Friday, 22 October 2021

Lilley joins Goldring in all England final

PHYLLIS COURT’S Rick Lilley won the southern area final of the All England Handicap last week to qualify for next month’s final, where he will join his already qualified teammate Roger Goldring.

Lilley looked in good form during the qualifier, which was the latest of the Phyllis Court hosted tournaments to have been disrupted by the weather, as the rain arrived to shorten the planned seven-game programme back to a simple six player all play all block.

An interesting final round scenario transpired in which only Blewbury’s John Garnet, on four wins from four games, was assured of one of the two qualification places, with three other players vying for the remaining spot.

Lilley needed to beat Garnet or miss-out completely on net to Vernon Gibbs or club mate Patricia Mulcahy.

Lilley quickly established a good lead with intelligent use of two of his three extra turns and, with Garnet forced to chase the game, Lilley remained in control for an ultimately comfortable looking 7-3 scoreline.

Gibbs retained third position when Mulcahy lost 6-7 to Caversham’s Carol Jamieson, causing the pair to finish fourth and fifth respectively ahead of Phyllis Court’s winless Carol Wadsworth.

A fortnight earlier Roger Goldring had secured his national final qualification with another assured performance at the south-eastern area final of the All England competition held at Surbiton.

This was a much larger affair compared to the Henley hosted edition, with 24 players chasing eight qualification places and Goldring topped his group to book his place for the end of season finale at Sidmouth

Goldring took that good form on to the top flight Hunstanton Championship last weekend where he made the cut to the second phase knockout and won the first game of three against England international Richard Bilton, before going on to finish seventh overall.

Back at Phyllis Court, the Henley club’s D team notched up fourth win of the season against visitors Wingrave and in so doing they avenged the defeat of Phyllis Court C to the same opponents two weeks ago.

The D team got off to a flyer, winning seven of the first eight games and, although Wingrave came back to boss the round three ties, the foundations for the hosts’ 10-6 match victory had already been laid.

Captain Patricia Mulcahy, Gillian Symons and Carol Wadsworth all recorded three wins from their four games while Andy Jones, still in his first year in the sport, contributed the extra score. Symons’ good form has seen her handicap reduced by three steps to grade eight for the first time.

• CAVERSHAM’S policy of squad rotation paid off again on Thursday of last week when debutant Pam Briggs scored the winning point for their C team to clinch a 3-2
victory against Basingstoke Roundheads in the GC One Court Handicap League

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