FRANK MURPHY MEMORIAL
first contested 1988
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Cadwa 1-: Graeme Black (-11), Peter Roberts (59) & John Ashley (69) against Linacre’s Harry Reeve (51), Harry Nelson (66) & Dave Ferguson (78)
To-nights Final was a re-run of last years Final between the same two teams which Cadwa won by 508 to 475, the handicap between the teams then was 65, this year’s match started with Linacre 78 in front, Cadwa had the same players but Linacre had brought Dave Ferguson in, in place of Jack Davidson.
First set on was Peter v Harry R., Peter immediately set off trying to force the game, with Harry content to sit back and weather the storm, pushing and chopping rather than going for the drives, Peter often missing his ‘winners’, Harry winning both, Peter getting 32 points, so Linacre immediately increasing the gap.
John on next against Harry N. John winning the first game 18, with some delicate spinny returns and unexpected hitting, but Harry won the next 21-15, so a further increase in the gap to 91.
Third set on was Graeme v Dave, Graeme’s high powered hitting was too much for Dave, winning 8 & 9, but the score was a bit misleading to Dave’s constant returns, but without a hit, it was always just a matter of time.
Gap cut to 66.
Next, John v Harry R., Harry’s policy was again a waiting game, letting John force the pace, but throwing in the odd smash in the middle of a pushing session, Harry winning both 12 & 12, so gap back up, to 84
5th set on was the final start of the comeback, Peter v Dave, Dave defending well, but without that hit to take advantage of the loose ball, was always at the mercy of a steady Peter, who won both in 9 & 12. Gap now down to 63.
Graeme v Harry N. next, Harry played out of his skin, using his deep chopping and pushing to great advantage, making Graeme miss so many hits, either hitting too long, or unluckily flying off the net, Graeme won both, but Harry pulled an unexpected 30 points in.
So with 6 of the 9 sets played, Cadwa still have a 51 point hill to climb.
A revitalised John certainly set off the right way, waiting a bit longer for his hits, slowing his returns down, probably realising that Dave plays better the faster the returns, beating Dave both games 11 & 11, gap down to 31.
Peter v Harry N. Harry again becoming the ‘unexpected thorn’, another tension packed game, Peter winning the first 21 – 17, Harry the second 21 – 19.
Going into the last set, Graeme v Harry R. the gap is still 29, Graeme’s quite capable of pulling it off with his power play, but Harry can see the Cup in sight and again his policy was not to lose the points rather than go out to win them, all his returns were loaded, and Graeme soon realised that his all out hitting wasn’t going to win, so had to slow down, using his backhand more to make Harry chase about, before going for that forehand winner, but too many missed, with Harry getting 12 points from the first game, so an impossible task for Graeme, last game 20 points behind, the look of glee on the Linacre teams faces when Harry’s second point went in, was I’m sure, the relief after the effort they’d put in to play the Frank Murphy match as it should be played, not so much about winning points, but not to lose them, does that make sense!!
The end of a fantastic contest, as the match official, I announced the changing points difference between each set, I’m sure that it kept the pressure up on both teams, but it also kept the many spectators in with the tension as well.
A few relevant statistics, Dave was the only player who didn’t win a game, but he added a valuable 60 points to Linacre’s total, Harry R. got 100, and Harry N. a magnificent 107, Cadwa’s Graeme was the only player on the night with 100%, 6 games won for 132 points, but the points that got away!, Peter pulled in 114 and John 102, so every player played their part in a tight match, both teams capable of winning where many of the games could have gone the other way.
Once again Marjorie Murphy presented the Trophy and prizes, supported again by Myra Lovelady and Dave Berry, and of course, a quality refreshments to end with, our gratitude once again to Marjorie, Myra and Dave.
Thanks also to Ron Georgeson & Graham Rollinson for umpiring all the games, BYM’s John, Danny and Sharon for their help, and the many spectators who added to the atmosphere.
Throughout the season I've had a few 'moans' about the handicaps, (especially from my own team, sorry boys!), that certain players were given too high a handicap, I would just like to say that every player's handicap is arrived at by Trevor's fairly complex computer formula taking in many variants like last season's averages, division played in, playing position, wins, losses, especially in the lower divisions, then the computer does a 'sort', putting every player into their relevent position, minus 15 to plus 100, then the Handicap committee pick out the obvious wrong ones and attempts to put them in a more suitable place, but move one intentionally, and a few others move unintentionally, but winning the competition the season before is not one of the reasons for cutting a handicap. The same teams in the Final as last season was down maybe to luck of the draw and playing the right game rather than unfair handicaps. A better way of devising the handicaps would be the use of the current season averages, but would mean not starting the competition until much later, possibly after Christmas, a no-go, so don't despair and we'll see you next season for another fun competition.