Although Ashby has a distinguished playing record in the GC Inter-Club, the team has never previously scored a 7-0 victory. Indeed, many matches have been periously close. On this occasion, the highly successful Ryan Cabble looked certain to lead a stiff challenge to the aspirations of the Ashby team. However, this semi-final became a surprisingly one-sided affair.
In the end, Nailsea only managed to score a single game victory and that was in the morning doubles leg, which swung violently one way and then the other. Nailsea reached a high point of 3-2 in the third game but then subsided. The doubles was also highly unusual in finishing in three games comfortably quicker than both the parallel singles legs, which both only took two games (although double banking accounted for some of the difference).
In matches over the years, Ashby has rarely had the opportunity to relax at lunchtime on a 3-0 lead but despite this did not rest on any laurels. Will Gee and Ryan demonstrated their fast, aggressive tendencies and were the first to finish, giving Ashby the unassailable lead. The other Ashby players then proceeded to deliver their own successes, although Brian McCausland eventually found some consistency to make Ray sweat to some extent over getting the final point of the white-wash scoreline.
The 7-0 result co-incides with Ashby fielding Gee and Rowe at 1 and 2 for the first time, indicative of the progress of these two young players. Their next major outing as a doubles pairing will be at the National GC Doubles at Wrest Park on 3 and 4 September. They probably deserve the tag of pre-Championship favourites.
Nailsea were fautless visitors, having had to turn down the opportunity of a home tie because of fixture congestion. Thus, they had the long drive and then resisted all temptation to complain about the somewhat interesting court conditions at Ashby, where weather has not been kind to the required maintenance regime.
This semi-final result gives the final as Ashby versus Surbiton for the fourth consecutive year. The current discussion is to look for a different neutral venue other than Wrest Park, which has hosted the past three finals. One major reason is to provide easier opportunity for spectators to attend what should be an exciting match. Watch this space ...
Will Gee (0) & Rachel Rowe (1) beat Ryan Cabble (0) & Peter Dyke (1): 7-2, 3-7, 7-3
Tim King (1) beat Brian McCausland (3): 7-4, 7-3
Ray Mounfield (2) beat Jim Gregory (1): 7-1, 7-5
Will Gee beat Ryan Cabble: 7-2, 7-4
Rachel Rowe beat Peter Dyke: 7-3, 7-5
Tim King beat Jim Gregory: 7-2, 7-4
Ray Mounfield beat Brian McCausland: 7-4, 7-5
|Points per game||6.73||3.6|