This is Reigate’s second year entering the A League (Advanced Association), and while Surbiton were the deserved victors, Reigate walked away with pride after some good performances.
In beautiful weather, with the superb lawns we’ve all come to expect from Surbiton, Reigate went into the afternoon 2-1 up, having won the singles but losing in the doubles on lawn 2, which is being used to trial a silicon coating for the inside of hoops, making running hoops a different challenge, and peels notably more difficult.
One particular highlight was from Andy Gray, who played superbly all day in preparation for his first foray into Inter-Counties, in his morning game against Mary Knapp. With Andy on peg and box, and Mary on 4B & 4B, with a tight rush in corner 3, he went for the peg from corner 4, at dead weight. As the ball travelled, with thoughts abounding of giving everything away, he hit the peg full-ball to take the win. In his afternoon game, left at 2B & 4B v Penult and Peg, he hit in and went round from 4B, pegging out his opponent, and got in again to play a beautifully controlled 3 ball break to the peg, but was unable to finish. His opponent, Don Beck, subsequently hit in, running penult and laying up in front of rover, leaving Andy’s ball south of rover wit a half-ball target. Unfortunately, his effort hit the hoop and pretty much stopped dead, giving Don a hard-earned but trivial finish.
As always, Surbiton were outstanding hosts, and having improved from last year’s 6-1 loss to 5-2 this year, it makes sense to think that in 2 more years this is a game we could win!
Neil Coote (2) & Roger Tedstone (2) lost to Chris Farthing (-1) & George Noble (-1) -11
Chris O’Byrne (3) beat Don Beck (2.5) +8
Andrew (4.5) beat Mary Knapp (2) +8
Roger lost to Chris -7
Neil lost to George -15
Chris lost to Mary -18
Andrew lost to Don -2