26th November, 2009
|Owen Saunders||lost to||Julian Sheraton-Davis||5/6|
|John Dagnall||lost to||Chris Gotla||2/6|
|Martin Daly||beat||Paul Newton||6/2|
Martin Daly writes:
Delayed arrivals meant that Owen Saunders and Julian Sheraton-Davis were first on court; Julian edging out a battling Owen (video below) to give Team 5 first blood.
Video © Martin Daly
Chris Gotla and Martin Daly then dominated their singles matches, versus John Dagnall and Paul Newton respectively, to leave the match finely balanced at 2/1 in Team 5’s favour.
In the first of the doubles matches John and Owen raced into a 5/1 lead, only for Chris and Julian to doggedly claw back the advantage, eventually completing a hard-fought 6/5 win to give Team 5 a 3/1 lead.
With newly-crowned British Open Doubles Champion and RTC Head Professional Nick Wood joining the players in the dedans (later saying that he was secretly running the rule over the contestants in search of a future doubles partner), the standard of play – and behaviour – improved markedly.
Team 4 stepped up a gear, completing 6/1 and 6/2 victories in the final two doubles matches, the second match finished in the grand manner with an unstoppable force into the dedans by Owen – despite Stefan King’s earlier attempt to put him off his game by shouting “Come on Fraser!”
With the sets won tied at 3/3, the teams could only be separated on games won; Team 4 having a clear 30/23 margin, and therefore overall victory.