As emailed around by Water Lane's Alan Hare on 18th May -
At Water Lane last night Division1 runners-up BATTS Mandrills put out their strongest available team and fully deserved their Doubles Final victory over their Division 2 hosts.
A poor turnout saw the home side fall below the required rate (14-21, 14-21) from the very start, Alan Shrimpton and Andy Burridge losing 9-21, 13-21 to Elaine Hanworth and Max Chessis. Elaine's beautifully classical touch enabled her to angle the ball finely down her opponents' backhand wing. Often this would prove an outright winner; but on the rare occasions the ball was returned, notably by Kamil Csonka, it was lofted so that her partner could then despatch it with ease. This was a recurrent theme of the Match and Water Lane's task grew inexorably more and more difficult, until they needed to win the final game 21-13, 21-13; but instead lost it 12-21, 14-21 to the more composed Graham Sturton and Elaine.
It could fairly be said that, owing to the nature of the handicapping and the natural 0-0 start, at no stage during the Match from start to finish did either side know precisely what they must do to win it! (perhaps not even until they read this!) Regardless of all complexity, however, Water Lane never recaptured their Semi-Final form and were outclassed by a far more competent team who in an enjoyable competition combined well to form good doubles partnerships throughout.
Final Score: Water Lane 418, BATTS Mandrills 450.