Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

July 25th 2011

Nailsea 3 Bath 4    

Bath snatch victory from the jaws of defeat; or a match of two halves; or even, Connie Stopforth holds nerve magnificently for stunning victory in the last game!

The match was played on Thursday 23 June, and the morning games didn’t go well for Bath. The doubles (Connie Stopforth: 18 & Richard Jelly: 16) and the two singles (David Perkins: 12 & Paul Francis: 12) were all lost by narrow margins. The afternoon was a totally different matter! Francis and Jelly pegged out with their opponents Mike Tracy (12) and Kathy Wallace (9) out of sight. Perkins overcame the extremely cautious play of Graham McCausland to win comfortably +5T.

The match score was now 3-3 and so all and our attention focused on the last game to finish. Bath’s Stopforth was one hoop ahead; Bridget Clayton of Nailsea blobbed one back, muttering “rabbit run” as she left the lawn. One back was also Stopforth’s back ball hoop. She coolly (well, it looked cool to those of us watching) made the vital and difficult nine yard roquet and took off to one back; then time was called. Stopforth made the hoop – she was two ahead. Clayton failed to hit in on her last turn. What a dramatic finish! There were no great celebrations; no high fives (as has been known to occur at Nailsea). Just satisfaction and surprise perhaps, at a job well done by the Bath team. Nailsea were gracious in defeat and shared with us their skipper Mike Tracy’s birthday cake. We happily sang “Happy Birthday”.


Connie Stopforth (18) & Richard Jelly (14) vs Bridget Clayton(16) & Mike Tracy (12)  -4T

David Perkins (12) vs Kathy Wallace (9)  -6T

Paul Francis (12) vs Graham McCausland (14)  -2T

Paul Francis (12) vs Mike Tracy (12)  +16

David Perkins (12) vs Graham McCausland (14)  +5T

Richard Jelly (14) vs Kathy Wallace (9)  +19

Connie Stopforth (18) vs Bridget Clayton(16)  +2T