MEN ‘S OVER 35
SEMI A – MIDDLESEX v HERTFORDSHIRE
Holders Middlesex went 2-1 up over neighbours Hertfordshire, with wins for Peter Gunter and Mike McLaughlin. First string Eammon Price levelled the tie for Hertfordshire, with an excellent 3-0 win over Jago Nardelli, Alistair Coker then completed the result for Hertfordshire, who only 2 seasons ago were languishing in the 2nd division, as he beat Guy Olby 3-1 in a tight encounter.
SEMI B – OXFORDSHIRE v NORFOLK
With Scott Handley and Mark Cairns at 1st and 2nd strings Oxfordshire, looked a good bet to join Norfolk in the final. However the tie was won 3-2 by Norfolk with strong lower order displays for David Youngs, Ian Cox, David Gouldby at 3rd, 4th and 5th strings.
PLAY OFF – MIDDLESEX v OXFORDSHIRE
Very disappointingly, Middlesex were unable to muster 5 players for the short trip across to Redbridge for Sunday’s 3rd 4th play off versus Oxfordshire. It can only be speculated if they would have been able to do so had they reached the final.
Oxfordshire duly took 3rd place with wins at 1st and 2nd strings, Middlesex won at 3rd string.
FINAL – HERTFORDSHIRE v NORFOLK
Las Fernando gave Hertfordshire the perfect start at 5th string as he beat David Gouldby 3-0. David Youngs levelled for Norfolk, beating Scott Rickard 3-0 at 3rd string. Things then tightened up. At 4th string there was a great tussle between Chris Stanley and Ian Cox, which went to 2-2 before Cox ran out the winner, giving Norfolk a 2-1 lead. Meanwhile on the adjacent court the match of the weekend was unfolding between Eammon Price and Jamie Goodrich. A tight 1st game was won 12 -10 by Goodrich. Price took the 2nd 11/8, Goodrich the 3rd by the same score line, Price levelled 11/9, so all on the 5th, which was another great game, finally won by Goodrich 11-9 in 73 gruelling minutes. Whilst this marathon match was played out the 2nd strings Alistair Coker and Stuart Cowie were having a very lively encounter to say the least! Coker took the 1st 11/2, but Cowie then took a very tight 2nd 12/14, and then the 3rd 11/4. Coker pulled back in the 4th to level, but Cowie pressed home 9/11 in the 5th. Norfolk, ending 42 trophy less years were champions 4-1