Challenge Trophy sponsored by Harish Thakrar Ltd
Semi Finals Results 2017-18
WDHA Superkings (0) 435 v Higham Band B (200) 407
Wanderers E (85) 385 v Higham Harriers B (0) 352
WDHA Superkings (0) 435: (Tarun Mistry 129/62, Dev Patel 132/61, Himanshu Ganatra 132/58)
Higham Band B (200) 407: (Devlin Whitmore 50/132, Stuart Futrill 66/129, Deirdre Kiziak 67/132)
In scenes reminiscent of past glories the hosts (venue having being switched) attempted before a goodly crowd to reach their first final since the eighties when it featured an all Band Club clash. Unfortunately, despite a valiant effort, the Band Club went down by 28 points. Devlin Whitmore and Stuart Futrill opened somewhat hesitantly and despite contesting well in long rallies tended to miss out on their conclusion and with hindsight would probably have attacked more, and in the first two games saw the Band Club drop 10 behind handicap and with the next five games virtually on handicap, game 8 proved to be the nail in the coffin as Whitmore, who had been a tower of strength in the earlier rounds went down 5-11, 1-11, 3,11, 3-11 to Himanshu Ganatra to virtually kill the tie. Deirdre Kiziak and Stuart Futrill both performed well in games 7 & 9 losing out 4-11, 6-11, 8-11, 3-11 and 7-11, 11-8, 5-11, 4-11 to Dev Patel and Tarun Mistry respectively, but it left the Band 12 points behind at the doubles and a mountain to climb. Despite gaining the highest point total of the night a 11-7, 9-11, 4-11, 4-11 defeat, which owed much to the below par performance of Whitmore and possibly too cautious an approach against the Division 2 leaders. Congratulations to WDHA Superkings for winning through to the final.
Wanderers E (85) 385: (David May 85/110, Derek Shears 103/110, Steve Hoole 105/93)
Higham Harriers B (0) 352: (Neil Stevens 66/128, Bob Collyer 122/74, Mick Malins 125/91)
The hosts and last year’s beaten finalist opened poorly with Neil Stevens going down 4-11, 6-11, 8-11, 4-11 to David May putting Harriers on the back foot from the word go. It looked like a landslide victory when in game 4, Stevens in a night he would like to forget, went down 4-11 6-11, 8-11, 8-11 to Derek Shears and 2-11, 11-7, 3-11, 2-11 to Wanderers Steve Hoole in game 8. Congratulations are due to Mick Malins and Bob Collyer who didn’t throw the towel in, with Malins winning 4-0 against both David May and Derek Shears restricting them to 25 and 33 points respectively. Bob Collyer also restricted May to a mere 16 points in a 11-3, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 victory and after a 3-1 victory over Derek Shears, shared 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 6-11 with Hoole. In the circumstances for the match to go to the doubles albeit only 1 point required was a heroic effort by the visitors. With the match lost the visitors included Stevens in the doubles and reduced the margin by 10 in Stevens and Collyer winning out 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-2 over Shears and Hoole. No doubt Collyer and Malins will reflect that they were well over handicap and with any support would be paying in their 2nd final, but congratulations to Division 3 Wanderers E team for winning through.