Friday, 22 October 2021

Phyllis Court hit back in style to become national champions

Phyllis Court hit back in style to become national champions

PHYLLIS COURT are the national team handicap champions thanks to a fine comeback in the final of the GC Federations Shield competition last week.

The Henley side trailed Sussex County for the entire match and had appeared sunk by mid-afternoon at 3-0 down, but came back in dramatic fashion to win 4-3.

A slow start saw only the doubles rubber completed before the lunch interval and Phyllis Court’s Roger Goldring (handicap -2) and Raghu Iyer (three) were defeated 4-7, 4-7 by the Sussex pair Tony Jolly (two) and David King (three).

In the singles the host’s Ian Norris (-2) was evenly matched by the visitors Roger Sutton (-1) with scores of 7-5,
5-7, and likewise Phyllis Court’s captain Chris Roberts (-2) was held by Linda Gavigan (seven) left the pair tied 7-5, 4-7.

A decision was made to start afresh with the afternoon program of head-to-head singles matches and only return to the unfinished morning games if the overall team match result was dependent on them.

Phyllis Court trailed 1-0 in completed matches going into the second session and by 3.30pm the prospects for a home victory were looking grim, when their semi-final hero Goldring
(-2) fell to Jolly (two) 6-7, 4–7, and was followed shortly afterwards by Norris (-2) who faded after a bright start against Sussex captain King (three),
7-6, 4-7, 3-7.

With the team match score at 3-0 down, Sussex needed just one of the other two matches still in progress for victory and they came close but for a seven-yard hoop score from the boundary by Phyllis Court’s Iyer (three) at the last hoop of his second game against Gavigan (seven).

Gavigan had beaten Iyer in their first game without taking any of her four extra turns and was in good form all day but had the wind taken from her sails by Iyer’s dramatic score and the Phyllis Court man finally got his side on the scoreboard 5-7, 7-6, 7-3.

Meanwhile Roberts (-2) had to pull out all the stops to contend with Sutton (-1) and succeeded with a string of long-distance clearances, including a 23-yarder to hit a half ball target to turn the first game.

Roberts eventually prevailed 7-5,
7-6, bringing the team match score back to 2-3.

Norris (-2) blew away Sutton (-1) and with the team match score now tied at 3-3, all eyes fell on the Roberts (-2) versus Gavigan (7) encounter.

Gavigan again used her extra turns cleverly and forced Roberts into two well-executed jump shot scores as he kept her lead in check, as her handicap advantage unwound.

Again, Roberts’ long-distance clearances were on song and were enough to make-up for some below par hoop running attempts.

Gavigan’s extra turns expired with an untypical error at hoop 10, and with the score 5-5, the more experienced Henley player was able to control the game with a no-risk patient approach, to a 7-5 win.

More News:

POLL: Have your say