Captains Match Report
We all hated the 3 county format admittedly but a 5 county format is sadistic! Although much better socially with other age groups also playing the same weekend.
There were some brutal matches and the overall standard, particularly at first and second strings, was ridiculous. Steve Smith had an epic match on Saturday against his Cheshire opponent coming back from 2-0 to win 3-2. And Andy Tuck had a murderous 5 setter against his Cumbrian opponent before squeaking home in the 5th.
After the first matches on Sunday morning Northumberland had 3 wins from 3 with 2 counties (Cumbria, and Yorkshire) having won twice and lost once so there was everything still to play for. The undefeated Northumberland team was strong with Jon Evans at 1, Paul Millington at 2 and Glenn Ward at 3. Luckily Brian Beeson was on holiday! Andy Hall played the previously unplayable Glenn Ward (who had destroyed all his other opponents) in a pulsating 5 setter that left both men literally on their knees, with Ward just edging the 5th. A fresh Ged Martin who arrived (like the Cavalry) on Sunday morning hit the ball too accurately and too hard for Millington and won his match 3 – 1. Jon Evans (recently crowned over 60 National Champion) was wily and cunning and prevailed over Steve Martin at 1. But Prem was too clever for his 5th string opponent and Blacksell lobbed and dropped his Northumberland opponent to death on the cold glass show court. So we defeated the previously undefeated Northumberland 3-2.
Which left Yorks to play Lancs and Cumbria to play Cheshire. If we beat Lancs we would come top. If we lost to Lancs we would come third if Cumbria then beat Cheshire – which was expected.
And we did scrape by in the Roses match with Steve Martin having a great win at first string against Alan Day, Prem again being too skilful for his opponent and Blacksell (stuffed full of Ibuprofen), too mobile and quick for the 6 foot 3 inch Lancashire unit playing at 4th String.
So Yorkshire topped the 5 County Group with Cumbria second and Northumberland third.
Which means we go through to the finals on the 22 and 23 June – venue to be confirmed, but please put in diaries.
Thanks to all the Yorkshire players who travelled variously from London, Harrogate, York, Bradford, Doncaster and Sheffield to be there. Thanks to Giles for keeping all the matches on track.
And thanks to our Yorkshire sponsor Allam Marine.