Parkstone Trophy Team Top Division in the Rain
Although being top of the league, it was not without some trepidation that Bath’s Parkstone Trophy team of Roger Hayes, Andrew Willis and John Grimshaw all travelled down together to Taunton Deane to play in their final league match of the 2016 season. Taunton had pipped Bath to the top spot in 2015 but had also succeeded in putting themselves into second position in the league with only one match to play. If Taunton were to repeat their win of last year, they would go the top the league because they would have scored more game points in the matches between the two sides, in spite of both sides would having gained the same number of match wins.
The morning session in reasonably good weather ended with both teams on one win each. The doubles pairing of Roger Hayes and John Grimshaw comfortably overcame their opposition but Andrew Willis came unstuck against Tim Jolliff to whom he had also lost in the earlier home match at Bath in April. At lunchtime therefore, there was still no indication as to which team was going to top the league.
Lunchtime also brought in the much heralded, heavy rain which continued for the rest of the afternoon. It seemingly did not deter John Grimshaw, who was the first to finish his singles game in the afternoon with a win for Bath. On the other hand, Roger Hayes was unable to cope with the slope and rain-soaked lawns and was relieved to come off the lawn, having lost his game to Tim Jolliff. The all-decisive game then was left to the one between Andrew Willis and Stephen Custance-Baker. It was not the fastest of games, no doubt because of the difficult playing conditions, but eventually Andrew was able to get his first ball onto peg with his second ball on 3back, well ahead of his opponent with time beginning to run out. Amazingly, Custance-Baker began to improve his position but, unfortunately for him and fortunately for Bath, time was called with Andrew still very much in the lead, resulting in a nail-biting 3-2 win for Bath and confirmation of their top spot in the league.
Bath now play the bottom team of Division 1, either Dyffryn or Nailsea, in the promotion play-off.