much lower handicappers than their opponents and saw the handicap system work in their favour.

The absence of the unavailable Ian Norris (handicap -2) forced Phyllis Court to change their winning team as they brought in Chris Roberts (-3) despite the larger number of extra turns he would have to concede.

The plan worked well with Roberts blowing aside Neil Clark (7) with a barrage of hard long distance hits to win his first game 7-3, and although Clark was more composed in the second game and used his extra turns to better effect, he improved on his score only slightly as Roberts won 7-4.

Meanwhile, it was all going the home side’s way in the doubles rubber where Roger Goldring (-1) and Raghu Iyer (3) were always on top of Al Brown (1) and Jean Healy (4) and won 7- 5, 7-4. The visitors saw their captain Chris Joslin (8) play his extra turns very intelligently to efficiently close out the best efforts of Phyllis Court’s Robin Coates, who was forced to shoot speculatively from far off positions . Joslin won that rubber 4-7, 4-7 to hold Phyllis Court to a 2-1 half time lead.

After lunch Goldring was first to finish with a comfortable 7-6, 7-4 win against Healy and whilst Roberts played out a long first game 7-5 win against Brown, Coates and Iyer both took their matches to deciding third games.

It was Iyer t who completed his three-game match first and secured the team match victory, with a come-back win 2-7, 7-6, 7-5 against Joslin.

Coates added gloss to Phyllis Court’s team victory with a 7-4, -7, 7-5 win against Clark just as Roberts was held 5-7 in his second game by Brown.

With the team match result established, Roberts and Brown left their deciding game un-played and contributed half a point each for the team score with finished 5.5-1.5.

Phyllis Court will now face the South-West handicap champions Weston-super-Mare at a time and venue to be decided.

Phyllis Court hosted their contribution to the B-Level (3+) Series national competition last weekend with 11 visitors, from as far afield as Reigate and Morton in Marsh, joining five home players bidding to lift Smokey’s Cup.

The tournament was jointly hosted by Blewbury, but all the day one drama was at Phyllis Court, where a prolonged lunchtime downpour flooded both the Henley courts and it took a full 90 minutes heavy pushing work from assistant manager Roberts with the club’s water removal machine to get one court passably playable.

With the half the facilities and so much time lost, manager Frances Colman announced the playing of shorter seven-hoop games for the rest of the day in a bid to get to the end of the programme.

Phil Davies (Reigate) won five of his seven games while Caversham’s Brian Jamieson went one better to head the Blewbury block, where the rain largely passed them by.

They were joined in qualification for Sunday’s Phyllis Court based cup contest, by six others including the Phyllis Court’s Dianne Brown and Michael Christmas.

Neither Brown nor Christmas could repeat their successes on Sunday as Davies retained the cup that he had jointly won last year, this time losing only to Jamieson whose two losses consigned him to second place.

In the Consolation Plate event at Blewbury, Jane Powell (Ealing) beat Phyllis Court’s Russell Robinson on net hoops after the pair tied on five wins.

Phyllis Courts other competitors, Rick Lilley and Raghu Iyer, finished fifth and sixth in the Plate respectively.

• NINE-HANDICAPPER Tim Small marked his debut for Caversham A by winning all four of his matches in the club’s 10-6 victory over Blewbury C in the GC Advantage League on Wednesday.

Another Caversham player to complete a perfect day’s play of four wins was Liz Walker. In doing so Liz reduced her handicap to 11 but she could not prevent her much-changed side going down 11-5 at High Wycombe Kites on Saturday.

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