Challenge Trophy Final
sponsored by Harish Thakrar Ltd – Chartered Accountants
St John A (0) 443 v Higham Harriers B (200) 433
St John A (0) 443: Jon Perkins 128/81, Pete Boustred 130/81, Grant Timms 132/54
Higham Harriers B (200) 433: Phill Inman 87/127, Neil Stevens 62/132, Bob Collyer67/130
The League’s Challenge Trophy competition, sponsored by Harish Thakrar Ltd, Chartered Accountants, reached its climax with a victory for St John A. As well as being the closest result for more than a decade, it was also the first victory for a side in the top division for more than a decade.
The St John side started strongly with the first two sets being good victories for Jon Perkins, but Phill Inman fought back strongly to share the game and be above handicap. Neil Stevens went down (8-11, 7-11, 4-11, 9-11) to Pete Boustred to leave the Division 2 side 11 points ahead of handicap. However, set 3 swung the game towards the top division side as Grant Timms showed his class with a masterly display, winning out (11-3, 11-6, 11-3, 11-1) over Bob Collyer. Inman gained a leg and 28 points against Boustred with Collyer keeping them slightly below handicap at the halfway stage by amassing 29 points in a (9-11, 10-11, 8-11, 2-11) defeat to Perkins. The return of Timms to the fray quickly restored balance as in a superb display he restricted Stevens to 13 points in a (11-4, 11-5, 11-1, 11-3) victory.
The next three games saw the Harriers’ gain 2 on handicap thanks in the main to Inman who gave a heroic display against the in-form Timms, gaining 28 points in a (3-11, 10-11 10-11, 5-11) defeat. This left a 17 point deficit for the Division 1 side to make up in the doubles and Timms and Bousted won the first 2 ends (11-1) to make them clear favourites and they duly obliged in the last two ends with (11-6, 11-5) victories in the doubles over Collyer and Inman to conclude an excellent final by winning out by 10 points.
Thanks to the Old Grammarians, for hosting the venue, our Sponsor Harish Thakrar Ltd and their representative Rod Smith, Deirdre Kiziak, League Secretary, who put on an excellent buffet and to Alan Hill who ably assisted Challenge Trophy Secretary, Chas Allen in the handicap process and scoring on the night.