Match Report (courtesy of Dave Wackrill)
Crown & Sceptre 1st 3 - 7 Adeyfield 1st
Another great match between the ‘old firm’, always close battles these and a pleasure to play in, but this result perhaps flattered us, as it could well have been a draw - with the home boys squandering loads of match points in 2 of their lost sets.
Veteran Hemel watchers will know that these teams have formed a duopoly at the top of the League since the Gulf wars, but not, it seems, this year, with the Angela Smith inspired Flamstead 1st muscling in on the act and threatening to take over Crown & Sceptre’s traditional top 2 place, despite last week’s defeat to them.
Adeyfield paraded the new Hemel champion, John Bullard, who took the League title for the first time since 1980 (hope John doesn’t keep us waiting quite so long for his next win, or I’ll miss it). Appropriately it was in a repeat of last month’s final with John McCance, incidentally the only man ever to play for both sides in an ‘old firm’ derby, that sealed the victory here in the 8th set. The time was then 10:40,but it was another hour before the match concluded,with the last 2 sets being drawn out affairs.
Both John B and Michael Boardman were magnificent, with Michael not even dropping a leg, though I kept Crown & Sceptre in the match until well into the evening, by losing to both Gary Keers and John M. I started brightly against Gary, to lead 7-3, before a fantastic 15 point winning streak scuppered my chances. Gary was in great form himself all night, and later held 2 match points over John, but couldn’t get over the line. Alan Thomas came back at me from 2 games down in the 9th set to lead 10-6 in the decider, and went on to hold even more match points at deuce before losing.
However, how Adeyfield lost the final doubles is still a mystery to me, as we were all over them in the first 2 games without success, before going down 8-11 in the 5th. As I say, great match.