writes Peter Florence:
The first round of league fixtures were completed when Snitterfield entertained JLM Hussars. John Price was untroubled for the hosts conceding just a single set during his three games, although Alison Stewart was made to work much harder before also finishing with a treble. Stewart was initially trailing 2-1 to Chris Dyson, but levelled after closing out the fourth set 16-14 and then going on to claim the decider. Stewart was also 2-1 down against Kevin Taylor until turning their contest around with a 12-10 win in the final end, while her clash with Harry Azima featured the longest set of the match where she recovered from a 10-4 deficit to take the honours 19-17.
The result ensured Hussars finished in seventh position which was just enough to ensure qualification to the first division for the second stage of the campaign. They will compete with Snitterfield, JLM Cavaliers, Colebridge Pasties and Bulldogs, and Shottery A and B, with all other teams playing in division two. Points already earned will be rolled over, thereby giving Pasties a lead of six over their top flight rivals, while Henley B will recommence with a seemingly invincible eleven point advantage in the lower tier.
JLM Cavaliers secured their place in the last four of the knockout cup with a convincing victory over Shottery B. Father and son Steve and Joe Cull, together with Dave Bevington, finished the match 76 points ahead of their opponents and the handicap adjustment was firmly in their favour to increase this to an overall winning margin of 134. Cavaliers will take on their stable-mates JLM Hussars to decide who will go through to the final.
The JLM Club are certain to lift the trophy as their other team Troopers are already in the final after a close win against Blazing Paddles. Another family combination of Jim and Henry Clarke, ably supported by Piotr Penczkowski, ended play with a 19 point lead over Paddles which was reduced by four after application of the handicaps to give a concluding differential of just 15.