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Sussex County visited Parkstone on Wednesday to play this match having only just been able to field a team due to holiday commitments and one player being prevented by Covid.
Having posted an appeal on both of the clubs low handicap WhatsApp groups we were very grateful when Ben volunteered to be our fourth player. With Ben’s recent inactivity due to his workload the rules stated that fifty points had to be deducted from his ranking total. This meant our player order was:-

1 Richard -1
2 Liz -1 Capt.
3 Roger 0
4 Ben 2

East Dorset were able to field a much stronger team on paper:-
1 Jonathan Powe -4
2 Steve Leonard -3
3 David Kendrick -2
4 Keith Southern 1 Capt.

For those unfamiliar with the format the top two on each side play a doubles then a singles against their opposite number. The third and fourth each play two singles crossing over the opponents for the second round.
Each round consists of a best of three games.

Although East Dorset’s doubles pairing had a considerable handicap advantage, the Sussex pair had more experience having played more than double the total number of GC ranking games and they were able to put this to good use.
After a tight first game which Sussex won 7-6, I think we took command of the second at the fifth hoop which Richard scored with a good jump shot over both opponent balls to lead 4-1. East Dorset fought hard to recover but we held on to win 7-4.
We went into the lunch break with a 2-1 lead in the match, Roger having won his match 7-2, 7-6 but unfortunately Ben losing 4-7, 3-7.
The afternoon session began with us needing two wins
After a good start Richard lost his singles 7-3, 6-7, 3-7.
Liz had a very good win against her -3 opponent 7-6, 3-7, 7-4.
Roger lost his singles 7-3, 4-7, 5-7.
Ben was our saviour winning 7-6, 3-7, 7-4.

This was an unexpected win for us and we owe thanks to Roger for his commitment in travelling down and playing with his knee causing him a lot of discomfort. Also thanks to Ben for coming in at short notice and with little recent playing experience getting a vital win!

Well done everybody

Richard Brooks