David Goacher & Roger Jenkins bear Chris Farthing & Samir Patel +26(G)
Louise Bradforth beat George Noble +17
Dave Kibble beat Stephen Mulliner +19tp
David Goacher beat Samir Patel +10tpo
Roger Jenkins lost to Chris Farthing -26
Dave Kibble beat George Noble +13tpo
Louise Bradforth lost to Stephen Mulliner -26tp
Surbiton's defence of the National Inter-Club title ran into the buffers at Bristol where the home side cruised to a comfortable 5-2 victory.
The day was mercifully free of rain although the courts showed some signs of recent lushness (9 Plummers) and the worms had clearly been having a party the night before so frequent cleaning of the balls was required. There was some jigging of team orders with Surbiton electing to field Mulliner at 3 so that he could play (and hopefully win) two quick games and head back to Haslemere in time to host his mayoral Civic Service in the evening. However, this proved rather pointless as, inevitably, the doubles finished first after an hour at 1130 while Kibble v Mulliner was last to finish at 12.15!
The doubles featured a Duffer tice by Surbiton and lots of missing by both sides until Jenkins hit and went to 4-b with a spread. Patel missed from corner 3 into corner 4 and Goacher completed a good TP. Mulliner went to 1-b but Kibble hit the tea-lady and went to 4-b, peeling Mulliner through hoop 1 at the cost of leaving a rather short lift up the West boundary. Mulliner hit but took off short to the enemy balls going uphill and missed and had another chance when Kibble missed a cut rush in his second break. However, although Mulliner hit again, he "went boundary" going downhill and Kibble finished a "ladies' tp" (ball stuck in 4-b). The reason that this took so long was not unconnected with DK doubling as maitre de cuisine (excellent lunch) and having to retreat at intervals to the kitchen to supervise the sous chef. Noble had the first opportunity against Bradforth but missed a return roquet after 2. The lady then got to peg and rover, the second break with some Jacksonesque hoop running and return roquet hitting, before Noble hit a short lift and took the hoop 3 ball to 4-b. However, Bradforth hit the long lift and finished. 3-0 to Bristol.
Surbiton now had their backs to the wall but made a bright start to the second series and had the first ball round in all four games. Farthing and Mulliner completed quick +26tps against Jenkins and Bradforth but both Goacher and Kibble hit their lifts and completed TPOs which in due course gave Bristol some deserved revenge after their misfortunes in last year's final.