Warwickshire Vets Pipped at the Post
The County Over 40s Veterans narrowly missed out on the Division 2A title after an engrossing weekend of matches in Wellingborough. Needing to equal Staffordshire’s result in the final round, Warwickshire could only manage a draw against a strong and determined Norfolk side, while Staffordshire eased to victory against Northamptonshire.
The Warwickshire team of Mark Jackson, Michael Browne, Simon Griew and Dawn Sagoo had begun the weekend level with Staffordshire and Cheshire II after the opening round of matches in the Autumn. And comfortable victories against Leicestershire II and Surrey II kept them in the hunt for the championship going into the final day.
The County side put paid to Cheshire’s hopes with a fine 7-3 victory, including a notable win for Jackson over Mal McEvoy, the talented but temperamental Cheshire number 1, who prefers an open, attacking match but was unable to cope with Jackson’s more subtle, defensivestyle.
In the deciding match against Norfolk, Sagoo had an impressive win over Janet Kelly and Warwickshire made a clean sweep of the doubles (Sagoo partnered by Jackson and Griew respectively in the mixed, and Browne/Griew in the men’s). However, they came unstuck in the men’s singles, winning only one of the six games, with Griew battling back from a 5th set deficit to defeat Ben Thompson.
With a point dropped, Warwickshire’s hopes were pinned on their Northants neighbours. But they were without their number 1, Andy Trott, who was unwell, and Staffordshire stormed to a comfortable victory, Andy Dixon and Paul Myatt securing the win in a tight men’s doubles.