Handicap Final Match Report
I have to admit we thought before the event that the handicap was a little low but we weren't going to let that dampen our enthusiasm. We were up for it. Andy and Steve were firing each other up all week.
Steve was up first against a tentative Ian Gordon and took full advantage by roaring away to a 21-14 win. Ian recovered somewhat in the second but Steve hung in and was a little unlucky to be edged out 20-21. This was a great start, well ahead of the handicap.
Andy was nervous but that cushion Steve had created took the pressure off. After a good start against Janet Brown, things turned a little as she pulled away to win 15-21. Andy, not too disappointed at getting near to the handicap settled down to the second surprisingly relaxed and in the zone. He soon had a lead that this time he extended rather than relinquishing, to finish 21-11. This was another advance on the handicap.
Pete, who had rushed back from a golf day, was unlucky to face, Begroke's strongest player on the night, Dawn Pearce, in his first game. Dawn was very solid, giving nothing away and punishing every mistake. Pete stumbled to 12-21 and 9-21.
Next Andy took on Ian Gordon and steadily took the game 21-17, 21-20.
Steve now had to play Dawn and with the team in a good position this became a damage limitation exercise. Steve struggled a little in the first (8-21) but learned a lot and pushed on to get close to the handicap in the second (14-21).
Pete's game against Janet saw him looking a little more comfortable and beat the handicap by going 15-21, 21-17.
Andy's turn against Dawn and a case of "just don't lose by too many". Andy dug in and pushed and chopped to 12-21 and 13-21.
Pete went to town with Ian as he thrashed him 21-8 in the first. Ian recovered a bit in the second but still lost to Pete again (21-17) This was a big win against the handicap and took the pressure of Steve who again just needed to play solidly and not lose big time. Steve was solid and got close to the handicap. This left Bicester with a big lead going into the doubles. Needing only two points, Steve and Andy went out and had fun. (14-21,16-21).
Bicester had won! It seems a long time since the start of the competition back in November and many hard fought games along the way, not least the one point victory over Gladiators in the quarter finals.
It was a shame David Badham couldn't have been there on the night to share in the glory having played in all the other rounds and playing a significant part in getting Bicester B to the final.
Well done all, Pete, Steve, David and Andy.
Commiserations and thanks go to Begbroke A for a great final played in a good spirit.