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Plate 2012-13



Friday 14th June (Final)


The finals’ night started with the Plate Final between Mark Brown and Ady James, marked by Paul Finch.



Ady got off to a blistering start taking a rapid 7-0 lead. Was this all going to be over in 5 minutes? But Mark worked his way back in, defending a game point at 8-6 to bring things level at 8-8 and then win 10-9. This must have rocked Ady who then conceded the next 2 games 9-2 and 9-3. Ady played well but Mark was simply too strong on the night.





Wednesday 12th June (Semi Finals)


The first of the Plate semis saw Paul Finch play Mark Brown. The game started with a tough let call, but markers Dilip and Natalie showed from the off they were up for marking this tough pair. Paul looked good when he sucked his belly in, and even better when he shaped for his shots, playing a bewildering variety. But Mark was cool and professional, almost like an assassin as he cut out drives, pushed the corners, and paced from service box to service box. Paul worked hard for his 7-5 lead. He then served an ace and it all looked over for Mark, but Mark came back 5-8, 6-8, 7-8, 8-8 (Paul called 2), 9-8 and went on to win the first 10-8. Mark never lost the momentum after that, notching up a win in the 2nd 9-4. And continued to an 8-2 lead in the 3rd. Did Paul have any tricks left? Mark conceded a stroke and put Paul back in control. But alas he left any comeback too late and like John in the earlier match, Mark booked his place in the final with a hard, low backhand cross court drive from the front.


For anyone who thinks a Plate semi-final doesn’t mean anything, come and watch Ady James and Danny Quigley play! The 2 were last on, kindly marked by Mark Brown. Danny was concerned he’d waited around so long his Ibruprofen may have worn off, and he might of been right as Ady came out the sharpest taking a 5-1 lead. But Danny clearly was not happy with that and fought back to 7-7. Ady stayed on top though and won that game 9-7 on the 2nd game point. Danny had the wind in his sails in the 2nd, winning out 9-4 to level the scores. The 3rd was neck and neck the whole way, with Ady having a game point at 8-7. Danny brought back to 8-8 and Ady called 2. Ady won 10-8 but the strain left him befuddled and he went to shake Danny’s hand (perhaps hoping we’d mis-recorded the result in the 2nd?). Whatever, Ady seemed more driven than ever, hitting excellent width in the 4th to take a swift 8-1 lead. Surely this was it (prayed Mark) but Danny was having none of it, bringing the score back to 7-8 in 7 straight rallies. But it was not enough. Ady hung on, won serve and took the game 9-7 and the match 3-1.


Mark Brown will play Ady James in the final on Friday at 7:00pm.



Monday 13th May


3 of the 4 Quarter Final matches were played tonight (Rob and Ady’s game will be rescheduled for later in the week). First up Mike Willis played Paul Finch. The 2 had never played before and it was a great match. Mike moved well and did his best to place the ball away from Paul, but once more Paul showed the value in having an extensive arsenal of varied shot, wrong footing Mike and eventually winning out.


The next match saw Gordon Scott pitted against Mark Brown. Mark turned up determined to get a result. I hope Gordon won’t mind me saying he turned up hoping it was all a bad dream and he’d wake up next to Bobby in the shower…but this time with a racketball racquet in his hand instead of the stupid long one with a small head he was holding. Despite this there were some great rallies…when Gordon chased hard he made Mark work very hard indeed. But ultimately Mark was victorious and will play Paul Finch in the first of the plate Semi Finals.


The last match saw Danny Quigley (measured showman) play Dilip Chakrabarti (focussed Berserker). Danny won the first 9-5, catching Dilip with some well played backhand drops. Dilip reversed the score by upping the work-rate in the 2nd to take that 9-5. Danny retook control in the 3rd, narrowly winning it 10-8. And then Dilip returned the favour, taking the 4th with the same score line. Would the legs of Dilip or the tactics of Danny prevail in the 5th? In the end it was neither; a string of unforced errors on the return of serve gave Danny a big lead from which Dilip just couldn’t recover, and Danny went on to take the 3rd semi-final spot.



Sunday 12th May


In their rearranged fixture, Rob Motson beat Chris Wright in straight games to book a quarter final tie against Ady James.



Wednesday 8th May


Natalie Morant and Mark Brown played their 1st round match earlier in the day. Mark won a hard-fought game to progress on to a rendezvous with Gordon Scott on Monday.


Two 1st round matches in the Plate were played this evening; first up Dilip Chakrabarti played Tim Hayes. Dilip took the upper-hand in the early exchanges, but if he didn’t find his width or length Tim made him pay with some exquisite volley drops. Ultimately Tim lacked Dilip’s match sharpness and Dilip went on to win. Dilip will now play Danny Quigley in the quarter finals on Monday.


The last match of the evening saw old hand Paul Finch play new broom Ben Vincent. Just as in his earlier game, Ben rallied hard and struck the ball well. But Paul’s experience shone through, with perfect shot selection (clearly a lot of time spent on court with and watching his boys!). Paul won to book his quarter final place against Mike Willis.


Both Tim and Ben bowed out, but it was great to have them enter for the first time this year, and I hope they come back for another try next year.