On Thursday 21st April the John Ford Trophy final took place at Shavington. The finalists were Congleton and Crosses. We had a tremendous nights badminton enjoyed by all. President Alan Horne came along to present the trophy whilst Chairman David Sumner oversaw the proceedings. This is how it all panned out.

In the initial handicapping meeting earlier that week the brave souls who stake their reputation on their forecasts had a pint in the Duke of Gloucester and gave their opinions. Based on the data before them it was decided that it was likely to be a really close affair, almost inseparable. Crosses were given a marginal handicap of 4. As can often be the case, on the day of the match we found that there was a player change. The substitution appeared that it might strengthen the Crosses team considerably so a hasty exchange of opinion swung the verdict towards Congleton to the tune of 39 points.

On the night there were many unexpected twists and turns. Several games went against expectation and most games were more fiercely contested than had been thought. Such is the beauty and frustration of the handicap system, you have to expect the unexpected.

The scoresheet is attached. From there you can see particular highlights were Howard and Elaine turning over Alan and Fiona, especially after the first game going to expectation. Alan and Karl had a very good win in the first of their games against Neil and Howard. Neil and Hannah produced a good one against Karl and Symone who then rectified the situation in the second game. Special note also to Hannah and Elaine who might have expected two similar games against Fiona and Symone, but produced a great performance to run them very close in the second game.

The match score in games (which dosn't matter at all) was Congleton 9 Crosses 9 emphasising the close affair we all suspected.

In terms of points (which do matter a lot) the scores on the doors before handicapping were 312 to Congleton and 327 to Crosses - a gap of a mere 15. With the handicap that swung it Congleton's way and they ended up winning the trophy by 351 to 327 - a difference of 24 points. For the handicappers that means just over a point a game which is excellent. More importantly for Congleton that meant a first ever successful John Ford Trophy campaign. Many congratulations to them. Many thanks also to Crosses for making it a really close and exciting final played in a wonderful spirit.

The victorious Congleton team are shown with their trophy in the attached photo along with the scoresheet.


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