writes Peter Florence
League leaders Colebridge Pasties gained a 7-3 victory at Shottery B following trebles from Mike Evetts and Mike Credland, although the latter had to overcome a two set deficit before turning his contest with Steve Smith around by clinching the decider 13-11. However the two Mikes fell short of making it a perfect evening by conceding the final seven points in the doubles to lose out to Smith and Tim Fell. The Shottery pair both also gained a singles win, while John Swinburne earned Pasties other point .
Swinburne was in action a second time when he turned out for Colebridge Bulldogs who played host to a strong Shottery A team. Gary Stewart and Awais Muhammed swept all before them, without conceding a set, with Graham Poole adding their eighth score. Dean Hicks and Mahroof Hussain both got on the card for Bulldogs, and Swinburne was unlucky not to follow suit after narrowly losing out to Poole in the only game to go down to the wire.
In Division 2 Ashorne overcame Veterans 7-3 following a triple from Roger Pye and two successes from both Mark Bridgeman and Steve Bolton. Brian Marston was on song for Veterans earning a brace, as well as the doubles in partnership with Peter Rodwell.
Honours were even when JLM Troopers entertained Blazing Paddles. Nello Mauri posted a treble for the visitors, with Chris Dickens adding their other two wins. Dickens was involved in both encounters to go the full distance with contrasting fortunes. He put aside loss of the first two sets to defeat Piotr Penczkowski 14-12 in the fifth, but fell at the final hurdle against George Clarke. Clarke finished with a brace for Troopers, with both his brother Henry and Penczkowski getting on the card, while their team also claimed the crucial doubles.
Henley A lost 6-4 at Tanworth Taipans, but the result could have been very different had they been able to take advantage of any of the three contests to be settled in the decider. They all involved the hosts’ Jason Rainey who secured the first two ends against Peter Quince before winning the hard way. Rainey then edged home 11-9 in the fifth set against Nigel Payne before successfully partnering Tim Lawrence in the doubles in yet another marathon encounter. Rainey finished the evening unbeaten with Lawrence earning their other victories, while Payne went home with a brace for Henley and Quince and Dave Hatcher each added a point.
JLM Cavaliers are through to the final of the knockout cup after overcoming their stable mates Hussars. Steve and Joe Cull, together with Dave Bevington, amassed a total of 348 points during play to produce a lead of 45 which was reduced by a handicap adjustment of seven thereby giving them a final winning margin of 38. Cavaliers will now contest for the trophy with the third team from their club JLM Troopers.