Photo shows L to R
Umpire Graham Rollinson, Sam Gittens, Arthur Knowlson,
Colin Fyles, Geoff Pye, Stan Clarke, Joe Mullins, Andy Bird,
Dave Dundas, Alan Cameron, & Dave Williams
Although this is intended as league report, (for the Digest) I thought I'd start with a report on the Stamp Cup Final (the Division 5 Cup) played between Merseyside Police 'D' Sam Gittens, Geoff Pye, Joe Mullins & Alan Cameron, and Wavertree Labour 'D's Colin Fyles, Andy Bird, Stan Clarke & Dave Williams at the end of March. Both teams had their first choice 4 playing (an event for both sides) and as these are two of the four sides who might be promoted, an evening of high quality was expected.
Police called Camo to play Dave Williams (the no. 4s), and we're off with a 5-setter straight away. A great hitting and recovery match was won by Dave, hitting backhands even from the forehand corner when he could get there. Geoff played Colin next, 8th in the averages against 3rd, or heavy spun B/H pushes against a huge B/H hit. The hitting won, 3-1 to Colin and 2-0 to Wavertree.
Police really need to win the next one so Joe Mullins was called, against Dave. The age gap didn't seem to worry Dave as he went 8-4 up in the first, but then Joe worked out how to play Dave and won in 3 sets. Stan gets a game now, against Camo, a combination of Stan mislaying the table and Camo getting his nets repaid from earlier (and some) gives Camo a 3-0, (winning the third 17-15 , and ties the match.
Time for some play from the forehand side as Andy Bird plays Sam Gittins. Andy gives a series of foul serves, then Sam returns the favour, another 5-setter, and a win for Sam.
Stan plays Geoff, and in Stan's words “I should have stayed at home” as he loses in 3, despite a late fight back. All night the speed, spin and recovery shots are worth seeing; even Geoff was tempted to hit a few!
Joe against Andy is the game of the night – all-out spin and pace attack with nasty serves. It's noticeable that there's more fat on the ball than the players, perhaps this is why they keep getting it back. Joe wins in 4, and the Police win 5-2. The dozen or so spectators certainly saw games worth seeing, thanks to Graham Rollinson for umpiring (as he did most of the finals) and Bootle for a great venue to play in.
Report by Div. 5 Digest Reporter Paul Oakes