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Clwyd 23-13 Pembrokeshire

26th Apr 2016

CLWYD REPORT After sealing a hard-fought victory at Bedfordshire in their last fixture, Clwyd were hoping to collect yet more pickings from their fellow Welsh rivals, Pembrokeshire, to bring the season to a close. The weekend didn’t start as hoped, as first blood went to Pembs Ladies B, who swiftly took the first two sets, the first being from Sue Phillips, who collected the match award with a 15.86 ave. It was soon back to business, though, as Clwyd’s ladies regrouped and took the remaining 4 sets, with wins from Lyn Chadwick (15.87 ave), player-manager Abi Hamilton (15.49), Julie Maddock (13.71) and Clwyd’s own match award winner Becky Jones (17.23). And to put the icing on the cake, Clwyd’s Ladies B had earned themselves the title of Ladies B Champions of Division 4! I believe a little celebration followed…..

So, a good scoreline to take into the Mens B match, and despite dropping the first set, the winning ways continued with further home points for Bryan Moran (24.24), Andy Alker (21.78), player-manager Steve Gierke (21.60) and Mr Consistent Ricky Spender with a fabulous 28.90 ave, earning him the match award. Pembs rallied a little to pick up the next two sets, but once again Clwyd fired back with 4 more resounding wins for Craig Spriggs (25.95), Mark Howcroft (2 180’s and a 23.48 ave), Paul Gillam (23.48) and Luke Humphries (24.05). Pembs’ Jeff Maynard (25.84) earned their match award in taking the last set, but the day belonged to Clwyd as they took a 12-6 lead into Sunday…

Clwyd’s Ladies A have not enjoyed the best of seasons, it has to be said, while Pembs Ladies sat at the top of the Division and have many fine players in their ranks. With their Rhian Griffiths taking the opening set with a match award winning 24.24 ave, things may have seemed ominous, but not a bit of it. Clwyd’s Jane Robson (15.64) put in another sterling performance to bring them level, although level pegging was short lived as Pembs then won the next set. All eyes on the next game, as Clwyd’s own former Welsh International Glad Davies took on the Welsh International Ladies captain Julie Gore, and we weren’t disappointed, following an outstanding tussle, match award winner Glad came out on top, 3-2, and with a 20.77 ave, over Julie’s 19.94. Clwyd took advantage of their situation and sealed a great victory with further wins for Sarah Roberts (17.89) and Nat Davey (18.79). Clwyd lead 16-8.

Steve Gilbert (22.86) extended Clwyd’s lead winning the first set, before Pembs clawed back another point in the second. But the home team weren’t for giving much away as they collected the next four sets (all 4-0’s) with wins from Jason Wilcock (21.55), John Thomas (22.02), Tom Evans (23.58) and Dave Harrold (26.37). Pembs nicked the next set, but Clwyd collected the next two with outstanding wins from Colin Snead (24.50 ave, as well as a superb 156 checkout), and match award winner and new dance inventor, the Jester Lester Thompson (28.69 ave). That was it for Clwyd, though, as Pembs picked up the remaining three sets, including a win from their match award winner, and former Clwyd player Steve Alker (27.78 ave). Final result 23-13 and a very satisfying note to end the season on.

As with most seasons, Clwyd have had their highs and lows in this past campaign, but finishing as strongly as we did, there is much to be encouraged by for next season. An excellent influx of new, and young, players have helped build a very capable team, and the team spirit is like many of us have not known before. Thanks everyone, for your hard work, your commitment, your patience, the laughs, and we can all look forward to the Intercounties at Prestatyn with some confidence.