Westoe Thirds go top after marathon against Primrose

Report by Paul Little

Westoe 3 moved back to the top of Division Four with a close win over local rivals and fellow promotion chasers Primrose 2.
This was the third Westoe vs Primrose match in four days, with Westoe 2 winning 3-2 and Primrose 3 winning 5-0.

The match started well for Primrose.

Primrose No.5 Ben Brown played confidently against Joe Sheeran (Westoe). They are both hard hitters but Brown always seemed in control, winning 3-0 (15/10 15/11 15/12).

The next match had some late drama. Westoe No.3 Stephen Wilkinson was leading 2-1 in games and had match ball at 14/10. Primrose No.3 Glen Cranson then started going for it with increased pace and won the next 4 points to get to 14/14 sudden death. Wilkinson was nervous, the momentum was with Cranson. He looked across the court, a bead of sweat dripped from his brow, then he served……….OUT. Cranson took it in good humour. Wilkinson won 3-1 (15/8 13/15 15/3 15/14).
In the next match Primrose No.4 Steve Rutherford had a bit too much front court trickery for Brian Pape (Westoe) winning 3-1 (15/11 15/10 13/15 15/10).
With Primrose leading 2-1, it was time for the number ones to play. Myself Paul Little (Westoe)  against David King-Jones (Primrose). King-Jones won the first game playing well, but I hit too many tins. I settled into the match in the second game, cutting out the tins and winning both that and the third game fairly comfortably. But the Primrose man wasn’t finished yet and came out fired up in the fourth game. He got off to a good start and, although I started closing the gap towards the end, it wasn’t enough. The fifth game started competitively with some long rallies, but I managed to win some vital points and eventually won the match 3-2 (9/15 15/6 15/6 10/15 15/8).

The tie was now all square so would be decided by the final match.

Stephen Boyer (Westoe No.2) took on fellow left hander Steve Dodds (Primrose). Boyer took the first two games looking reasonably comfortable. The next two games were point for point, Boyer was getting tired and Dodds’ retrieval skills and determination saw him level the match. The final game was more of the same, point for point, and could have gone either way. At 12/12, with a full balcony watching, Boyer hit a couple of great winners and won Westoe the match. He won 3-2 (15/11 15/10 12/15 13/15 15/12).

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