Letchworth beat Ashby 4-3 in the second round of the Secretary's Shield.
Having made the long trip to Ryde in the first round, Letchworth again had to travel to play their 2nd round match against last year's champions Ashby, on the hottest day of the year. This made a pleasant change for the Ashby team who played a Longman cup match two weeks ago on probably the wettest day of the year.
The morning games went Letchworth's way and they were soon 2-0 up. The doubles provided entertainment to the other players after Tim King (4) was pegged out by Nick Mounfield (1) with Arthur Rowe (3.5) and David Tutt (0) both for hoop 5. After a lot of tussles and some excellent long hoop approaches by Arthur, David saved the day with a 30-yard hit-in after time with Arthur poised 1ft in front of what would have been the winning hoop. So the game finished +1T to Letchworth. This proved to be the decisive shot of the match, and Letchworth went to lunch 3-0 up.
Suitably refreshed the Ashby players set about redressing the balance. Arthur beat David +26 in an hour and an half with only a few chances given. Richard Sanville (9) and Derek Buxton (10) had much closer games against George Woolhouse (2.5) and Jeremy Scott (4.5) respectively, but ended up winning +7 and +8. So the match result now depended on the game between Nick and Tim. Having played the odd poor croquet stroke, Tim played to his GC strengths with some erratic pioneers but plenty of accurate long rushes. For the last hour this game could have gone either way with both players making long hit-ins, spells of good play and some errors, the pressure now on both players as they knew this was the decisive game. Just short of time Nick finished +4 to win the match for Letchworth.
(Letchworth names first)
David Tutt (0) and Nick Mounfield (1) beat Arthur Rowe (3.5) and Tim King (4) +1T
George Woolhouse (2.5) beat Richard Sanville (9) +15
Jeremy Scott (4.5) beat Derek Buxton (10) +11
David Tutt lost to Arthur Rowe -26
Nick Mounfield beat Tim King +4
George Woolhouse lost to Derek Buxton -7
Jeremy Scott lost to Richard Sanville -8