SENTINEL CUP FINAL -Played at Ball Green on Wednesday 13th March, 2019.

BALL GREEN B v  BALL GREEN A

With all 6 players in the top 8 of the Premier Division averages, the Sentinel Cup Final between Ball Green B and Ball Green A was a promising tough fight for both teams. In the league, both their matches had resulted in a draw, but the Sentinel Cup is played over 9 games, so one team was certain to win. At the start of the season the A team had previously been the B team, but after winning the League and taking the Sentinel Cup for the last two years, the teams were re-named, so the A became the B and the B became the A. The now B team had held the crown for several years, with their Captain, Mark Evans, first winning the Trophy in 1978, along with Phil Anderson and Stan Deakin and the B team were out for revenge.

Ball Green B sprang into the lead with a fantastic first match between golden oldie, Brian Johns and the A team’s captain, Paul Malkin. After losing the first game 16-18, Brian came back with scores of 11-9 in both the next two games and was 10-5 up in the fourth and heading for a win, when Paul turned up the heat and took the next 6 points, so Brian went down 10-12. Nip and tuck in the fifth set for the first few points, but then Brian came into his own winning by 11-6 – not bad for a 64 year old and the B team were on a high.

Next up was Dave Savage for the B team again Neil Hough and after losing the first game 8-11, Dave came back with a comfortable 11-9; 11-2; 11-6 win and putting his team 2-0 up overall.

Then came the B team Captain, Mark Evans, against Chris Bailey, at 26, by far the youngest of all the players and top of the Premier Division averages. Chris had beaten Mark in 3 straight games in the league match, but this time out Mark took the lead winning the first game 13-11 and then took the second 11-8. Back came Chris and Mark lost the third game 9-11, but the fourth game was a cliff-hanger going the distance to 10 all. Mark took the next point and then a groan from Chris as Mark had a net, taking the game 12-10 and another win for the B team, surprising everyone with a 3-0 lead.

Dave Savage then faced the B team’s captain, Paul Malkin. Dave took the first two games 11-8 and 11-2 but then nosedived and lost the next two 5-11 and 5-11. The fifth set was again a tussle at the start, but Dave earned another point for his team taking the game 11-7.

The B team were 4-0 up and needed only one more to regain the trophy. Brain Johns then took on Chris Bailey and although it wasn’t a once sided affair, Chris won out 11-9, 11-4, 3-11 and 11-1 and the A team finally had a point.

Up next was Mark Evans against Neil Hough. After a tough first game it was Mark who lost 11-13 and he then lost the second 7-11 after some very strong hitting by Neil. The third game was another tough one with Mark just edging out a 13-11 winner and it was all to play for. Mark then came into his own and took the next two games 11-6 giving the B team a 5-1 win to regain the Sentinel Cup.

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