Reviews of both cups the past summer 2019 season.
Last night we saw the conclusion of the League Cup and the Mick Walkerdine Cup. History was made in both cups but more about that later, for now let’s get on reviewing each cup this past season.
The league cup started out with a first round group stage with players divided in to eight groups of four or five. It was a race to 5 winner breaks in the group stage.
In group A Rod Green and Pete Greasley qualified for the last 16 with three wins and one loss each. In the next three groups would see the top two going through with the same record of 1st place three wins from three and 2nd place with two wins and one loss. Group B would see would see Mark Morris through and Stu Stevens through. Group C would see Nigel Webb and Phil Downing through. Group D Paul Mason and Julian Barber qualified. In group E Steve Strawhorn won four out of four and Paul Morgan won three from four to both qualify. Group F, G and H would see the same record of three wins from three for Keith Walkerdine, Ian Welch and Mitchell Hodsell to claim top and then Mick Hodgson, Sapphyre Banner and Mark Wayte claim second in each group with two wins from three.
The last 16 was next and Ian Welch would receive a bye after Mitchell dropped out of the league. The two tightest games of the round would see Phil Downing narrowly beat Mark Morris and Mark Wayte squeaking past Nigel Webb with a 9-8 score line. Sapphyre Banner had the biggest winning margin of the round beating Stu Stevens 9-1. The other results of the round were Rod Green 9-3 Mick Hodgson, Steve Strawhorn 9-4 Julian Barber, Keith Walkerdine 9-4 Paul Mason and Paul Morgan 9-5 Pete Greasley.
Onto the quarter finals where Mark Wayte and Ian Welch had convincing 9-3 wins over Phil Downing and Rod Green respectively. The other two games would see both Steve Strawhorn and Keith Walkerdine win 9-6 over Paul Morgan and Sapphyre Banner.
The semi-finals were set with all division 1 clash between Ian Welch and summer 2017 league cup winner Steve Strawhorn with Ian coming out victorious 9-6 on his hunt for his first league cup title. In the other semi-final division 2’s Mark Wayte was taking on division 1 and three time league cup runner up Keith Walkerdine. Mark was in control pretty much of all the game and bagged his final spot with a 9-5 win.
Now the final was an epic and tight affair with both players taking leads and surrendering the lead and levelling up on each as the game progressed in this race to 11. The score finally got 9 each with Ian taking the lead 10-9 but yet again this game when back level and to a deciding rack at 10 each. In the final rack league cup history was made with an 11-10 victory as Mark won his first league cup and the first ever player outside of division 1 to win the league cup. Previous players outside of division 1 at the time who were Keith Walkerdine, Adam Wale, and Sam Lowry have all tried but came up short in their hunt to be the first. So massive congratulations to Mark on winning the league cup and creating a bit of history. Also well done to Ian on making it to the final.
Now for the Mick Walkerdine Cup which is for the players in division 3 and 4 this past season. With 16 players a pre-lim round between two players would take place to be added the first round of 16. This would see Stu Stevens beat Daz Carter 5-0.
So the first round proper would see everyone racing to 6 in a winners break format. Kat Hammond received a bye after her opponent dropped out of the league. Four players would see big win with Julian Barber beating Nathan Banner 6-0, Duane Fox beating Aaron Hemmings 6-1, Sapphyre Banner beat Steve Orton 6-1 and Michael Thorpe beat Stephen Marston 6-2. Melvyn Chapman and Mick Hodgson both went through with 6-3 wins over Stu Stevens and Michael Kearns respectively. The closest tie of the round was between Ellis Green and Joanna Banes (Lanham), with Jo coming out on top with a 6-4 victory.
Onto the quarter finals and there was two really tight games going all the way Sapphyre Banner winning 6-5 against Melvyn Chapman and Mick Hodgson beating Julian Baber 6-5 as well. In another tight game Jo Banes overcame Kat Hammond to win 6-4. Duane Fox rounded of the games with a 6-2 win over Michael Thorpe.
In the semi-finals it was a race to 7 winner breaks and both winners won convincingly to secure there spot in the final. Sapphyre Banner would book her place in her third final in this cup with 7-2 win over Mick Hodgson. Duane Fox would secure the other final birth over Jo Banes with 7-3 win.
Final time and this was a race to 9 winner breaks. Sapphyre got off to an early lead before Duane tried to rally back but Sapphyre kept the pressure on with Duane getting a rack here and there. Sapphyre was too strong on this occasion though and took the game 9-5 to make history in this cup short history to become a two time winner. Sapphyre has now won this cup twice, runner up once and made a semi-final another time out of the five seasons it has been going. Congratulations Sapphyre on another fine achievement. Well done to Duane on making the final as well.