Phyllis Court looked dead and buried at 3 - 6 down in the final and deciding game of this tight Murphy Shield match against Leighton-Linslade. But 'never say die' duo Mike Fensome and Frances Colman won the last four hoops to steel an unlikely cliff-hanger victory. The match had been on a knife edge all day with that doubles match being suspended for lunch at one game all (to be returned to only if necessary) and the two morning singles matches being shared. The host's Roger Goldring complimented his singles win with another in his afternoon match up, but Leighton's John Cundell's win over Don Rutherford pulled the tie back level again.
The head to head match between the number 2 players was a long affair with all the hoops bar none being well contested, as both Colman and visitor Jean Ball matched each others fine clearance shots time after time.
Ball did eventually miss a couple of crucial shots in the second game, Colman didn't and her win put Phyllis Court a nose ahead at 3 rubbers to 2. All eyes then fell on the number 1's match where the host's Mike Fensome had seen is first game win cancelled out by David Ball's single point victory in the second.
Ball didn't leave it to the last hoop in their decider and his win drew the tie, so setting up a return to the doubles rubber.
Phyllis Court did some clever manoeuvring to win the first hoop but then let Leighton establish a controlling lead by the half way point. The teams traded hoops as Phyllis Court looked for how to win back to back points to get back into the game; Colman's clearances were working well with Fensome's ball placement. Jean Ball missed a match winning shot at hoop 11, Fensome ran the hoop right down to in front of 12 with aplomb and converted. With the game and match now tied, it was all on hoop 13 with first shot advantage to Leighton.
Jean Ball went safe and deep, Colman took better position but venerable to a clearance, David Ball fell crucially short and Fensome's tidy shot gave Phyllis Court the upper hand.
After another round of four shots, Jean Ball cleared Colman to 20 feet with husband David set to win the tie for Leighton if Colman missed the return clearance. She hit centre ball, turning the tables with Fensome now set for the winning shot. David Ball missed him and the Phyllis Court man coolly scored. What a great game, terrific to play in and just as exciting to watch - a real credit to both sides.
Results (Phyllis Court names first):
Mike Fensome (2) & Frances Colman (3) beat David Ball (2) & Jean Ball (3) 4 - 7, 7 - 6. 7- 6
Don Rutherford (3) lost to Ross Bagni (5) 4 - 7, 1 - 7
Roger Goldring (4) beat John Cundell (3) 7 - 5, 4 - 7, 7 - 3
Mike Fensome lost to David Ball 7 - 3, 6 - 7, 4 - 7
Frances Colman beat Jean Ball 7 - 5, 7 - 3
Don Rutherford lost to John Cundell 5 - 7, 6 -7
Roger Goldring beat Ross Bagni 7 - 5, 7 - 4