Cornwall edged out by Dorset in season closer

Falmouth Packet: (l to r) Jo Philp, Ross Lashbrook, Kellen Moore, Shane Maton, Amy Polglase, James Whetter, Lynda Beer, Guy Michell (l to r) Jo Philp, Ross Lashbrook, Kellen Moore, Shane Maton, Amy Polglase, James Whetter, Lynda Beer, Guy Michell

The final game of the season saw Cornwall 1st team up against the visiting Dorset 2nds, with the local players aiming to get revenge for a heavy defeat in Bournemouth last December.

There was also the small matter of who would finish second in the division to  champions Avon, with Cornwall in second place as the match began, having only lost 2 matches and winning the other 5.

With 3 of the regular girls unavailable, Cornwall drafted in 2 young debutants, Kellen Moore and Amy Polglase, alongside Lynda Beer appearing for the second time this season. Cornwall's men were unchanged, and eager to make a good impression to the partisan crowd.

Dorset made a strong start in the singles, taking both mens, despite James Whetter narrowly losing his in 3 hard fought ends, for only the first time this season. Shane Maton found it tough going against another tricky left hander, as did Kellen in the top ladies slot, both losing in 2 ends.

Amy saved the singles whitewash, with an excellent controlled win over her  opponent, showing calmness and maturity beyond her years.

So, at 1-3 down, the Cornish men were looking to set the record straight, before disaster struck - James and Guy Michell had looked magnificent in their first end, but then James had to concede due to a calf muscle injury which finished his match for the day. This left Shane and Ross Lashbrook to fly the flag in the mens, which they did in style, taking both their games comfortably.

The girls doubles all went to Dorset, but not before both Cornish pairs had tight 3 enders, showing great fighting spirit. Jo Philp and Lynda, and Kellen and Amy all battled to the end with some fine retrieving and attacking play, before just losing out to the visitors.

Going into the mixed games, Dorset had already won the match, but Cornwall were chasing the 6 games they needed to give them a point and keep them above Dorset in the table.

Sadly it was not meant to be this time, despite some thrilling play, particularly in the top mixed game which saw Guy standing in for James alongside Jo. They pushed their opponents all the way to 3 ends with power and precision, but finally were worn down by the consistency of their opposition.

Shane and Lynda managed to pull off an excellent victory at second mixed, despite being taken to 3 ends, they kept a tight control of the game and came out deserved winners.

The final game of this marathon match, saw Ross and Amy just lose the 3rd mixed, showing lots of determination and skill at the end of a long afternoon.

Despite the scoreline, 11-4 to Dorset, this does not do justice to what was a hard fought performance by the Cornish team, severely hampered by James's injury, but with Kellen and Amy's superb debut, and the overall never-say-die spirit, the team can be proud of themselves for finishing the season in such a positive manner.

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