G.H.READMAN K.O. CUP
first contested 1931-32
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The Readman Challenge Cup played at CADWA, Thursday 8 / 3 / 07 match official Ray Lavin.
Bootle YMCA 5 ( Keith Williams, Wayne Percival & Alan Chase) v Fords 1 ( Mal McEvoy, Terry Turner & Andrew Taylor)
This match had everything, great play and pre-match tension, just by chance, the day before the Final, I was made aware of the proposed Bootle YMCA team, but being the Cup Secretary, I was also aware that one of those players was in effect, ineligible to play because of Cup Rule 5. what made it worse was that BYMís other regular player was ill with back problems, so rather than ask the injured player (Alan Chase) to play, the early decision by BYM was to get a player from down the club order, but the injured player heard about this and decided that he would play with the help of medical assistance.
Fords won the choice to be away, and Mal started by calling Alan on against Andrew, Iím not sure if Mal was aware of BYMís pre-match problems, or if this would have been Malís first call anyway, the first two games were critical, Alan pushing Andrew to some great rallies, but Andrew had a little more than his share of luck, always welcome in games like this, winning both 13-11, was Alanís brave effort to play going to be wasted, not likely, did Andrew relax in the thought that Alan can only be slowing, or was Alan forcing himself to up a gear, whatever, the tide turned, Alan winning the next two games 7 & 8. In the fifth game Andrew goes into a 4-2 lead, then itís 4 all, Alanís 5-4 up at the turn, but then itís level to 8 all, Andrew serves and loses both, Alan doesnít let it slip now, winning the next, to clinch what turns out to be such a vital set. Keith then calls himself v Terry, and does it in three, 7, 10, & 9. Mal then calls himself on to play Alan, Alan concedes the game to save his back in case heís needed later, a tactical decision!. Then itís Wayne v Andrew, Andrew puts up quite a battle, going down 13-11, but Wayne ups the pace to win the next two 7 & 9. Mal then puts himself on against Keith, their recent league match at Fords had produced an unexpected 7-3 win for Fords with the addition of Kevin Dolder, but Mal had a good night then as well, winning his three sets, including a 3 straight over Keith, was he hoping to repeat that tonight!, but tonight he hadnít played up to now. No, Keith soon got into his game, not giving Mal a chance to settle, and winning 3 straight, 4, 8 & 9. BYM now 4 -1 up, rampant Keith kept himself on the table, v Andrew, a flowing Keith took the first 11-5, Andrew fought back to take the next 11-8, but Keith moved up a gear for the next two, 7 & 6, to win victory for BYM. 5-1.
The turnout for this Final was the best Iíve seen for a few years, with about 40 spectators, who Iím sure enjoyed every minute of it, and Dougís refreshments were more like buffet, with enough for all.