Sussex lost to Phyllis Court 2-4
A spirited come-back took Phyllis Court Croquet into the National Inter-Club Championship semi-finals with a 4.5 to 2.5 victory over Sussex County.
The Henley side were looking at a tough afternoon ahead, needing to win three of the four remaining singles rubbers in order to turn around the trailing lunchtime 1-2 score-line of their quarter-final tie against Sussex Country at Southwick (near Brighton).
Chris Roberts and Roger Goldring had lost their morning doubles rubber to the accurate centre-ball clearances of the hosts' Liz Farrow and Richard Brooks 5-7, 3-7, and the visitors' Helena Jansson had come second best to Chris Heath 4-7, 6-7.
However, confidence was gained from Raouf Allim's solid 7-4, 7-4 win over the Sussex captain Roger Sutton, and whilst he looked favourite for another victory in the afternoon, the other rubbers had the feel of being too hard to call.
Once the second half of the fixture got under way, Jansson showed good fortitude after the morning's disappointment and rattled off a fast dispatching of Sutton 4-7, 6-7 to level the match score.
Allim duly saw off Heath 7-5, 7-5 which left the match hanging on the two senior singles rubbers with Roberts one game up against Farrow but Goldring trailing to Brooks.
Goldring pulled his rubber level as Roberts second game approached its zenith with Farrow trading clearances and accurate ball placing with the Phyllis Court man.
It was inevitably going to come down to the odd error or loose shot in an increasingly high-quality ending which matched the high stakes.
Roberts was cleared three times from the jaws of hoop 11 which would have sealed the game, rubber and match, but it was only when Farrow finally missed a crucial clearance at hoop 12 that Roberts ended the contest with much relief.
With the match result beyond doubt, the deciding game of the Goldring/Brooks encounter was left unplaced giving a final score of 4.5 to 2.5 to Phyllis Court.
This now sets up a mouth-watering national semi-final tie for Phyllis Court at home to the very strong Dulwich club who will be led by Belgian captain Pierre Beaudry with team that are likely to all be ranked in the UK top 40.
Sussex County 2.5, Phyllis Court 4.5
Results (Sussex names first):
Liz Farrow (-2) & Richard brooks (-1) beat Chris Roberts (-1) & Roger Goldring 7-5, 7-3.
Chris Heath (0) beat Helena Jansson (1) 7-4, 7-6.
Roger Sutton (1) lost to Raouf Allim (0) 4-7, 4-7.
Liz Farrow lost to Chris Roberts 6-7, 5-7.
Richard Brooks drew with Roger Goldring 7-5, 5-7.
Chris Heath lost to Raouf Allim 6-7, 5-7.
Roger Sutton lost to Helena Jansson 4-7, 6-7.