Andover Advertiser Report 210414

The final of the pre Christmas Handicap Tournament was eventually completed when all the players became available, although one player was still 1½hrs late. This competition is for teams of two players who are drawn from two sources. These sources comprise (1) Division 1 players and (2) Division 2 players and others. All players play using the handicap system and the games are up to 21. There are two singles matches with the Div 1 players play each other and the Div 2 players likewise. In the event of a draw a doubles match is played to decide the winner.

The teams comprised Carl Wheatley [43] with Dom Raymond [40] and Tomos Hardiman [45] with Nathan Shears [8]. In the first singles Carl and Tomos were very well matched, as their handicaps suggested and produced three very exciting games before Carl managed to win 21-17, 20-21 & 21-19. In the second singles Nathan’s handicap gave him 14 points start per game and this proved too much for Dom who lost 16-21, 21-20 & 9-21.

The match then went to the deciding doubles, with Tomos and Nathan claiming a 9 point start per game. In the first game they managed to keep their noses in front and thanks to some fine attacking shots from Tomos took it 21-19. The second game became a battle of attrition with Carl and Dom steadily gaining points to draw level and look favourites to take the game. At this point Nathan turned the match with a return from the backhand side that was very high and hard to control but he managed to keep the ball in play and went on to win the point. He then played well to hit a forehand topspin winner that gave them the game 21-18 and the match.

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