Sunday 21st January 2018 saw Dunston’s Gary Clark take on Tynemouth Social’s Tim Shield in the Northumberland County Closed Plate Final (O55).
Two very tight opening games finished 11-8, one to each player. Both players were point for point and cancelling each other out with serves being broken at the end of most exchanges.
Despite Tims superior ranking, both were evenly matched and showed consistent tight backhand lengths and deft touches at the front of the court.
Early in the third game, Tim changed his approach. Through a combination of errors by Gary and a succession of impressive winners Tim sealed an 11-3 game in a matter of minutes.
It was Gary’s turn to pick up the pace in the fourth game and he raced into an 8-0 lead, switching between some fantastic drops and boasts that Tim had no answer to. Despite a slight wobble and giving Tim hope, he took another quickfire game 11-5 to take us into a decider.
A tight fifth game was expected but Gary took a few early points to give himself some breathing space. A few uncharacteristic errors from Tim meant this lead was only extended until Gary claimed a great victory with a 11-5 win.
Credit to both players for the standard shown, but in the end a great result for Dunston. Congratulations, Gary Clark.