30th September and 1st October
Yorkshire travelled to Duffield to play Warwickshire, Derbyshire and Shropshire.
First up were Warwickshire who were a man short following a last minute cancellation.
Steve Forster played at 4 and after a slowish start, had too much finesse for his opponent and won 3-0. Rob Taylor had a battle at 3, eventually prevailing 3-2 in contentious circumstances when his opponent objected to a referees decision and forfeited the final game. Steve Blacksell went on against what he thought was the Warwickshire No 2 only to discover after scraping a punishing 3-2 victory that he’d actually played the No. 1. Which meant that Phil Wakefield had no trouble dispatching the Warks No.2, 3 – 0. So a 20 point start and we were off to a flyer.
Next up were the home county, Derbyshire. Once again Steve Forster played impeccably to beat his opponent in 3 closely fought games at 5. Rob at 3 had too much firepower for his opponent and won 3-0 so all was looking good. But then Steve Green pulled his troublesome adductor and hobbled manfully through 3 games – his restricted movement meant he lost 3-0. Phil played a strong Derbyshire No.1 and lost a skilfully played match in 3 closely fought games. So 2-2 with the No. 2 string to be the decider. Thankfully Blacksell was able to out manoeuvre his opponent and took the string 3-1 and thus the match.
A fine curry and some good IC hospitality followed before we reconvened on the Sunday to play Shropshire. Sadly Warks could only get 2 players out on the Sunday and so conceded their match 5-0. Which meant that Yorkshire needed to beat Shropshire to finish top (Derbyshire having beaten Shropshire on the Saturday. We were a team of 4 as Shropshire were a man short on Sunday
Rod Erridge travelled down from York and outthought his opponent at 4 and won 3-0. Steve Forster again played well and prevailed 3-0. Phil managed to win at 1, 3-0 and Blacksell after a slow start, won 3-1.
So 54 points accumulated and a Yorkshire victory to take forward to Stage 2.
· Simon at Duffield for great organisation and hospitality.
· Steve Everitt for turning up to support.
· The Yorkshire players who all journeyed far to play for the County.
· The County and their sponsor Allam Marine who make it all possible