Anderson Shield results
Jim Potter - straight follow-through
*...watching your EACF webmaster in play out in the rain!
Teams of four from the six counties of the Eastern Federation assembled in Colchester over the holiday weekend to compete for the fourth time for the Anderson Shield under the threat of dire weather predictions. The competition comprises five rounds of three matches each of two games advanced doubles so that each county plays each of the others.
I say teams of four assembled, but on Saturday morning drama struck when both Norfolk and Cambridgeshire were concerned as to the whereabouts of one of their team members. Jim Potter, Cambridge Captain and ROT having been unavoidably delayed made it as the opening turns were being played. Norfolk Captain, Terrey Sparks, however had to play the first 40 minutes on his own thanks to Engineering Works on the railway line between Norwich and Diss delaying Feargal Smith's arrival by about an hour and leaving his bike stranded at Norwich station as there was no room on the bus!
The first round produced no match winners, and all teams ate their packed lunches having won one game each, some within time others not. This distinction would have a deciding influence on final placings in the event of a tie at the end of the competition.
The second round saw Herts start their climb to the top beating Essex while the other four counties shared their games. The third round told the same story except Herts beat Suffolk this time.
End of day 1 found Herts clearly ahead with two match wins and Norfolk lying next with 3 game wins, all within time. Beds and Cambs tied on 3 game wins, one within time, while Essex on 2 games won, both within time and Suffolk on 2 games won, one within time completed the roll call.
The hour being late, it was decided that those not commuting could partake of Pizza in the clubhouse (possibly with a view to swelling the Club's bar takings?) and join the debate about how and where Feargal should spend the night. Kip in the clubhouse? That didn't seem such a good idea as the bar was not lockable. Go back to Norwich with all the unknowns of travel on a Sunday? Also not a good idea. Eventually he disappeared into the night to try his luck finding a bed in Colchester which I am pleased to report was successful, although his arrival at the Club before the gates were opened next morning suggests perhaps it was not conducive to having a long lie-in despite the 10 o'clock start.
While we had struggled through Saturday, mostly dry if overcast and latterly pretty cold, Sunday unfortunately managed to prove the forecasters right for once with more or less continuous rain of varying intensity during the morning. All three matches produced winners, Herts beating Cambs, Norfolk beating Suffolk and Beds beating Essex which meant that Herts with three match wins were uncatchable. With concern for the condition of the lawns steadily increasing, the competition decided and no great desire among the participants to continue in the conditions, the fifth round was abandoned and Herts declared the winner. As the other positions could all have changed depending on the results of the abandoned fifth round no other placings were awarded.
Terrey Sparks introduced Peter Allnutt, the new EACF Chairman who presented the Shield to Mark Homan, captain of the winning county, who complimented Colin on his management of the competition, not the easiest thing to do when taking part as a player and captain, and expressed the assembled company's thanks to the ladies of Colchester who had kept us supplied with refreshments and an excellent tea on Saturday.
Colin when managing usually awards a special prize for some outstanding performance or incident during the competition. In the absence of any such event on the lawns thanks largely to the weather, he chose to give his bottle of appropriately named aperitif to Jim Potter, the man whose idea this particular competition was. In this, its fourth year, it can be said to be going from strength to strength with all teams more and more competitive as perhaps is shown by the trophy having been won by a different county each year of its existence.
|Herts||Mark Homan, Simon Hathrell, Ian Mantle, Jeremy Scott|
|Beds||Geoff Strutt, Tim Brewer, Terry Mahoney, John Smallbone|
|Cambs||Jim Potter, Bryan Saddington, Catherine Storey, Ian Storey|
|Essex||Colin Hemming, Mike Porter, Gerry Varndell, George Winder|
|Norfolk||Terrey Sparks, Neil Chalmers, Jeff Race, Feargal Smith|
|Suffolk||Celia Pearce, Peter Allnutt, John Andrews/Jill Waters, David Kitson|