Sunday, 18 September, was the third meeting between Chester and Sheffield in recent years, and at the same stage in the national Secretary’s Shield competition. On this occasion, Chester won an enthralling and finely balanced match 4 – 3.
The team of Robin Tasker (captain), David Boyd, David Guyton and Brian Walton were up against a strong Sheffield side with three low handicap players . In the morning the doubles was lost in a very close game but the two singles were won to give Chester a narrow 2 – 1 lead by lunchtime. But it was close. David Guyton came back very late in his game from a 7 hoop deficit to win by 2 hoops.
The afternoon session was even more tense with Sheffield up or level in all the games until Brian Walton pulled away to win his singles to bring the match score to 3 – 3 with one game still in play. And here, when time was called, David Guyton was one hoop down but brilliantly held his nerve to run two further hoops to secure an overall 4 – 3 win for Chester.
The match was played in a friendly but competitive spirit; and it was great to catch up once more with members of the Sheffield team. So, all in all, a quite thrilling and enjoyable day.
Chester will now play Newport Croquet Club, near Saffron Walden in Essex, in the final.
Chester names first:
Robin Tasker (4) and Brian Walton (7) lost to Eugene Chang (-1.5) and Margaret Crossland (12) 20-26
David Guyton (5) beat Mark Simmerson (5) 26-24
David Boyd (6) beat Trevor Billard (2.5) 26-11
Robin Tasker lost to Eugene Chang 20-26
David Guyton beat Trevor Billard 21-20T
David Boyd lost to Mark Simmerson 19-26
Brian Walton beat Margaret Crossland 19-16T