Zurich International Life Mixed Doubles
Saturday saw a quality field of 26 pairs of all ages entered for the ZURICH sponsored Mixed Doubles competition with a prize fund of £150. The Finch Hill green was in excellent condition despite the exceptionally dry weather in recent weeks and the sunny weather made for very enjoyable playing conditions.
A number of very strong pairings were entered along with a number of newcomers and it was certainly a baptism of fire in the first round for home couple Helen and Paddy Murphy who came up against the winners from the previous two years, Dido Kelly and Chris Price trying to make it a hatrick of wins.
Other notable wins in the first round saw Bernie McPhee and Caroline Corlett convincingly beat Anne and Wayne Stanton while Elaine Moore and Glynn Hargraves put in a strong performance against Willie and Pauline Cowley to show they would be in contention come the latter stages.
Setting out their stall were Paul and Debbie Leece who overpowered Derek and Lynda Cadamy while home player Peter Hughes and Maureen Payne overcame Seamus Whelan and Voirrey Curphey. One of the most intriguing matches involved home favourites Jan West and newcomer Zain Abideen up against Fiona Kennish playing with youngster Ryan Hargraves. Although the home team got off to a slow start they came back strongly with a number of two point ends and ran out winners 21-18. Another home team of Sefton Dent and Greeba Paramor won by a similar score against Mary Moffatt and another home player Frank Christian. Philippa and Alec Taylor showed that they too would be in contention as they came from behind to beat Lillian Smith and Walter McCarthy helped by one of the few four point ends of the afternoon. Strangest card of the afternoon covered the match involving Stefan Kelly and Kim Hargraves playing against Rob Cowley and Sue Gawne. With the latter pair winning the first end with a two pointer but then seeing Kelly and Hargraves race away with eleven points in the next seven ends they must have thought their day was over but with thirteen points without reply from the final six ends they ran out winners 21-17. Paul Skelly and Rebecca Teare were pushed hard by Sid and Lyn Bolton but eventually just did enough to win 21-20. Wayne Roberts and Tracey Moore must have thought they were out when trailing 14-20 against Karl and Catherine Parker but heavy scoring in the final four ends also saw them over the line 21-20.
With a number of byes in the first round there were still players of note to take the stage and so it was with Mike Hargaves and Joyce Ogden who overcame Bernie McPhee and Caroline Corlett. Similarly benefiting from a bye was home player Dave McCabe and a rejuvenated Mary Alderson who put in a strong performance to overcome Paul Skelly and Rebecca Teare. Another bye beneficiary was the team of Bernard Thackrah and Caroline Whitehead but they were caught cold by the strong pairing of Paul and Debbie Leece who lead all the way to the line.
Elaine Moore and Glynn Hargraves continued their good form to beat Wayne Roberts and Tracey Moore. Philippa and Alec Taylor showed their metal when they got stuck on 16 for seven ends but came through with five points in the final three ends. The current champions Dido Kelly and Chris Price cruised into the quarter finals against Rob Cowley and Sue Gawne. James Teare and Jenny Moore raced away in their match winning the first six ends to lead 17-6 against Jan West and Zain Abideen. The latter pairing came back strongly but couldn’t hold off Teare and Moore who would eventually make it to the final. Home favourite Peter Hughes and Maureen Payne were in imperious form as they overcame the other home team of Sefton Dent and Greeba Paramor.
Elaine Moore and Glynn Hargraves looked as if they would go all the way as they easily dispensed with Paul and Debbie Leece in just eight ends. Strong scoring in the last six ends saw Phillipa and Alec Taylor beat Peter Hughes and Maureen Payne while James Teare and Jenny Moore cruised into the semi-finals against Mike Hargraves and Joyce Ogden. The tightest and longest match of the competition saw Dave McCabe and Mary Alderson put out last year’s champions Dido Kelly and Chris Price.
In the semi-finals James Teare and Jenny Moore got off to a slow start but finished strongly to end the challenge of Philippa and Alec Taylor. In the other semi-final Dave McCabe and Mary Alderson were very much on form as they restricted Elaine Moore and Glynn Hargraves to scoring on just four ends to ease into the final.
The final saw McCabe and Alderson carry on where they left off in the semi-final with some exquisite bowls as Mary put in a number of delicate touches on the jack and when needed Dave was deadly on his strikes. James Teare and Jenny Moore could not re-kindle the form they had shown throughout the competition and had no answer to the power and consistency of the opposition as Dave McCabe and Mary Alderson won the final in just 12 ends.
The prize presentation was made by Ken Kinrade, Competition Secretary for Finch Hill with the losing semi-finalists each receiving £20, the runners up receiving £40 and the winners £70 and the Mixed Doubles Cup.
Special thanks go to our generous sponsors Zurich, to all who helped in the kitchen throughout the afternoon, to Kevin Skillicorn for stewarding, Malcolm Black and Arthur Halsall for measuring and to all those who helped make this a very successful competition.