Phyllis Court reach National Inter-Club 'Murphy' Shield Final for first time
Phyllis Court had a tougher time that the eventual 6-1 scoreline suggests against their friends from Hamptworth, to win through to the National Inter-Club Shield Final for the first ever time!
Deciding third games and several 7-6 results had to be endured into the middle of the afternoon before this semi-final result was settled.
Phyllis Court held a 2 - 1 advantage at lunch thanks firstly to top pair Frances Colman and Roger Goldring's doubles victory over Vic Stillwell and David Cooper, in which they out maneuvered their opponents well, to win in straight games.
Raymond Wood's singles win, again in straight games, against George Bayliss, secured the lead before Lexie Oakenfold pulled one back for Hamptworth, with a win over Mary Gaynor.
The fixture was finely balanced, but tilted in Phyllis Court's favour, as they now needed to win only two of the afternoon singles rubbers to get to that first final.
Colman was first to finish but had had to come from behind in both her games to win.
She peeled Stillwell through two hoops in the first game but got back to 7-6 thanks to clever patient tactics.
Ahead and seemingly cruising in the second, she peeled him again from an apparently impossible angled hoop 11; so that game necessitated another tussle at hoop 13, before Colman prevailed.
With Goldring and Gaynor's matches against Cooper and Baylis respectively, both going to a third game, all eyes turned to Wood's last few hoops as he closed in on a two game victory over Oakenfold.
Again patience was shown and it paid off when he wrapped up his win at hoop 11, and so with that, the fixture was decided.
Gaynor finished her match with Baylis victorious moments later, and after a short while Goldring's win over Oakenfold, made it an afternoon clean sweep for Phyllis Court.
Most pleasing was the tactical display by the home team, who for the most part displayed great restraint in their play and resisted the temptation of the 'hero shot' in favour of patient tactics, and this was the key to their success.
Full credit however to Hamptworth, who deserved more from their day than the one match win, and how often do we hear that in our sport
Phyllis Court will now face Nottingham in the National Final at a neutral ground (yet to be arranged), sometime in September.
Results (Phyllis Court names first):
Frances Colman (3) & Roger Goldring (3) beat Vic Stillwell (2) & David Cooper (3) 7-5, 7-5
Raymond Wood (4) beat George Bayliss (5) 7-3, 7-1
Mary Gaynor (5) lost to Lexie Oakenfold (3) 5-7, 3-7
Frances Colman (3) beat Vic Stillwell (2) 7-6, 7-6
Roger Goldring (3) beat David Cooper (3) 6-7, 7-6, 7-3
Raymond Wood (4) beat Lexie Oakenfold (3) 7-6, 7-4
Mary Gaynor (5) beat George Bayliss (5) 7-5, 5-7, 7-5