To get as much play as possible to justify the long trip to Dorset, it was agreed that each match would be best-of-three 19pt rather than the traditional 13pt. With a 10.30am start, the first round of singles matches were completed in a timely fashion, both finishing 2-0, with each club winning one match. Not so the doubles, perhaps unsurprisingly, which was nicely poised at 1-1 by 1pm, when it was decided to break for lunch.
After lunch, some debate (almost as much as in the doubles match itself !) took place as to whether to proceed with the deciding game, or to push on with the remaining round of singles, after which the doubles result might not impact the final result.
We opted to play out the singles matches, which resulted in 2 further wins apiece, and so the scene was set for the doubles protagonists to return once more to the lawn and play out the finale. As each hoop was scored, the overall score see-sawed, as did the emotions of the spectators (i.e. both teams and a passing cat). Neither pair could establish a significant lead, and the score reached 8-8. Sussex scored hoop 17 to lead 9-8, and just when it looked like the match would go down to the (hoop) wire, East Dorset uncharacteristically missed a two-foot hoop 18, and Sussex stepped in to scramble home 10-8.
An excellent match was rounded off with an excellent quality tea, albeit at 6.30pm !!!
Scores (East Dorset names first):
Tom Weston (-3) and Roy Edwards (-2) lost to Bill Arliss (-3) and Daphne Gaitley (-2) 10-7 8-10 8-10
Chris Daniels (-2) beat Alan Cottle (0) 10-7 10-8
Julie Hudson (+3) lost to Gerald Gooders (-1) 9-10 9-10
Tom Weston lost to Bill Arliss 9-10 6-10
Roy Edwards beat Daphne Gaitley 10-6 10-5
Chris Daniels beat Gerald Gooders 10-5 10-5
Julie Hudson lost to Alan Cottle 9-10 6-10
Final Score: East Dorset 3 Sussex 4