Handicap matches often depend on the ability of players to adapt their game depending on their opponents grade. It often also involves being quite ruthless using vicious spin serves to gain what are hoped to be easy points. Players chasing have to play with care, players with a good lead have to go for shots, in effect take risks but in the hope they will be applying pressure on every point. Nets and edges really play a part.
In the handicap cup final Rowhedge B were up against Gt Horkesley E. Rowhedge won 8-1 but it is worth noting that of the 19 sets played 8 went to deuce and 7 sets were within 3 points of deuce. In most cases the chasing team only caught up with just a few points to spare. David Moss and John Andrews against Roger Warren and Hazel Hume in the first doubles. A 3 set match, the only one of the night. 17-21, 21-19, 21-18. The second match shows how close the matches were, Oli Reynolds beating Ian Carter 23-21, 22-20, almost too close to call and with the smallest change Gt Horkesley could have been level. It was the same again in match 5 with the score 3-1 to Rowhedge, Roger having taken the one win for Gt Horkesley, 21-11, 22-20 against John, Oli and John beating Ian and Hazel, 23-21, 22-20. Oh so close to 3-2 rather than 4-1. David sealed the contest with a 21-19, 21,16 win again Ian.
The handicap doubles cup is best described as an endurance event. Players do not get much rest time before they are called back to the table for their next match. Always 4 of the 6 players taking part in a match. Pegasus B were up against Tollgate G. Of the 7 matches played 6 went to a deciding set. It was a game of cat and mouse with some very long rallies and of course doubles offers up different player combinations as you change ends which is what no doubt caused the 3 set matches.
The most successful pairing for Pegasus were John Robinson and Clive Forster who won their two matches played against Martyn Green/Nigel Hutchinson and Mike Baldwin/Nigel Hutchinson.
Tollgate won the first match of the night but it was perhaps the second match which became crucial for Pegasus, Rupesh Harding with Clive beat Mike and Nigel, 21-15, 20-22, 24-22. It was a long well fought match and a win for Tollgate might have affected how Pegasus approached the following matches. Pegasus won the contest 5-2