Gazette Trophy Semi Finals Tuesday 19th March
Poulton A v Hesketh A +150
Division 2 Champions Hesketh, played Poulton who had finished 3rd in Division 1. Whilst Hesketh had a 150 point start and were able to field a full strength team, Poulton had to call in a reserve and so a close match was anticipated. However this never materialised, as Poulton proved unstoppable, and after the levels had nearly made up the handicap! The Poulton ladies gained 84 points and the men 41 to put themselves only 25 points behind. After the first 3 sets of the mixed Poulton added another 49 points to go 24 points in front and virtually seal the match. Poulton romped through the final 6 games to win the match by a huge margin of 92 points and 24-0 in games. A tough night for Hesketh for whom Dominic Mcvittie and Richard Percival were their best scorers. They were completely overshadowed however by Poulton’s best performers Nikki Wilford +104, Michelle Skinner +94 and Dawn Whitby +87 whilst special mention must be made to reserve Harry Townsend who finished on +76.
Fleetwood A v Lids B +225
Division 1 Champions Fleetwood put out a strong team against mid table Division 2 side Lids B who fielded their usual team. A challenging handicap meant it was essential for Fleetwood to start well. Huge gains of 90 and 68 in the ladies and mens levels gave Fleetwood the start they needed as they overwhelmed Lids. At the end of the first 3 mixed sets Fleetwood moved to within 14 points. However, in the 4th set Steph Tsang and Dan Cooper from Lids won a game but this only delayed the inevitable, as the last 2 sets were comfortably won by Fleetwood to give them victory by 48 points. A strong team performance by the Champions led by their ladies Cath Bagley +103 Caroline Andrew +101 and Elizabeth Andrew +91 and strongly backed up by the Fleetwood men.
Bridgewood Trophy Semi Finals Wednesday 20th March.
Lids C v Stanley B +80
Lids had a tough season in Division 2 eventually getting relegated, but in the cup they have been able to field their best team. Stanley had struggled in Division 3 and on the night were unfortunately without a key player. Lids actually pulled back the handicap at the half way point in the match due to +55 points and +44 points in the ladies and mens. The mixed didn’t prove to be any easier for Stanley as they conceded another 90 points leaving Lids the winners by 189 points and 109 after the handicap. Steve Whyatt was Stanley’s best player for conceding the fewest points whilst managing to win 3 games. All of the Lids team played well with Ceri Smith-Jaynes +92, Jason Lydon +81, Nean Pilkington +75 and Mark Green +70 the highest scorers.
Kirkham Charter B v Ribby Hall B - Scratch Handicap
Both these teams had met twice in Division 3 and although Ribby had won on both occasions the matches had been closely contested. The levels ended with Ribby gaining 3 points in the ladies which was offset by Kirkham’s men who won by 17 points. Into the mixed where the Kirkham pairings were too strong, and in the first 3 sets they had pulled ahead by 45 points. It wasn’t until the 4th set that Ribby managed to pull back some points through Mel Bunney and John Wright but it was too little too late as Kirkham reasserted their dominance in the final 2 sets to win by a comfortable 78 points. Melissa Jones had the best points difference for Ribby. Kirkham ‘s Katie Kinder and mixed partner Richard Pascucci earned over 50 points with Ian Cartmell also having a successful night on +41.