There was high drama on the banks of the River Thames when Phyllis
Court squeezed past Watford and into the Inter-Club 'Murphy' Shield
The match result was in the balance right up to the 12th hoop of the last
game and there was a cliffhanger moment still to come.
Phyllis Court fielded Chris Roberts (2) and Frances Colman (3) as their
regular first pair in this competition and they duly beat steady Ian
Parkinson (3) and the accurate Nick Archer (3) in two tight games, but had
to win six hoops in a row to rescue the second.
Pam Mead (4) did really well to upset the handicap form and turn the
same trick against Janet Lewis (3) but went to the last hoop both times.
Star of the first round for Phyllis Court however, was the initially very
nervous Mary Gaynor (6), making her debut at this level as a late stand in,
and although eventually losing 1-2 to John Walker (3), the game that she
did win showed (herself more than anything) that she can indeed compete
above her handicap ranking.
So at the half way stage the hosts held a slender 2 -1 lead, and as it was
a Friday, Fish & Chips beckoned, and very well it went down too.
The singles rubbers all followed in the style of the mornings tight games,
with Watford's Janet and John getting the better of Phyllis Court's Mary
and Pam respectively.
Pam's two 6 - 7 reverses being the mirror results of her earlier games
showing just how tight these ties were.
Frances Colman had her 'eye in' and hit everything to see off Nick Archer
in two games, which left the deciding game between the tied Chris
Roberts and Ian Parkinson to determine the match.
It looked for all the world the Phyllis Court had the result in the bag as
Chris built a comfortable 6 - 2 lead but Ian was not laying down just yet.
A missed clearance handed Ian the 9th and after tussles at the next two
hoops, Ian had brought Watford right back into it at just 6 - 5 down, and
he was soon in control of the 12th with two balls in front.
Then, after much knocking away, came the Hollywood ending when Chris,
with a 'shot to nothing', powered between Ian's two balls to run the 12th
from close(ish) to north boundary.
Having come back so well and played so many close games, one could
have forgiven Watford for feeling a bit sick but if they were, they hid it well
and there were smiles aplenty all-round, helped no doubt by the traditional
afternoon cream tea.
Phyllis Court now look forward to meeting Letchworth in the semi-finals.
Results (Phyllis Court names first):
Chris Roberts (2) & Frances Colman (3) beat Ian Parkinson (3) & Nick
Archer (3) 7 - 5, 7 - 5
Pam Mead (4) beat Janet Lewis (3) 7 - 6, 7 - 6
Mary Gaynor (6) lost to John Walker (3) 4 - 7, 7 - 5, 5 - 7
Chris Roberts (2) beat Ian Parkinson (3) 5 - 7, 7 - 1, 7 - 5
Frances Colman (3) beat Nick Archer (3) 7 - 5, 7 - 5
Pam Mead (4) lost to John Walker (3) 7 - 6, 7 - 6
Mary Gaynor (6) lost to Janet Lewis (3) 4 - 7, 7 - 5