Reigning champions, Revolution A held top spot for the majority of the season largely due to Elstow having its free week in the early stages and always playing catch up with a game in hand. Indeed it wasn’t until week 16 of 20 and then again following its final match that Elstow hit top spot.
In that final match Elstow travelled to St Neots A needing 3 points to secure the title and faced a strong line up consisting of Jimmy Walsh ranked number 18 in England Veterans, Bedfordshire number 1 veteran Gavin Booth and Mick Gaunt. It was apparent from the start that the main target had to be for all three Elstow players, Colin Luscombe, Tom Nowakowski and Dave Beddall to win their singles against Gaunt.
The match began in the worst possible fashion for Elstow as Mick Gaunt raced into a 2-0 lead against Tom. Showing his usual power and determination Tom overcame his early nerves and took the next 3 games 6, 6 and 4. So, 1-0 to Elstow and one third of the job done.
The next three games were comfortable straight sets wins for St Neots as Jimmy beat Colin and Tom and Gavin beat Dave. Dave then overcame Mick 3-1 which put Elstow level with Revolution on points. However, should it have remained that way Revolution would have retained the title by one point as they had secured one more draw over the season. A 3rd point was essential for Elstow.
Gavin and Jimmy secured the next two matches for St Neots in straight sets which left Tom to face Gavin and Colin to play Mick.
In the home match Tom had beaten Gavin so there was hope for Elstow and he secured the first two games on the night 7 and 9. Gavin secured the next two to take the game to a decider which itself went to deuce. In a tense finale Tom won this 14-12 which gave Elstow its third point and secured the championship.
It turned out to be an essential win for Elstow as Colin succumbed to Mick on the night and St Neots comfortably took the doubles. So, after twenty league matches Elstow secured its first title by one point.
Author: Dave Beddall