Our level play team of Paul Bridgman (4), Bob Jones (5), Judith Hand (5) and Tony Frewin (5) entertained Watford in the EACF Level play league on 27th May. With lightning fast lawns the first two doubles were shared with Tony and Paul losing rather unluckily to Steve (1) and Anne Dennis (6) by the narrowest of margins whilst Judith and Bob managed a fine win over John Smallbone (2) and Arthur Reed (3) by 7 hoops to 4. The first set of 4 singles saw Watford take a 4-2 lead. Steve,and John had convincing wins over Paul and Bob and Arthur, a recent winner of a GC ‘B” level tournament had a 7-6 win over Judith.
Our sole winner was Tony who had a struggle to beat Anne 7-6. By lunchtime Watford had extended their lead to 7-3 as Judith lost to Anne 3-7, Tony to Arthur 5-7 and Bob to Steve 4-7 whilst Paul had a convincing 7-3 win over John. The third set of games was shared 2-2 with wins for Paul 7-3 over Arthur and Judith over Steve 7-5 but despite fine efforts by Bob losing to Anne 4-7 and Tony to John 4-7 it appeared certain that Watford would once again triumph as they now led 9-5 with the remaining four singles to be played. It was suggested that a group hug might inspire the team but Bob refused to join in when confronted by your humble scribe! By now the home support had grown to 4 all grouped round corner 1 of court 1. Excitement grew as Judith stormed into a 5-1 lead over John and Tony on the same lawn was showing great determination in competing against Steve. By now the crowd whilst still enthusiastic had been reduced to 3 as David Dawsey had an urgent appointment. Judith’s game now turned out to be a nail-biter as her lead evaporated rather too quickly for her liking. Never mind she closed out her game at the penultimate hoop 7-5. Attention turned to Tony’s progress against their highest ranked player Steve and once again hands were shaken on the 12th hoop as Tony also won 7-5. With a match score now standing at 9-7 the games on court 2 were also finishing without anyone at corner one having an idea as to how their games had gone. Expressions as they approached the clubhouse gave little away. Well we had given Watford a good game. Paul quietly announced that he had won his game versus Anne 7-1. Match score 8-9. Bob bringing up the rear without the benefit of a group hug had beaten Arthur 7-2. We had drawn 9-9! With the match not finishing until 4.30pm tea and cakes were served and the Watford team accepted with good grace the understandable excitement in the home camp. Finally many thanks to all who helped with catering and clearing up after this extraordinary match. John PS Next match: Friday 17th June Home to Letchworth.