Eurocup Quarter Finals at Oxshott – 7th/8th April 2018

Report from Andy Wilmot

We arrived at Oxshott in plenty of time to get in some practice and register.
The weather was set fair for the day as we gathered before the start.
Our Gardens of Hanbury team for the day was: Simon Mellen, Paul Daisley, Andy Wilmot, Paul McNeill,
Sean Daisley, Francois Bourquin, Jean Wilmot, Brenda Wilmot

Our opponents looked formidable as we had two teams from Kent, both from Meadow PC and one from Chiltern from Sports Bar PC.

The winners of the group of four would play in the EuroCup finals against the winners of the three other groups.
Teams in second place would play in the EPA cup finals against all the other second placed teams.

Saturday was split into three rounds of triples in the morning against each of our opponents and then three rounds of Singles in the afternoon followed by the doubles matches scheduled for the Sunday morning.

We started pretty well holding both Sports Bar and Meadow’s first team to 1 triples win each, with each win scoring 5 match points. Our final round was against Meadow’s Second team named the Starlings who had not won in either of their first two rounds so we were hoping for success in these matches but alas we lost both.

Following lunch we embarked on the three rounds of singles. This is new to the domestic competition introducing a third round to each match. It has been in place in Europe for a year or two, and will be introduced here for all qualifying matches I believe from next season.

Each singles win carries 2 match points to add to your total so we were hopeful of winning enough to take each match to the doubles round with a chance of winning. Just to summarise the whole match is worth 31 points (with doubles being worth 3 points each game) so 16 is the winning line. This meant we needed to win at least one of the singles matches in each of the first two rounds.

We managed that against Sports Bar winning one of the games to ensure we carried on. However against Meadow we lost all six meaning that match had been lost.

We had more success against Meadow Starlings but not enough to keep us in the match given we had not taken any points off them in the morning.

Therefore it was left for us to play our doubles against Sports Bar and win all three games to get a result. We won the first game to finish, but despite the second and third games being very close with chances to win, we couldn’t get over the winning line and had to concede.

Sadly that brought an end to our participation in the EuroCup for this year, but it was a good learning curve especially playing those Singles matches, and an enjoyable day with some notable successes and scalps to take home in individual games.