ONE good turn deserves another but, unfortunately for Golcar Lib, it backfired!
When an A team player was asked to help out their B team in a rearranged match against Marsh Con B, he willingly agreed to do so.
But, at the eleventh hour, a member of the A team fell ill, leaving no time to make alternative arrangements, and so they had to face Marsh Con D with two players only.
Despite their prodigious efforts with five of the seven sets played going to four games, and one to a deciding fifth, they could not hold out against a strong Marsh side and lost 8-2.
Roy Crosby opened the match for Golcar against Keith Hague and after a slow start in the first game, which he lost, he powered his way to victory in the second.
Hague’s steadiness withstood the Crosby onslaught and he won many points with his unusual backhand drive and also with long-distance lobbed returns which Crosby found difficult to counter.
Richard Auty then took on Marsh’s Steve Martin in the only game to be won in three straight. But Auty was left frustrated because he was in the lead in all three games but could not quite get over the finishing line.
All credit to Martin however, for his determination to hang in there when times were difficult. His ability to pile on the pressure in bursts of attacking zeal and his willingness to try to outthink and outmanoeuvre his opponent with subtle variations of service speed and length paid great dividends.
It was an enthralling set won by Martin 13-11, 12-10, 11-9.
In his set with Steve Dunn, Crosby powered his way to a convincing win, his only blemish being in the second game.
Leading 10-8 he allowed his exuberance to get the better of his discretion and he lost the next four points.
The same exuberance had contributed to his defeat by Hague, but on this occasion, following his lapse, he stormed back to win 11-5, 11-7 victory.
But later against Steve Martin, Crosby was beaten after a five set thriller 12-10, 11-6, 4-11, 9-11, 11-7.
After winning the first two games, Martin lost the second two but marshalled his tactical skill to control the final game and finish the task.
Auty’s battle with Hague was a fine see-saw affair. With Hague leading all the way to 9-7 in the first game, Auty sprinted to the winning post, taking the next four points with his heavy topspin loop, which even Hague could not control.
Having gone neck-and-neck in the second game to 6-6 it was Hague’s turn to do the sprinting, taking the next five points.
There is a gentleness about Hague’s game which belies and surprises at the power behind his backhand and forehand hits, which are well disguised and well executed.
Yet again in the final two games, he forged ahead from the halfway stage.
In his final set Auty had mixed fortunes. He was 8-2 down to Dunn in the first game but rallied to deuce before eventually losing 11-13.
He dominated the second and won the third but only after trailing for most of the game. He clinched victory in the fourth at 11-8.
Marsh Con D won the match after taking the doubles by three games to one.
They won, not because Golcar Lib A were a man short, but because they were the better team on the night.
Crosby and Auty fought well for Golcar, but Martin and Hague for Marsh were particularly strong.
Division I: Scissett A 1 (Morley) Lockwood Con B 9 (Buckley 3, Rawnsley 3, Prescott 2).
Woodfield Pk A 5 (Marshall 2, Pugh 2, Wood) Brooks B 5 (Ellis 3, Sykes).
Lockwood Con A 8 (Sanderson, Tweedale 3, Taylor 3) Woodfield Pk B 2 (Belk, Moorhouse).
Division II: Marsh Con B 8 (Hirst 2, West 2, G Normanton 3) Marsh Con A 2 (Dawson 2).
Golcar Lib A 2 (Crosby, Auty) Marsh D 8 (Hague 3, Martin 3, Dunn).
Lockwood C 9 (Bowen 2, Cockayne 3, Townend 3) Scissett B 1 (Heywood).
Marsh C 7 (Borcic 3, Rickwood, Taylor 2) Golcar Lib B 3 (Chatterton, Tattersley 2).
Scissett B 8 (Clarke 3, Womersley 2, Heywood 2) Golcar Lib B 2 (Chatterton).
Marsh A 2 (Dawson) Marsh B 8 (West 2, G Normanton 3, Hirst 2).
Marsh B 8 (Hirst 3, West, G Normanton 3) Golcar B 2 (Chapman, Singleton).
Division III: David Browns B 9 (Davenport 3, Hemingway 3, Shelton 2) Brooks D 1 (Astwick).
Newsome B 0 Lockwood Con D 10 (Kerr 3, Heywood 3, Moss 3).
Concorde Trophy Handicap League Section B: Scissett WMC B 333 Kingsmith Eng E 380.
Section D: Brooks B 348 David Browns A 345.