On the Saturday we were drawn against Yorkshire in the Semi Final at a 9.30 am start.
Our number one Mens pairing of Mike Haywood and Zuli Tejrar went on to play the number one Yorkshire pair and after a very hard 3 setter managed to win 21-13 19-21 21-11. We had to play out of order as Yorkshire’s second men’s pair hadn’t arrived so we had to play our number one Ladies doubles pair Mandy Joiner and Linda Pearcy against the Yorkshire number one pair. Gloucester went on to win in 2 straight 21-14 21-19. Our number 2 Mens pair Mike Kennedy and Dave Evans then went on against their second pair and won 21-18 21-19. Our second ladies pair Rhonwen James and Jo Hammond went on to play the Yorkshire second pair and were very unlucky to lose in an exciting 3 setter 21-15 12-21 19-21. Mike and Zuli played the second pair and won but in another tight 3 setter 24-26 21-16 21-11 and Mike K and Dave shocked us all winning against the first men’s pair in three 16-21 21-18 21-19. Mandy and Linda beat the second pair 21-15 and 21-10 and Rhonwen and Jo beat the number one ladies pair 21-19 21-19. At this point we had already won the game before going into the mixed Doubles the score being 7-1.
Our number 1 mixed doubles Mike Haywood and Linda Pearcy went on to win their mixed in three 21-11 11-21 21-12 but unfortunately Zuli Tejrar and Mandy Joiner lost 14-21 20-22, Mike Kennedy and Jo Hammond lost 17-21 22-24 and Phil Richardson and Rachel McGill lost 13-21 16-21 but the match was already won so it didn’t matter!
The other semi final was between Nottingham and Surrey. Surrey won 11-1 so we had to play them in the final on the Sunday at 12.30pm.
The match was a very nip and tuck all the way through. Our first mens pair Mike H and Zuli Tejrar had a very challenging match, Zuli was suffering with a bad back which he woke up with on the Sunday morning but they managed to defeat their opponents in a fabulous 3 setter 13-21 21-13 21-15. Unfortunately Mike K and Phil Richardson missed out the opposition just being a bit too strong 16-21 18-21. Mandy and Linda had a very comfortable ladies doubles against their first pair 21-9 21-11 and against the second ladies pairs 21-9 21-12 and Rachel and Jo had a good win against the ladies 2 pair 21-15 21-15 but unfortunately lost out to Surrey’s First Ladies pair 15-21 21-23 On the men’s doubles swap Mike and Zuli again had yet another 3 setter which they won 13-21 21-9 21-11. This put the score before going into the mixed at 5-3 to Glos. We knew it was going to be tough from here on in as Mike and Zuli had had all 3 setters. Zuli’s back was very stiff and he was playing on adrenaline and we had to get 2 mixed doubles to win. Mike and Linda started off losing the first end and were not very comfortable. In the second game we were 11-8 down when Mike had to stop as he was in agony with cramp. Very sportingly the opposition gave him time to recover and after taking on fluids and hopping about he managed to play on. From then on they settled down winning the second game then going on victoriously winning the 3rd end 17-21 21-14 21-12 Phew!! In the meantime Zuli and Mandy were still playing on the other court and beating their opponents in two straight 24-22 21-15. Mike K and Jo lost in a tough 3 setter just missing out 19-21 21-14 19-21 and Dave and Rhonwen didn’t really get going so they lost in two 10-21 10-21.
We did what we needed to do and won the match eventually 7-5 to be crowned Over 45’s National County Champions.