Kingfisher A v Hesketh A +150
Kingfisher, fielding mostly reserves, fought hard to reduce the 150 points handicap as Hesketh took full advantage of their weakened team. Kingfisher ladies got them off to a great start and put them on track with 44 points however their men only gained 17 taking them to +61 after the levels but still leaving 90 points to make up. A gain of +52 in the mixed wasn't enough and Hesketh held on to win by 37 points. Richard Percival and Sheena Carberry won most points for Hesketh whilst Chris Foote and Rachel Dewhurst, despite winning most games and points on the night, finished on the losing team.
Poulton v Pilling B +170
Poulton made up most of the handicap by the half way stage as they gained 95 points in the ladies and 40 in the men's to leave themselves only 35 points behind. In the mixed games Poulton piled on the pressure to easily win by a big margin of 83 points and 21-3 in games. Alex Fleming was best player for Pilling. Three Poulton players finished with 100+ scores. Nikki Wilford +130 Michelle Skinner +110 and Ant Forrest +101 as Poulton look strong contenders to retain the trophy.
Lids A v Lids B +160
Wednesday night had a club derby match with Division 1 Lids A meeting Division 2 Lids B with a place in the semi final waiting the victor. Both teams finished mid table in their respective divisions and with the tough handicap a close match was expected. The A made good progress in the ladies where they clawed back 65 points. However the B men held firm, only surrendering 24 points, meaning the A had pulled back 89 points at the mid match stage only needing a further 71 points from 12 mixed games. In the first 5 sets the A team gained 55 points - leaving a deficit of 16 points. However, in the final set, the B pairing of Lisa Musson and James Leigh not only contained the A team but managed to win a game and score +3 points giving the triumphant B team the win by 19 points. Although the A teams Beth Cowell +76 and Jen Tsang +62 were the best performers on the night it was the fact that James only conceded 17 points which was the main reason the B team won. An easy semi final v Fleetwood A next !
Fleetwood A v Kingfisher B + 195
With a big handicap to overcome, Fleetwood set about reducing the deficit with gains of 60 points in the ladies and 64 in the mens. 3 sets of mixed added another 63 and when set 4 was won by 32 points it was game over. Kingfisher continued to fight until the end but they ended the match 43 points adrift. Sarah Woodhouse and James De Wolf were Kingfisher's best points performers but were far behind Fleetwood's big hitters Caroline Andrew +110, Tim Vickers +98 and James Lester +89.
Kirkham Charter B v Kingfisher C 0 Handicap
With both these teams finishing at the foot of Division 3 and their league head to head at 1 win each, a scratch handicap was given. Although Kirkham won 4/6 ladies for +16 the men from Kingfisher managed to win 5/6 games for +26 to give them a 10 point advantage at half time. The match swung back in Kirkham's favour as the 8-4 games in the mixed gave them a points advantage of 53 points and a match win by 43 points. Katie Kinder +61 and Lynne Briggs +27 best scorers for Kirkham whilst Harry Heywood +21 and Lyndsey Simpson +2 were the only Kingfisher players to have a plus points.
Stanley B + 110 v Kirkham Charter A
Kirkham seemed to be on their way to victory after they gained 61 points in the levels as their ladies won by 40 points which was backed up the men who won by 21 points. In the first 3 mixed sets they gained another 26 to put them only 23 points behind and all to play for. However. in the final 6 games, all the mixed pairs from Stanley fought hard, minimising Kirkham's points to +9, and winning the match by 14 points. A great team effort from Stanley with Jake Meakin only conceding only 19 points from 8 games. Consolation for Kirkham's Emma Gilfoyle +74 and Ian Chase +44 who were the best players on the night.
Ribby Hall A v Ribby Hall B +80
Another club derby ending with victory again for the lower ranked team. The B team only conceded 15 points in the levels thanks to a joint effort from the ladies on -6 and the men on -9. Onto the mixed where the A had a difficult task of having to pull back 65 points. This proved too much as in the first 4 sets the B actually gained 9 points to put the tie out of reach. Although the A managed to recover 45 points in the last 2 sets it was too little too late as the B, much to their delight, won by 29 points. Carol Howarth +44 and Fred Driscoll were the A team's best players but a great display from John Wright winning 5 games and +23 points and Melanie Bunney 4 games and +7 points were the B teams main contributors on the night.
Hesketh B v Lids C +50
Top of division 3 against bottom of division 2 is never an easy match up to predict especially as Hesketh were missing 2 of their regular players. In the end Lids not only won most games 15-9 but the match by 85 points. They gained points in each section as ladies ended +12, men +13 and mixed +10. A great win for Lids after a tough season in division 2. Mark Green +36, Nean Pilkington +29, Jason Lyndon +23 and Ceri Smith-Jayne + 11 backed up by Helena Lemper and James Norman. For Hesketh only Jill McMillan and Steve Blackburn ended with + points.