Longman Cup Winners 2008

Terry 'Doc' Vernazza
Martin 'On Fire' Bradshaw (c)
Alan 'Red Cards' Morton
Betty 'Bombshell' Bates

The road to wrest park

Round 1 Bye

Round 2 Bowdon 6-1

Round 3 Southport 4-3

Round 4 Nottingham 6-1

Semi Final Purley Bury 4-3

Final Parsons Green 4-3

seeing double

Fylde 4 Purley Bury 3

Fylde: Martin Bradshaw (c), Terry Vernazza, Betty Bates, Alan Morton
Purley: Ron Sherwin, Audrey Sherwin, John Reynolds, Margaret Hampson

A Friday evening inspection revealed the Wrest Park lawns to be in as good shape as ever for the return of Fylde to the scene of their triumph a year ago, and we all felt good about being there as holders. Saturday greeted the teams with a very strong cold wind however, testing everyone's efforts at smooth stroke making. Never has so much clothing been exhibited by so few! Martin and Terry played Ron and Margaret in the doubles but never really hit their stride.It was a close affair throughout, and Ron nursed Margaret effectively through the game, Purley winning plus 1 on time (the closest possible margin). In the morning singles, Betty swept ahead and disposed of Audrey by 26 - 3 with plenty of time to spare. Alan's game with John was a much more dogged affair, but Alan's grit pulled him through by a single point. 2 - 1 up at lunch.

Mind that leaf!

The afternoon's singles brought no respite from the weather - the Michelin men and women carried on. Martin found Ron a testing opponent, and having established a lead had to spend a good deal of time watching him claw his way back to a 26 - 18 victory. Terry meanwhile was back on his mettle and got past Audrey winning convincingly 26 - 18 with time to spare. One further win required to take us into the final and Betty continued her good form beating John 26 - 20. Alan was not able to make a significant impression in his game with Margaret which he lost by 7 hoops, but victory had been secured 4 - 3.

Posted by Mart, 4th October

Fylde 4 Parsons Green 3

Fylde: Martin Bradshaw (c), Terry Vernazza, Betty Bates, Alan Morton
Parsons Green: Gary Duke (c), Sue Davies, Rob Minshall, Anne Robillard

After a second convivial evening at the Star & Garter, steady overnight rain (continuing until about 4pm) had produced lawns that were totally sodden. Balls travelled about half their normal distance with a plume of water tracking their route - very difficult conditions with a contained game the order of the day. Gary guided Anne effectively through the doubles against Martin and Terry. The conditions seemed to make time pass slowly, and with Gary employing destructive tactics, the PG combo ran out winners by 5 hoops with time called. Betty found Rob a very sound player and was not able to repeat her previous day's success, succumbing by 6 hoops. Alan meanwhile plugged away against Sue and was not to be denied, winning by 4 hoops at the end of time. 2 - 1 down but lovely hot food awaited. The afternoon singles saw Martin finally getting his act together. While Gary got increasingly colder and damper, he took control completing a 26 - 0 win. Terry took a long time to get back into his game with Rob, by which time his opponent was too far ahead, losing by 26 - 20. Betty meanwhile had completed another big win taking care of Sue 21 - 5. So with the match 3 all, it was left to Alan to hang on to a slender lead against Anne. To great joy time was called and a victory by 4 hoops gave a very proud Fylde back-to-back wins. In the 81 year history of the Longman Cup, only four clubs have previously had the distinction of achieving this feat. Well done to all.

Posted by Mart, 5th October

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